We had a few hours on a Saturday for child free Christmas shopping before seeing a movie. With our list in hand, little did we know that Jesus had a Christmas list of His own…
I was in the ‘ladies’ when I found the first on His list. I knew to pray for someone outside my cubicle. (Side note: Yes, He talks to me everywhere).
‘She has been a great blessing to others for many, many years. I want you to bless her.’
As I washed my hands, I looked at ‘her’ in the mirror.
She was an elderly woman waiting for her granddaughter. I introduced myself and told her I believed she had been a great blessing to many people over the years. I then asked if I could pray a blessing. She looked surprised, but agreed.
Her name was Joy. She was the second ‘Joy’ I had prayed for that week, and I mentally noted the ‘coincidence.’
I blessed Joy knowing that she knew joy, being familiar with the Joy of the Lord. She teared up a little as I prayed and blessed her. Once done, she asked if I would also pray for her granddaughter. I agreed and prayed and prophesied over her granddaughter, declaring her destiny would open and unfold, that she was a pillar and a leader in the coming move of God, which I believed would be a move that came through the youth in power. Joy excitedly said she had been praying for revival for years. I encouraged her, saying it had come…
My husband was waiting patiently outside. He knew what was going on – people were coming out of the bathroom in amazement, saying that there was ‘someone in there praying for people!’ and pointing back to the door. Andrew knew what I was up to and laughed. I had never thought about that sort of impact, but it was quite funny to think about.
Jesus assignment done, we ordered a coffee and discussed our shopping…
Waiting for our order, I popped into a nearby store to “bag” our first item. A young girl (about 16 years) served me. I felt the nudge and responded by offering to pray. C agreed and ‘felt’ the anointing as I prayed and prophesied. I knew she would discover who she was and why she was in the next two years. She had said she did not know, but my gosh, seeing her the way God saw her I knew she was a marvellous girl! I headed off with my purchase and sat back down with my husband to finish our coffee.
By this stage, I felt I had definitely done my dash; however, God had other plans.
We were leaving a sporting store when we walked past a very disabled girl with her parents. Strapped into a wheelchair, arms and legs fastened down, her small body bent and twisted as her head moved involuntarily. I felt God’s strong desire for me to pray, but the severity of her condition intimidated me. I argued with God as we walked from the store. Ultimately, the loving compassion to pray overwhelmed my senses and I said:
‘Ok, for You, I’m willing to do it,’ and I went back to search the store.
Fighting the intensity of my nerves and the overwhelming urge to walk away, I stopped before the wheelchair and asked her parents if I could pray. I did not want them to feel that I felt sorry for them, but I also wanted them to know that I cared. They agreed, so I knelt and addressed their daughter, who could not talk at all.
She was dribbling and had an angry-looking rash on her face from the saliva that wet her face. I knelt before her chair. She was tiny. I took an unformed hand in mine as I looked directly into her eyes. Her parents looked weary, watching on as I quietly introduced myself, but as I prayed, her father leant in to listen.
Her head shook as I started, when suddenly she quieted and locked her gaze on mine. I believe she could clearly feel God as I prayed for her. The frantic movements slowed, and she held onto my gaze several times. I prayed for her parents too and asked God to provide solutions. I felt humble, insufficient, shaken.
Leaving the store, I thanked the girl and parents for stopping and allowing me to pray for them. Wobbly, I said to Andrew, it must be nerves. Instead, he encouraged me, suggesting it was the intensity of anointing which made me laugh.
“Ok” I thought, “big one down”, shake, shake, shake, “gosh, ok, deep breath” shake, shake, shake.
I slowly settled down as we walked through Big W, fighting the negative thoughts, the accusations of failure, and the residual impact of the nerves. The results were up to God. I had obeyed; the rest was up to Him.
As the legs stopped shaking, I could focus on our task at hand. Andrew encouraging me all the way, we successfully made further purchases.
On our way out of the store, God prompted me to pray for the cashier.
‘I am not a Christian,’ he said.
‘Doesn’t matter,’ I said.
I promptly placed my hand on his elbow and I spoke Peace over him for this season of busyness.
There were others I stopped for, all scattered like confetti through our shopping.
