Thursday, 26 February 2015

Don't let your praying go down a sinkhole

This year I have taken a lot of time to pray. I found myself asking the question we all ask, WHY? Why this? Why that? And I was asking, why is it that people pray and don't get an answer? Last year I read an unusual story in the newspaper: A family went to bed in their house at night, with their car outside on the drive. In the night the ground opened up, the car was swallowed, and in the morning they found the car 10 metres down at the bottom of the sinkhole! God used this story and said to me, "I'll tell you what's wrong when you pray. You start praying, and I'm over here waiting to answer. But instead of praying your way through, you stop in the middle, and the ground swallows you up! You stop praying just when I'm about to give you what you ask!!" We pray and we pray, and then we say, "Oh God isn't going to answer!" – And then we give up! And drop down the sinkhole! But God is there, waiting to give the answer and we've given up!

How have I learned how to pray? – Through trial, through tribulation! When I was just a young pastor, a man in my church was dying of terminal cancer. We prayed and God raised him, totally healed him, I saw the cancer coming out of his body! This wasn't healing – they had cut out parts of his body; God remade him! I was just a young man. When the son saw the power of God in his dad, God filled that boy with the Holy Ghost and he went on to preach the Gospel! That's the power of God – He changes men!

But what changed MY life a few years later was when I had throat cancer. I was a pastor and evangelist, but now I couldn't preach! I refused treatment, saying I believe in a God who answers prayer. I prayed three months, believed I was healed, so went back to the doctors. They said, "There is no God, there is no miracle, your cancer has become so big, on Monday we will operate and remove your voice." Did I say to myself, God doesn't answer prayer, God can't remove this, can't work miracles...? What kind of a God do YOU have?! Is He powerless? Or is He the greatest God in the whole world? MY God is the God of the Bible, powerful, glorious and who works miracles! There's no God like Jehovah! But I wasn't healed!! What did I do? I said, "Oh God, teach me how to pray!" I was a preacher, and evangelist, I had seen miracles of healing! Now I was on my face before God, "Oh God, is something wrong with me? – There’s nothing wrong with You Lord, it must be me! – Oh God, heal me!" Still nothing happened. Then I changed my prayer, saying "Oh God, if You want me to remain in my church, live in England – don't heal me! But I believe You are a God of power and authority, who can change the world! If You want me to leave my church, step out in faith, go to Russia, then I need a powerful miracle – HEAL ME!" That night God healed me! Next morning I went to the hospital, the surgeons examined me roughly, three times. And they were angry with me and accused me, "Who did it? What hospital, which doctor? We can see the scar where they cut the cancer out with a knife!" But I said, "His Name is Jesus! He can do what you can’t do!" But now I had made vows to God, so I went to my church and told them, "The good news is that God has healed me. The bad news is, goodbye..." I had made God a promise! How can we expect God to keep His promises, if we can’t keep ours? I stepped out in faith, and with no salary, no money, I bought a piece of land, built myself a new house – with no money – my own staff don't understand how I do this, nothing's changed in all the years – and I bought a brand new tour bus for the Bible smuggling – which cost two times the price of the house! Why? Because if God could work that miracle and heal me – now I had learned something – then nothing is impossible! Absolutely nothing!