Mariners

Good News Stories

Praise-150x150At Mariners, we love to celebrate what God is doing among us for a number of reasons:

  • God is at work TODAY; it’s not merely historical! He is alive and well and busy at work demonstrating what His Kingdom looks like.
  • When God comes, He brings His Kingdom with Him. When His Kingdom comes, the lost are saved, the sick are healed and the oppressed are set free.
  • The stories keeps us encouraged. In our broken world, there is much to be discouraged about. We love to celebrate good news; the stories below are encouraging and breed hope that more good news is not far behind. The stories now are too numerous to list; below are a selection.
  • It raises our faith. As we see God at work, we begin to believe for more and better. It stirs up courage and boldness as we seek breakthroughs in areas where we have seen God move before.
  • It gives God the glory. We think this is really important. We give Him all the credit, recognizing that we do not have the power to accomplish most of the things reported below. We think that the more we give God the credit that is rightly His, the more He is inclined to do among us.

Below is a sample selection of the many Good News stories we have recorded. We have had over 60 stories in 2016, all by April! There are simply too many to record them all.

Back (12 April)

Sue says, “My back has been in spasm for the last four weeks. It has been so painful and restrictive of what I can do. On Sunday (yesterday), I went forward for prayer and my back was healed. I actually had a good night’s sleep last night! I have had a pain free day today. I am able to get out of a chair and walk properly without pain. I would say it’s 95% better.”

Migraines (7 Jun)

Mel reported that, at the beginning of this year, she was in Mariners when we prayed for physical healing in the pews. She asked for prayer for migraines which she had been suffering with weekly or fortnightly for the past two years. She reports that she has had no further migraines since she was prayed for that day!

New Life (1 Jun)

Three more people became Christians at Alpha (following the two last week) by opening their lives to Jesus for the first time. The greatest miracle of all, and always an exciting moment!

Spiritual Growth (12 May)

A member says, “I feel my spiritual life has improved immensely since I have started coming to Mariners in October 2014. I feel closer to God and feel I have a stronger core to deal with life’s problems. My family love coming to Mariners. I’m now talking to my daughters about God more and we are listening to Christian music at home now, having been introduced to it at Mariners. We love singing the songs in church and we all really feel that we belong there. There seems to be something magical happening when we come to Mariners and we feel really blessed to be a part of it. In Dec 2014, I had the best Christmas in five years due to myself and my family being closer to God. The girls and I agree that a highlight of last year was coming to the 24/2 prayer weekend. We all felt something amazing and left on a real high, even though we were praying for their grandma who was dying in hospital. We sensed God’s presence there with us”.

Back (1 May)

A midweek attender says, “A couple of weeks ago at the Thurs lunch time celebration, I asked for prayer for my back. There was no immediate relief from my early morning pain that I have had for over a year – but on the Tuesday after (ie five days later), I woke up and realised I had no pain (woohoo)! Since then, I have not had the severe morning back pain I had been experiencing, which is wonderful!”

Freedom from Addiction (10 Apr)

A member says, “Four years ago today, the vicar from Mariners stood in the chapel at Gloucester Prison and talked about turning away from addictions by drawing a line in the sand and walking forward with Jesus – he also said about telling someone so they could keep you accountable and so you couldn’t ‘re-draw’ the line … those words spoke to me so, so much. It humbles me and touches me deeply, almost daily, how God used those words as a catalyst to transforming my life and freeing me from something I’d begun to think that I’d never break free from.

What struck home was the complete freedom that came straightaway – I didn’t need rehab, or medication, and I’ve never felt close to going back. From the beginning of this freedom, I’ve been able to serve wine, choose nice wines for other people … I’m happy with my elderflower cordial – no regrets! I was talking with my daughter, and she just sees his loving touch shining out from this. I’ve also talked with my daughter about my shame at the mess I let myself get into, but she just points out that this is my story – my God-story. She knows, and I do know, why I drank – it is an effective anaesthetic and it DID make all the rubbish go away for a while that I was so tired of carrying. Carrying that and facing the feelings, instead of masking them, is still a work in progress.

I just feel like I’ve been given this precious fragile gift – I KNOW it’s nothing I’ve done, but it’s something given to me. I feel very strongly that it’s not something I can take ownership of – if arrogance crept in, I would be in a dangerous place. But it’s this absolute blessing that I carry with me.”

Encountering God (15 Mar)

Freya says, “During the Saturday afternoon session on the Alpha weekend away, I had an amazing feeling. As I stood with my eyes closed, it felt like I was standing in bright sunlight. I felt physical heat on my face and could see white light through my eyelids. This faded, and then I felt as though I was in a massive storm and I was being buffeted about. I felt small and vulnerable in the middle of this vast storm. It was overwhelming.