Soon it was time for our movie, so we headed toward the theatre. To our surprise, we had calmly and easily done all our shopping. We had found everything, and had time to spare.
Andrew took our parcels to the car while I waited by the cinemas. I noted a young girl in a wheelchair and tried to ignore her. There was a brief, gentle prompt, but I leant into the louder “no” that came powerfully over the top of the whispered ‘pray for her’. The prompt was subtle, and I wanted to get to our movie on time, so I tried to ignore her, and I literally turned my back.
I stood and waited for Andrew, arguing, but it was no good; I knew I had to stop for this one, too.
Walking over to the girl’s mother, I introduced myself, asked what her daughter had done and if I could pray. The Mum’s name was ‘A.’ She was standing with her teenage son, who looked like he had down syndrome, but who we later found out had severe autism. She looked back at me and immediately said,
‘Yes, that would be great.’
I knelt by the young girl in the wheelchair. She was 14 years old. A brick wall had fallen on her, crushing and breaking one leg. The damage included the leg’s growth plate, so the surgeon had to break the other leg so the legs would grow at the same rate. Brutal!
She gave me permission to place my hands on her legs, and as I prayed, she felt heat. I continued to pray and prophesy, while her friends stood by our side, politely not looking.
I asked her if she had asked Jesus into her heart. She said she had, but on a prompt I said ‘let’s do it again’ and so in response she asked Jesus into her heart. I suggested she ask that He fill her up, so she did. I continued to pray and when she said “enough” (a boundary we had agreed upon before I prayed) I thanked her and looked at her mother, who then thanked me.
I thought I was going to head into the movie theatre after this – time was ticking along. Andrew and I had not been to a movie for years by ourselves, so it was a real treat. However, I felt I needed to pray for her brother, too. Turning to the mother, I asked if I could pray for him.
She readily agreed.
The boy called “B” was 16 years old. He swayed heavily under the anointing, and I motioned to Andrew, who quickly steadied him. He was incredibly ‘open’ to God’s presence.
I felt to suggest he say, ‘Jesus, come into my heart.’ (note: not my usual modus operandi).
I then felt to suggest to him to say ‘Jesus, fill me up,’ (not my usual modus operandi).
B said ‘Jesus fill me up’, and on saying it he kept saying it, over and over, laughing and swaying heavily under the anointing.
I finished and turned to the mother, knowing I had to pray for her too.
‘Well, this is more important than being on time for the movie,’ I thought as I offered.
As I prayed, the compassion of God came upon me powerfully. I nearly cried. She also looked teary. I received words of knowledge about her–she was struggling (that was obviously a possibility given her two kids) she was making major decisions, and she was a single mum.
She told me she had 3 children and had told my husband while I prayed for her daughter, that she had found the recent challenges with her daughter’s injury really tough. I prayed, and she quietly received; she was so very thirsty for God and drank Him in, and as I finished praying for her, I placed my arms around her and held her close for a long, long time.
Eventually, I went to release my hug, but she hung on. So, I hugged her some more and when I felt it was enough, I again tried to disengage, but again she hung on. I continued to hold her, although I felt quite embarrassed. Moving to release her, she continued to hang onto me quietly. I tried again. She hung on again. So I stood in the middle of the busy shopping centre and let her drink and cling to me for what seemed an eternity.
Eventually she let go, and I gave her our church card with my private number on it so she could call me if she wanted.
Walking away, my husband said to me he believed we were there, not so much for the daughter, but for the Mother, who had been through such a tough time.
‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me… streams of living water will flow from within him.’ John 7:38-39
We saw our movie. We even had time to go to the bathroom and settle in before the movie started. God had it all timed beautifully. I am so glad that I did not rush because He had treasures in the darkness to give.
This is what the Lord says to his anointed…
‘I will go before you and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:2-3 NIV
Each person I encountered was a treasure in the darkness, waiting to be discovered.
Each person was a treasure set out for me to discover, to find, to uncover. He lovingly ordered my footsteps. God not only blessed us with the miracle of a great time together, Christmas shopping in the Christmas rush, but He also entrusted 10 people that all needed a touch from their mighty and loving God. Ten people altered for ever more. He left those treasures out for me to find because …
God is Good.
