This is a long overdue post…
Keep in mind these are principles, not formulas. They’re good to start out with if you’re learning, but you will realize that every person is different and you will eventually learn to cater differently to each situation.
1.) Act normal (in speech and action; speaking “Christianese” or being shocked with bad language usually doesn’t help)
2.) Be genuine
3.) Be comfortable (this comes with practice)
4.) It will only be awkward if you are awkward. Don’t be awkward. (also comes with practice if you’re not an extrovert)
Here is a short script of what typically might happen:
If I see someone with a visible need (a limp, cane, crutch, cast), I genuinely ask,
“Hey what happened?” or for younger folks, “Hey dude, what happened?”
They’ll proceed to tell me, and usually I’ll ask,
“Well does it hurt right now?”
If they say “yes,” then I’ll usually say:
“Here, let me show you something” or
“Here, check this out” or
“Here, let me see your hand real quick” or
“Let’s take care of that right now”
As I say that, I hold out my hand to shake theirs, and 95% of the time, they give me their hand. I either do that, or I’ll just put my hand on their shoulder and then start commanding the sickness/problem to go.
And then I’ll usually ask:
“How’s it feeling?”
“Check it out!”
“Bend your (body part)”
“Do something you couldn’t do before”
They will test themselves out and then report back. When they have been healed, it’s an open door for me to preach Jesus. Also, when they’re healed, it builds rapport if they are with friends or family who are skeptical.
Remember, these are just basic principles. It usually doesn’t happen precisely like this because it varies on the person, their age, who they’re with, and other factors like that.
When I’m on the streets, I try to avoid asking “would you like prayer?” or “Can I pray for you” because I don’t know what preconceived idea they have of “prayer” or if they have been previously offended or hurt by the religious community. If you don’t ask, it’s very hard to get rejected.
Some other phrases I’ve used are:
“Do you want to get better?”
“Do you want healing?”
“I can heal you”
But if for some reason I decide to ask if they want prayer (most Latinos/Filipinos are Catholic), then this is what I say:
“Hey do you need prayer for anything?”
or… “Hey is your back bugging you? Let me pray for you”
If you must ask, trying using “let me pray” instead of “can i pray.” The former carries more authority and people will respond more to that.
If people still reject me, I will say something like, “Well hey, what’s your name?” *hand shake* “Be well anyway.”
“these signs will follow those who believe… they will lay hands on the sick, they will recover.” – Mark 16:17-18
It doesn’t say that they will lay hands and “they will have to pray” before they are made well.
It says they will lay hands.
A handshake is laying on hands.
Our friend Chris, in Finland demonstrated this a few times with someone who didn’t want healing, so instead of just saying “oh ok, nevermind then” Chris just put his hand on the guy’s shoulder and said, “ok, be well.”
The guy later went to his doctor and found out that he was completely healed. To my knowledge, this happened on 3 different occasions with 3 different sicknesses and he was healed each time, just like that.
Another thing, sometimes people will inevitably ask, “Why?” or “Why do you ask?” and you can dodge the question by saying “Here let me show you something” and go for it, but reading someone’s body language, sometimes that’s not the best way to go and you just have to answer the question. Here’s what I have said in the past:
“A bunch of my friends and I hit the streets a lot and we pray for people all the time and see tons of people get better”
“My friends and I heal people all the time”
“We’ve prayed and seen tons of people healed of stuff like this all the time”
“I can get you better”
From there, most people are receptive and will give it a go, and a small handful will respectfully decline. When people decline, I’ll usually push a few more buttons:
“are you sure?”
“it’s totally free”
“it’ll only take 2 seconds.”
Usually a handful more will bite when you add the “free” and “2 seconds,” but there is still a pocket of people who will still decline.
At this point, sometimes I push a little more and say:
“So you want to keep your pain?”
“so you don’t want to get better?”
I’ve actually yet to see this work, most people just continue to decline to the offer. It’s unfortunate, but this is similar to when Jesus was in His hometown (people refused to come to him because they didn’t honor him because of offense).