On Sunday, during the ministry session, I had a clear picture of a large tree. I felt like God was saying that the strength of a tree is in its roots, not its trunk. I sensed that God was saying to me that, in the future, He would send me into stormy situations and that I would feel small and vulnerable, but my strength would be in my roots in Him.

It is the most amazing thing I have experienced in my life! It knocked my socks off! It takes a lot to make me cry, but I was crying uncontrollably on Sunday morning. They were good tears.”

Gum Infection (12 Mar)

A member says, “I attended the Thursday lunch time celebration on 5 February and at that time I was suffering from a nasty gum infection. I had recently seen the hygienist and I had been following advice to use mouthwash and it was improving slowly. But it would not quite go away. At the end, I went up for prayer and I noticed a slight reduction in pain almost straight away. In the next couple of days, the infection disappeared completely and the gum has been perfect ever since. I have always suffered on and off over the years with this condition but thanks to the prayer received that day, I really think the Lord has healed me. I am very pleased to be able to pass on this good news story.”

Back (13 Feb)

Helen Wakefield reports, “I have suffered with back problems for years and last week I was in a great deal of pain. I can’t take pain relief, so it wasn’t easy. I went to small group on Wednesday night and they could see I was suffering, so asked to pray for me. I have been told that my whole countenance changed. Amazing! No further pain since then. Praise the Lord!”

New life (14 Feb)

Four of our young people (Simeon, Cameron, Taz and Nancy) became Christians on the weekend away! Being born again – the greatest miracle of all!

Back (14 Feb)

Steve Morris strained his back badly in mid January, straining on a wrench trying to undo a wheel nut on a car wheel. In the following two weeks, it did ease a little but he was still on painkillers and he could not bend over to put on socks, etc. At Mariners on 1 February, he asked for prayer. Following this, he reported that he experienced an immediate 90% improvement in his back, with just a slight twinge remaining.

Knee and Hip (22 Jan)

Bill Dean reports, “I have waited a while before replying in order to monitor the condition of my knee over a longer period. On Sunday after we got home [following prayer for my knee and hip], there was no pain or discomfort, nor was there any when I woke up on Monday, whereas there had been during all of the previous week. It was free of pain and discomfort throughout Monday and on waking up this morning. There has been the odd twinge during today but nothing to speak of. There is about 80% improvement, I would think, and my hip has been trouble free also”.

Artery (22 Jan)

A local pub owner (X) slipped with a pair of large scissors. One blade penetrated her wrist up to 2cm and hit an artery. She took the scissor blade out and was bleeding profusely. X tried to plug the wound. She began feeling faint with the loss of blood. She could have died! X went to hospital where they stitched the wound with plastic stitches. They warned her there would certainly be scarring.

A Mariners member visited the pub a day or so later (14 Jan). He offered to pray for her wrist, which he did. A few days later, encouraged by one of her staff X took off the bandage and there was nothing there! No wound, no scarring, nothing! She tried to show it to her mother by camera phone; separately, she tried to show it to her husband by camera phone. They both said “We can’t see anything!” X said “That’s because there is nothing there now!”

Wrist (16 Nov)

Debbie Wolton says, “I arrived in church this morning with a badly sprained right wrist, which I had in a brace and could not use at all due to the pain. I had sprained it the day before. I was only able to go to church because my son Luke drove me to church. He lives in Cirencester but had been staying at a friend’s house overnight in Gloucester, otherwise he would not have been available to give me a lift.

While being prayed for during worship, I felt a tremendous heat in my right arm and then down my right leg, which I eventually felt all over my body. The Bible reading then followed – about Jesus telling the man with the shrivelled hand to stretch out his hand, and it was then healed. I felt like it was especially for me and my right hand, and that the Lord was saying “You can take the strapping off now; you are healed”. I took off the strapping and there was no pain! I could move my hand normally again, which was truly amazing! Praise God!!!! After I got home, I used it normally and even managed to do some ironing in the evening – and it has been fine ever since”.

Sciatica (13 Nov)

Amy reports, “I have suffered from sciatica for a number of years. Most of the time, it’s a manageable problem – just an odd twinge or ache here and there. However it flares up from time to time, causing a lot of pain and a pinching sensation in my lower back and down my legs. This usually results in time off work and strong pain killers/muscle relaxants for weeks.

At our small group on Wednesday, Andy asked if anyone had anything they wanted prayer for. I’m usually reluctant to put myself forward but, as I had been in quite a bit of pain during our meeting, I asked for prayer for healing in my back. I was prayed for in total four times; each time I felt warmth in my lower back and down my legs, and each time the pain decreased. The third time, I couldn’t feel any pain at all, or the usual pinching sensation. Praise God! I awoke this morning pain free, with no restriction on movement! I’m amazed and thankful to God for the healing I’ve received.”