Post Script: The shopping day was a Saturday, a few years ago now. I wrote the story up on a Tuesday, and just as I finished writing the mum rang me with the following report:
- Her daughter stood without crutches on the Sunday;
- Her son lost his aggression and was much calmer. She said there was a change in his eyes – they looked ‘more alert.’ He had stopped asking about his father who left the family and she said the ‘worry has lifted from his face’ and he is ‘much calmer’. She told me he continues to say ‘Jesus fill me up’ and is laying hands on his mother and family friends and asking ‘can you feel that?’ and she can feel it;
- The mum felt much more at peace (in her home and in herself). Through tears, she explained she had been suicidal the night before meeting us. Apparently, she saw a light around us both, and willed us to come over. It was the light that she wanted to be near. From that day on, A cared for herself properly, eating 3 meals a day, and felt at peace.
- A told me she had thought about the encounter every day. She believed it was not a coincidence that we met. Just before she met us she had looked for a car park and just knew that she would find one on the middle level (where she met us) at about 1.30pm, just in time to meet us after getting her daughter out of the car with the wheelchair. She said that she had told her daughter that there would be a car park for them in that place, and there was a reason for the delay in finding one.
- During our discussion on the telephone, A gave her heart to Christ. We talked at length and she shared some of her story with me. She also asked for and received the gift of tongues, feeling a ‘tingling up and down her legs’ as we prayed. She also felt the tingles over her head, as she had done earlier. Her ‘spirit spot’ burned lightly as we talked and prayed.
Post Post Script:
I kept in contact with A over Christmas and eventually arranged a coffee at my home in mid-January.
The bell rang, and on answering the door A was with her daughter who was standing. Her daughter’s name also begins with A so I will call her Little A. I stood looking at Little A and they both laughed at my shock. Little A was walking, without leg braces, without a wheelchair and without a walking stick.
After my initial shock, they came into my home where I heard the story:
Little A had stood for the first time unaided the day after I had prayed for her. She had been told on 6th January by her physiotherapist that she would need the wheelchair, leg braces and a crutch for another 6 weeks. Yet, she was walking unaided on 18th January – 12 days later! At the six-week mark, she was back training with cadets.
Apparently, she had been walking not long after being prayed for. They had gone on holidays after Christmas at a caravan park on Phillip Island. They took the wheelchair, but had not used it, and she had been walking unaided since.
So, here she was, walking well, on Wednesday 18th January, having had two broken legs and having been told she would need a wheelchair, leg braces and a walking stick for at least another 6 weeks on 6th January!
On this visit, Little A explained that she still needed more strength in her legs. I laid hands on her legs and called strength into her thigh muscles and as I did her mother, my daughter and I noticed her knee caps moving up and down with no input from her. Her thigh muscles were being contracted and released involuntarily. She did not feel it, it just happened.
She stood after the prayer, tried them out, and I prayed again. It happened again.
Her Mother and I concluded her thigh muscles must have been being strengthened supernaturally. It was the oddest thing to watch her knee caps bobbing up and down in a rapid movement!
After we finished praying, we went for a walk.
Apparently, A’s family transformed after the first prayer at the shops. Her son was no longer violent, she was walking in abundant favour. Disputes were settling supernaturally, with no effort on her part. She shared how she had told a friend who was also in a place of despair how she too could be free-she was ready to give what she had received away to others!
A exclaimed that the entire journey had been remarkable, the turnaround marvellous.
I just listened in awe, knowing that it was all a miracle. I also noted that I nearly did not stop for them because I wanted to get to the movies on time!
I wondered how many others I had simply walked past…
How many others may have had a life transformed, had I stopped for the one.
I am certain that there is no condemnation in Christ, but how His heart yearns for us to recognise and to step into who we truly are, to co-labour with Him in the family business.
All creation groans… (Romans 8:22)
Will we be bold enough to step into our inheritance and bring others with us?
Dare we to lay claim to the “treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places” (Is 45:3) and set them free?
Dare we take people by the hand and say “come”?
God is breath taking in His beauty, in His kindness, in His Glory!
I know I must for…
God IS Good!
©Beth Kennedy 2021