This will inevitably happen, so don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s [often] the stigma of being “religious” or being a “Christian” that will cause people to take offense. That’s why we’re called to model a life of love for God and our neighbors so that all will know who we follow (John 13:35).
I learned most of these pointers from Todd White and Curry Blake, hopefully they help you out.
Originally written by Roger Sapp [emphasis, additions mine].
The Mosaic Covenant of Law is described by the New Testament as:
A covenant that has been an unbearable yoke. (Acts 15:10)
A covenant that is the ministry of death. (2 Corinthians 3:7)
A covenant that is the ministry of condemnation. (2 Corinthians 3:9)
A covenant that is weak. (Romans 8:2-3)
A covenant that is limited. (Acts 13:39)
A covenant that God has found fault with and then created a better, more excellent covenant, enacted on better promises. (Hebrews 8:7-8)
A covenant that is obsolete. (Hebrews 8:13, Galatians 3:25, Galatians 5:18)
A covenant that is growing old (Greek: senile) (Hebrews 8:13)
A covenant that is near vanishing. (Hebrews 8:13)
A covenant that is fading away. (2 Corinthians 3:11)
A covenant that has no glory in comparison with the New Covenant. (2 Corinthians 3:10)
A covenant of law that brings about wrath (Rom 4:15)
A covenant of law that Christians are not under. (Romans 6:14, Romans 10:4, Galatians 4:18)
A covenant of law that Christians have been delivered from. (Romans 6:6, Romans 7:4, 6)
A covenant that in allegory is like Hagar the slave. (Galatians 4:24)
A covenant from Mount Sinai that creates slaves not sons. (Galatians 4:24)
A covenant for those are cast out without inheritance like Hagar and her son. (Galatians 4:30-31, Galatians 3:18)
A covenant that is only a shadow of good things to come. (Hebrews 10:1, Colossians 2:16-17)
A covenant of law that is not of faith. (Galatians 2:11-12, 3:12)
A covenant of law that is fulfilled in the law of love (Romans 13:8, 10, Galatians 5:14)
A covenant that curses all who practice the Law who fail to do all the Law. (Galatians 3:10, Galatians 5:3)
A covenant of works of the Law that frustrates grace (Galatians 2:21, Galatians 5:4)
A covenant in which Jesus cannot be a priest and cannot offer Himself as the Lamb without spot of blemish. (Hebrews 7:13-18)
A covenant of law that is weak, useless and makes nothing perfect. (Hebrews 7:18-19)
A covenant that functioned in God’s purpose until John the Baptist announced Christ. (Matthew 11:12-13, Luke 16:16, Galatians 3:16, 19)
A covenant that reveals sin but doesn’t fix it. (Romans 3:20)
A covenant of law made for the unrighteous but not for the righteous (1 Timothy 1:9-10)
A covenant with four times more verses of curses than blessings. (Blessings: Deut. 28:1-13. Curses: Deut. 27:15-26, 28:16-68.) Count them: 13 verses of blessing. 65 verses of curses. (The New Covenant has no curses only blessings.)
A covenant without forgiveness for sins or a cure for its curses because it has has no temple standing, no Levitical priesthood functioning, no sacrifices happening according to the Law since 70 AD when the Temple was destroyed by the Roman General Titus. Jesus predicted this destruction in Matthew 24:1-2. He knew that there would be no way to keep the Law as written when He said this but there would be no need to keep it. He established the New Covenant by His life, death and resurrection.
The only place you can find grace such as the forgiveness of sins, the gift of righteousness, the gift of eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit is in the New Covenant by faith in Jesus Christ. “The Law was given through Moses, grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)
Here are some of the motives people have when doing signs and wonders (obviously not comprehensive).
- because they want to get over their own fears
- because they want to see what they’re capable of
- because they want to see the miraculous
- because they want to be seen by others
- because they want attention
- because they want money
- because they want to build up a ministry/name/reputation
- because they want to prove someone else (or group) wrong
- because they want to validate/prove their own beliefs
- because they want to prove their identity
- because they want approval from God
- because they hate the devil
- because they want to do what Jesus said
- because they want to steward what they have been given
- because they want to provoke others to good works
- because they have compassion for the lost and broken
Reading through this list, I am sure you can pick out the “good” and “bad” motives. But the point I want to make is that there is a “good,” “better,” and “best.”
