Feb 12, 2015

Blind Eyes Opened

It was August, 2011 and I was in Guyana, South America, sitting in a church office with another friend who was also a pastor waiting for the next person who needed prayer to arrive. 
The senior pastor of this church had a radio show and during some recent broadcasts had told his audience that a ministry team was here from the USA and would be ministering at his church over the next couple of weeks. He invited the listener by stating that if they wanted to receive prayer for healing, they could stop by the church on a particular day and we would pray for them.
The last people who came into the office seeking prayer were two women; one of whom I assumed had something that was wrong with one of her eyes. I state that because one of her eyelids drooped over her eye. So, I assumed that we were going to be praying for that eye (only).
Now I’ll admit that my faith wasn’t the strongest and although I was willing to pray for her, I really wasn’t expecting too much. After all, I had rationalized that there are some “healings” that have been faked and blindness was one of them; and I had not personally ever seen someone who was blind being able to be healed and able then to see.
Ben, the other pastor who was praying with me, said to her just before we prayed; “Hey, there are many stories in the Bible where people received their sight. In fact Pastor Tom is going to be preaching from one of those passages tonight! Isn’t that right Tom?” 
He was referring to the healing of the blind man in Mark 8:22-26
 “Then He (Jesus) came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”
Needless to say that didn’t increase my faith. As I said, my faith was pretty low and I wanted to say a quick prayer and then get back to my room so that I could prepare my message that I was going to preach at the evening service.
I prayed and nothing seemed to happen and so I stopped, hoping she would be grateful that we took some time for her and then go her way. Just before she got up to leave, Ben asked her if anything was different. The woman said that she could see shapes of things almost like shadows. 
Pastor Ben said in the passage from Mark 8 that I would be preaching tonight, Jesus prayed and the man who was blind received a partial healing. After Jesus prayed for him, Jesus asked him if he saw anything. The man answered him and said he saw men like trees, walking.
Ben proceeded to coax her faith by telling her that Jesus prayed for the blind man a second time and then he was able to see!
I quickly blocked that one by telling the woman that Pastor Ben would now pray for her. After all, I had prayed and my faith wasn’t there.
After a short prayer, we asked the woman what was going on. She told us that she could see clearly! I looked at her and noticed that her eye still looked the same and wondered if she was faking a healing. When we asked her what she meant, she explained that the condition of her eyelid was from a stroke and lifted up her eye lid and said she could now see; OUT OF BOTH EYES!
Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t wait until we are perfect to do a miracle?
It turns out that her friend had brought her to us and asked us to pray with her because she could not see; she had been blind. And now she now could see; she had been healed! She was excited that now she could read her Bible for herself. I should note that even though she could see, we ended up giving her a pair of reading glasses because she said she it was easier for her to read. 
Needless to say, this healing miracle lifted my faith and launched us deeper into the next situations where we were asked to pray.
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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