Since I've been making you all wait so long for a new blog post, I thought it would be fair to share one of the more dramatic healings I have witnessed. This is the story of Harley.
I started a "Prayer Booth" ministry at my school last year. My friends and I would go to a public area and set up a table with a sign that read "FREE PRAYER". This was an idea that God had put on my heart and He proved it to be a solid and safe way to do relational evangelism on the streets. Instead of making the uncomfortable and nerve-racking approach to strangers, the strangers come to you in this method. Obviously I see nothing wrong with approaching people and striking the conversation first, but when you are starting this street ministry lifestyle for the first time, I believe the prayer booth is one of the best ways to get comfortable.
One day, as we set up our booth at Newport Beach, we met a peculiar man who went by the name of Harley. He was a peculiar homeless man with a distinctive voice that reminded you of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang. The raspiness in his voice, his quick wit, and the stories he had to share made him quite the entertainer. He also seemed to own the territory as far as recognition and respect amongst the other homeless people and the locals. He shared that he was a preacher and that although he curses, he does it so he can speak his people's (the homeless) language and relate to them. This reminded me of Paul's saying, "I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings." (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).
When Harley came up to us, he asked for prayer for his family and some general blessings. We jumped on it and asked God to bless his life. When we finished praying, I noticed he had a wrist brace on, so I asked him how he hurt it. He told us he broke his wrist after punching someone who tried to steal his wallet. At first I had a judgemental thought that God wouldn't want to heal his wrist - Harley brought this on himself through violence. But Holy Spirit quickly reminded me of the Grace of God and that He heals out of Love, not because we deserve anything.
I asked Harley if he would be comfortable if we prayed for healing over his wrist, and he obliged. After we laid hands on his wrist, I asked him if he knew what an act of faith was. He said, "An act of who-da-what?!" I told him that I believed Jesus had just healed him in that moment and I wanted him to take his wrist brace off to prove it. He said, "Well take it off then!" and he reached his hand to me, so I undid the brace and slid it right off. I asked him to carefully test it out to see if it felt better. He started moving his wrist all around, then he looked at me, looked back at his wrist, then looked back at me in astonishment and said, "Yep. That feels better."
God had just healed his wrist!
We praised God and then I left him to minister to another man who came to the booth. Harley continued speaking to my friends though. When I came back, Harley was gone, but my friends informed me,
"Harley said he would come back for the rest of his healing because his shoulder still hurts."
About ten minutes later, Harley came back, tapped his shoulder and said, "Alright man, fix this now." His approach to things were really humerous, he was such a character. I wish I could somehow imitate his voice through this text. I looked to God and said quietly, "Please, Jesus." I really wanted to see Harley fully healed and I know God wanted it more than all of us.
We laid hands on him and prayed. After we prayed, I asked him if he felt better. He said he felt a little better. I said, "On a scale of 1-10, how much does it hurt." He said it was at an 8. So we prayed again. He said it felt a little better, but his shoulder was still cracking. I could feel it popping all over the place too. So we prayed one more time. This prayer was full of faith and I commanded the cracking to stop in the name of Jesus, and this is the craziest part - I felt it stop! He started moving his shoulder all around with no pain and no cracking, or popping or anything. Harley's full right arm was just healed!
He was amazed and so touched, I told him to go and tell all his friends about it. He did. I saw him go to a circle of people and he was moving his shoulder all around, with the wrist brace off and clearly telling them what God had just done. All of a sudden a little chain reaction of people who needed prayer came to us. It was awesome and such a pure expression of the Kingdom of God invading a dark place.
My favorite part is that a couple weeks later, Emily, who was there, ran into him and he gave her a quick update on his life. He told her that he met a woman who loved him and was allowing him live in her home! I can't help but wonder if our prayers had anything to do with the blessings that God began to unleash on his life. God is good.