There is only one motive that Jesus repeatedly mentioned and demonstrated in the gospels, and that is, compassion. He did do what His Father said, He did have a hate for the work of the devil, He did provoke others to good works, but the only one he preached was compassion.
Every one of those motives that I listed, I’ve done at one point (good and bad), but I have since found that compassion must be the first and foremost motive while I am demonstrating this gospel.
About 8 months ago when I was first starting up, there was a point where I got bored even in the midst of seeing many, many miracles. Everything somehow started to become routine and the luster of seeing the impossible happen began to wear out.
I started from pure excitement to see what else I could do with resurrection power (Rom 8:11), to feeling completely satisfied because it felt like I was on top of the world, to feeling bored because I wasn’t seeing the “bigger” breakthroughs.
I was pondering this to myself when Holy Spirit matter-of-factly said, “You’re not walking in compassion, you’re not serving, you’re being selfish. This has been all about you you you.”
I thought for a few minutes and realized what I had done. I was healing the sick for my own satisfaction rather than having compassion for people and serving them.
Healing the sick had become about me, rather than the person in front of me.
“Which miracle I can see today?” rather than “How can I serve my brothers and sisters?”
“I can show you a miracle” rather than “I want you to experience the freedom that Christ has paid for.”
Why is this relevant?
Jesus placed a very high value on motive.
1.) Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)
Jesus never said charitable deeds were bad, but if you’re doing it with the wrong motive, “you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
2.) Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread… If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down… All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:1-11)
Jesus never denied his ability to do any of those things. The issue was not about the task, but whose voice He was listening to.
3.) And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (1 Cor 13:2-3)
You can read someone’s mail, you can have the greatest revelation, you can have mountain-moving faith, you can feed the poor, you can die a martyr’s death, but if it isn’t because of the outworking of love, you’ve missed it.
Let me explain…
1.) If you are healing the sick for the purpose of getting a name or reputation, or building a ministry (to be seen by other people), you’ve missed it.
2.) If you are healing the sick for the purpose of proving your identity, or to prove someone else wrong, or prove your theology right, you’ve missed it.
If someone challenges you by saying “If you are who you say you are, prove it” or “If you can really do what you say you can do, prove it” you are being tempted on the level that Jesus was tempted.
My friend Cornel said this recently:
The greatest temptation is not porn, alcohol, drugs, success or wealth. The greatest temptation you will face is when you are asked to prove your identity by supernatural manifestations.
The devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, and the Pharisees tempted him twice (Matt 12:38, Matt 16:1). Both times, Jesus passed the test and didn’t comply to their request.
3.) It is possible to do signs/wonders – even other things we have been commanded to do – without love and compassion.
‘Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ – Matthew 7:22-23
You can do everything Jesus did, but not actually know Him. You can mimic His acts, but still miss His ways. You can have all the supernatural signs and wonders, but not have supernatural Love.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35
Again, to reiterate, not every single motive is bad. Healing the sick because you hate the devil and his work or because Jesus said to do it are both good motives. But let it first and foremost be because you have compassion for people.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Cor 13:13
If you’re walking in resurrection power, it is very easy to go back to your church to “prove” that healing is for today. It is easy to confront powerless preaching by demonstrating power.
It is easy to do miracles just because it’s exciting, but if compassion is not your first motive, people can tell when you are treating them like projects rather than a person.
It is easy to see miracles everyday, but it’s just as easy to get to a point where you do it mechanically, “Ok, be healed. Awesome. Jesus loves you. Bye” rather than flowing in compassion and actually caring about the person.
If you’re just starting out, it’s very easy to get caught up with seeing more miracles. That’s not bad in itself, but don’t stay there, learn to walk in compassion for people.
If you’re around old friends or skeptics and you want to show them real power, it’s tempting to get caught up in trying to prove that what you have is real, rather than walking in compassion.
If you’re praying for someone that seemingly isn’t getting better, it’s easy to get angry at the devil and have that become the driving force instead of having compassion.
