Three youths had volunteered to be prayed for. They had no interest in church, but the question, “Do you want to see a miracle?” had stopped them in their tracks. So now there was a group of us surrounding them as Mark Marx prayed for them in the middle of Broad Street, Reading, UK.
I am not sure what I was expecting. I had been a Christian for many years. I had seen miracles and the power of the Holy Spirit turn whole crowds into seeming battlefields: people weeping, laughing, being set free, being healed. And yet…
And yet there was something missing. It took ages to work it out. But I eventually realised what it was. No-one, including myself had the brass to just go out onto the streets and expect God to do a miracle! He could do it in church – after all that was his place – but out there? I don’t think so.
Yet here was Mark asking these three youths, “Do you want to see a miracle?” I mean who does that? Certainly not me! Wasn’t that just presumptuous? Wasn’t that just asking for a cart load of egg to be poured all over your face?
And this was no easy ask. These three youths were not interested in church: they were not interested in Jesus; they were not interested us. They were a million miles away! How do you get people like that to show any interest in church or spiritual things?
Well… I guess you can take the straight-up approach and ask, “Do you want to see a miracle?”
It turns out, they did want to see one.
So there we were standing around them as Mark asked them to sit down and put their legs out. The first youth had one leg shorter than the other. Mark explained that what was now going to happen was because God loved him.
The youth was unimpressed.
Then Mark commanded the shorter leg to grow out. It was unbelievable. The leg started growing out and lengthening. I had never seen something so blatantly extraordinary and supernatural outside of a Christian context.
It did your head in!
If I was stunned, what were they feeling? For one moment I thought they were going to run away! There was an electric shock in the air. Then the f-bombs began. One friend accused the mate being prayed for of pushing his own leg out. His friend promised on his mothers life he wasn’t. He wasn’t believed.
“OK, you try.”
The mates leg grew out as well. “I can feel it, I can feel it!” he exclaimed.
He could feel it in his thigh as though the thigh bone was stretching!
Suddenly he was now a true believer.
By the end of it, they weren’t Christians, but this was no Christianity they had ever encountered before: this was no Jesus they had encountered before… And they were no longer sneering! Mark was now a dude. They shook his hands as they left; they had arrived in one place, but were now in a very different place.
I would love to hear similar encounters you have had with non believers encountering the presence and power of God for the first time.
God is good!!