Don’t you love the blog firstname.lastname@example.org ? I have had so much encouragement through Pastor Mike and his team. It has been responsible for increasing my prayer time probably about six times as much. Though I’ve not SEEN a lot from my increased efforts, I’ve started to actually LOVE praying. Sometimes I even fall asleep for a few minutes in my ‘prayer chair’, and feel even better than after ten hours sleep at night.
I may not have SEEN much happen yet–keyword: YET–but I have certainly felt something. After a few days, when I sat down in the chair to pray–and I time myself for an hour so as not to give up early as I used to do–my neck would become really sore on the left side. A few times I anointed and prayed for it and found it went away for the remainder of the prayer session. Consequently I realised this was an attack from our enemy (Satan and his demons), and that I was giving then A PAIN IN THE NECK by my increased prayer time. I guess they didn’t like it.
Father speaks to us like this sometimes, by putting His finger right on the problem. So I rebuked the pain a few times and it went away. For anyone who does not know how to rebuke the enemy, pain, sickness, an injury, or any adverse situation, just do this: If it is an anointable part of the body, spread oil over it first. Then state defiantly I rebuke this_____________in the name of Yahshua Messiah and command it to be healed/cast out/destroyed or whatever you want done with it. For sickness and injury, always say for by the stripes of Yahshua we are healed. Yes, our Saviour took all our illnesses away when He was flayed to the bone by a cat-o-nine-tails back in AD 30. To the point He was so cut up He couldn’t be recognized. Has anyone seen Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ? There’s much more to this I’ll be putting in an upcoming post. For instance, what if it’s not an enemy attack, and it does not go away with prayer?
For this post I am building on Pastor Mike’s mustard seed faith by telling a couple of true–of course–stories. I never was into fiction much. This first story was told to me and my fellow students at Bible College in Papua New Guinea by Pastor Graeme, head of the college. He almost cried as he told it.
One year a graduating student from Lighthouse Bible College was sent with his family to pastor in a remote village. The only way into the area was by missionary plane. The pastor and his wife took with them I think their five or six little children, the youngest still a baby on the breast. Immediately they arrived they planted a vegetable garden. But vegetables take time to grow. Perhaps they ate any supplies they had, or maybe they were standing in faith. The only thing that grew quickly was the pumpkin vine. For about six weeks the whole family lived exclusively on pumpkin tips for that is all they had.
A pumpkin tip is the 30 cm tender tip of the pumpkin vine. Anyone who has grown pumpkins will know the vine sends out many shoots in all directions. Pumpkin tips are a staple in PNG. They cook them with other vegetables in a stew or coconut milk. The raw leaves and stalks are furry and unpleasant in the mouth. To us in the west it’s a bit like living on furry cooked lettuce leaves. For six weeks!
Pastor Graeme said when he heard about the family’s situation he cried, because they had been sent out without enough supplies. When we are in a tight situation financially, one thing we soon discover is our priorities. Number one is: feed your children. Forget everything else but that. We can lose a house and live on the street. We can wear rags if need be. WE, adults, can go hungry. I once fasted for six weeks. And so have many others including Yahshua. But children cannot live on nothing. If there is no food–PRAY! As the next story illustrates. And if you are broke but have just enough to live on – rejoice, be thankful, DON’T COMPLAIN! Things are going to be a lot worse on the future. There’s coming a time even prayer won’t be answered. Pray anyway.
Anyone who has read my blog from the beginning or near it will know I lived on the street in a van with my children for almost a year, with no income. That post is called Third Trial: Sell All and Follow Me. I was testing Father and He was testing and training me. During that year we went hungry several times. This story occurred during one of those times. We were parked on the beach. I was earnestly praying. My daughter sat next to me and my two little boys were in the back seat. We hadn’t had any food for two days. My middle son, Jed, was on the floor I think, moaning a long drawn-out, “I’-m h-u-n-g-r-y!” When we embarked on this trial, I had no idea it would turn out like it did. I mistakenly thought Father would quickly reward my ‘amazing’ faith and bless us with everything we needed. However, like the Israelites in the wilderness, He allowed us instead to go hungry to teach us that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of YHWH (DEUT. 8:3).
Thinking about that particular time now, I sometimes laugh. That moaning son is now a strapping young man, who, pulls huge goannas (a lizard about 3 feet long with claws and teeth that can inflict serious injury) out of trees to take photos of them! He has been known to tackle and catch a wild pig by the back leg–does anyone know those things can kill a grown man with its tusks?–drag it to his truck to fish out one of his knives, and dispatch it as quickly and as mercifully as possible. (Wild pigs are pests in the Australian Outback.) When I warn him to watch out for snakes on our property, because he is walking around barefoot(!), he says, “Mum! You know we can take up snakes and they will by no means hurt us!” Yes, well, I did know that. I taught him. It’s from Mark’s Gospel (16:18), if my readers don’t know.
Anyway, returning to our van on the beach with Jed groaning in the back. A man suddenly appears at my window and asks, “How do you keep your faith so strong?” I had earned a reputation by living on the street, so people, especially Christians, got to know who we were. This young part-Aboriginal man and I were later to become friends, but at that time, I didn’t know him. I cannot remember what I answered him, before we became involved in a conversation. Vince kindly offered to buy us pizzas on his next dole day. I was grateful for that, but as it was still several days away, I was silently praying it would not be the next time we ate!
Then he noticed Jed moaning in the back of our van. Without realizing we had been hungry so long, he invited us to the flat he was then living in for dinner. He had some food in the cupboard there but he didn’t know how to cook it. We followed him in his car to the flat. Vince would receive his unemployment payment, spend it, then run out before the next one came. For the last few days he went to charities for food. In the cupboard and fridge was actually a feast of pasta, vegetables and other foodstuffs which I promptly cooked up to feed us all. Vince couldn’t believe it, he was used to eating takeaway, steak and chips, and such. So that was the answer to my hunger prayer.
When finally the day for pizzas arrived, we all went down to the beach again to enjoy them. Afterwards my children were frolicking on the sand while Vince and I talked at a picnic table. Someone walking along came up and complimented Vince on how gorgeous his two little boys were! (I was married to a PNG man at the time so our two sons are also mixed race like Vince. I am a blue-eyed blond.) We both laughed as I told the person they were my children. I didn’t mind. Father had used him to feed us in our time of pumpkin tip faith.