If you didn’t think “outreach” wasn’t good/successful solely because you didn’t see anyone get healed, something is off.
If you feel like you can’t minister to a person just because that person doesn’t have a sickness or ailment, then you’ve missed the point. The point is to demonstrate Jesus and have compassion for the person you are in front of.
If the only reason why you’re doing the Great Commission is because Jesus told us to do it, rather than it being an overflow of the Greatest Commandment, you’ve missed it.
The point is NOT to build a healing ministry, the point is to have a life that looks like Jesus; to walk as he walked (1 John 2:3-6) and re-present Him (1 John 4:17). In the context of the whole book of 1 John, it is overwhelmingly clear that “love” is the command.
Love is not contained in healing the sick, but healing the sick is an act of love. If you feel like you can’t minister to someone if they don’t have a sickness, you have not learned to love [fully]. Some people just need a glimmer of hope (Proverbs 13:12), some people need Wisdom from God (Eph 3:10), some people need some cash to buy food, and some people just need a listening ear.
Let me reiterate, most of these motives I have listed are not bad (or evil), and I have done them myself at one point, I’m just saying there is one motive that we are told to operate in.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:18
On a different point, we, at the house, have decided to take an indefinite amount of time off from the internet to answer some questions that we have. We understand that many people have been impacted by what we are doing, but we have failed when we have created a following that looks to us rather than the Teacher Himself.
Self-educate. Take responsibility for the world around you. Get answers for yourself. If you have something to say, say it. It is not pride to shout something you know is true and/or if you know that it will set people free.
When Paul said, “Imitate me, for I imitate Christ,” I think he was saying, “Do what I am doing, I am following Jesus; you should follow Jesus.” He was NOT saying, “Copy me, because I copied Jesus.” He was saying, “Copy me, in the sense that all I am doing is learning to be like Jesus.”
If you make a copy of a copy of a copy, eventually you will look quite different than the Master.
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” – Hebrews 1:1-3
Jesus is perfect theology… Anything you think you know about about God, that you can’t find in the person of Jesus, you have reason to question. – Bill Johnson
If you guys really need to connect with us, email will work.
So until next time, peace to you, grace to you.
This was written by my friend who is a non-believer and has encountered the hypocrisy of a handful of Christians.
You stand apart and declare yourselves
Martyred by a world who shows only hatred for you
When you were the ones who judged first:
You cast the first stones.
You are not hated for your righteousness or your faith
But the hypocrisy reflected in the judgement you bring on this world.
You preach of great love and compassion –
What love have you shown your fallen fellow man?
What compassion have you shown to the broken and disheartened?
Why do you judge with hatred the love between those you see unfit
When you speak of mercy that stems only from love,
Mercy you claim to be equally undeserving to receive?
Why do you confine yourselves to your majestic alters
Condemning the world for its selfishness and crying for its needs
When those who hurt most lack even the strength to knock upon your mighty doors?
Is it hatred for you because your words fall on deaf ears
And the world goes on pursuing the only dreams it understands?
If so, then is it not hatred for the world when you turn their pains into sins
And confine them to darkness with your lives the only light?
Are you really listening?
You declare yourselves a chosen people,
An elite ranking granted only by your birthright,
But you do not see the holocaust before your very eyes.
The world does not martyr you,
It is you who is divorcing yourselves from this world.
Each beating heart can only feel its own thrashing pain
And who but God above can truly hear the echoes of their cries?
Who are you to silence their pains and claim it the will of God?
What right do you have to declare their dreams unfit?
Perhaps you are not of this world,
But you are in this world
And while you are in this world you take and give
Just like those who you claim persecute you:
You take and give both the good and the bad.
You are no better.
Come off your pedestal.
Perhaps your debts have already been paid to God above,
But do you not owe your fellow man
The same acceptance you claim he denies you?
No more an eye for an eye,
But acceptance for acceptance,
Love for love,
And life for life.
Don’t strike those who were never going to strike you.
Wake up church. You are being persecuted for the wrong reasons. You are being persecuted for your hypocrisy, not your Christ-likeness.