Coccyx (11 Nov)

Tom reports, “We were getting rid of a couple of old mattresses from our flat on Sunday night and decided it was a good idea to put them on the stairs and slide down on top of them in sleeping bags! This was a lot of fun but on one run down the stairs, I managed to land on my coccyx on the bottom step in a gap between the mattresses. It was very painful instantly and it was quite uncomfortable sleeping that night. It was unpleasant all day at work on Monday and really painful walking around at lunchtime every time I took a step.

That evening I received prayer for it and then to test it out put some pressure on it with my hand which had been painful to do all day. There was no pain at all! It was amazing and emotional – it brought tears to my eyes! I was so excited and keen to keep testing it to make sure it was still okay that I think I may have re-aggravated it slightly, but it was still at least 80% better. The really exciting thing is whilst writing this account, the rest of the pain has gone away and only a slight soreness remains! Praise God!”

Hearing (9 Nov)

Ryan reports, “Many years ago I was a reasonably successful DJ/Music Producer. Much of my week was spent either producing music in front of monitors or DJ’ing in various night clubs again in front of monitors.

This constant exposure to loud frequencies began to take its toll on my hearing, especially my right ear as I never utilised an ear plug in this ear as wanted to have clarity on sound.

One fateful night in a club with a really bad sound set up, the monitor overloaded and popped creating a terribly loud bang. My ear rang for hours and my hearing never fully returned. It was just about the final straw; my hearing had become so badly damaged, I now had tinnitus (a ringing in the ear) and no clear sound. After a number of trips to the doctors, I was advised there was little chance of recovery and I would just have to put up with it. This contributed to me giving up what I loved doing.

After mentioning this in passing to a friend from Mariners, they offered to pray for me. It was not something I had thought of requesting prayer for before as in my mind it was done, gone and not something that could be changed. However, I have had some positive prayer experiences within the last 12 months and thought “why not!”

They began to pray with their hand on my ear and immediately it felt hot. Wax began pouring out of the ear and was visible to the other friends in attendance (and this is odd as I really don’t have waxy ears!!). I began feeling slightly faint; however I realised this was because of an unbalancing of sound… as I was hearing through my right ear! Eventually, every time my friend put their hand on my ear it became too hot to touch. It was clear the ringing had gone and I could make out clear sounds which I could not before.

The next few days were odd, with lots of noise. However, I can safely say I have about 70% hearing in my right ear whereas, before, I had 10%. The change has been incredible. Wow!”

Left Shoulder (19 Oct)

Jan Spencer, “I had a car accident 10/12 years ago – a head-on crash, and had whiplash and a lot of trouble with my left shoulder. Since then it’s settled down to a low ache a lot of the time – I’m almost used to it being there and often don’t really notice it. Sometimes it flares up and it’s really uncomfortable to move – feels like everything is grating in the shoulder joint. Catherine prayed for me this morning – first time she prayed it felt easier to move but was still sore at the front. She prayed again – this time it was easier again but there was still one spot that hurt. She prayed a third time and the pain was gone! I can raise my arm up high, rotate my arm – everything!”

(Update, 3.11.14) “I’d got so used to the grinding ache that often I barely noticed it – it got very wearing though when I couldn’t get it comfortable at night, and when it was playing up – it was a dragging, very tiring pain. I’ve just come back from Tenerife, and realised there how much better it still is. I could put my own suncream on my back!! It took weird contortions with both arms, but I could tuck them both up towards my shoulder blades, and over my shoulders down to cover the back of my neck … I haven’t been able to move that shoulder like that for as long as I can clearly remember! I cannot tell you the sheer pleasure in being able to move the joint in so many directions without pain – I just could not manage those movements AT ALL before! God is amazing”

Neck (19 Oct)

Stacey Hayes, “I woke up in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a lot of pain; I could hardly move without crying. I saw the Doctor first thing in the morning who said I had acute torticollis (twisted neck) which was causing the muscle in my right shoulder to go into spasm every time I moved. The Doctor told me it would be at least a week before the pain went. My small group prayed for me on Wednesday evening in my absence; by Thursday morning, I was already 50% better. The muscle was still quite tight and I was still getting twinges. This morning at Mariners, before the celebration began, I was prayed for and straightaway the tightness and pain went. By the time I left Mariners, I was 100% better. I went home and scrubbed my kitchen floor. If you’d told me (or my Doctor) on Wednesday that I would be able to do that by Sunday, neither of us would thought that was possible. God has done amazing things for me this week!”

Wrists (13 Sep)

Andy reports, “When I was in Portivo a few weeks back, one of the staff (Shannon) said she had pain in her wrists which made carrying things painful. I asked to pray for her. She said she only had 5 mins. I told her it would take 30 seconds! We prayed. She said she felt some warmth, but she was in too much of a rush to really try it out there and then!

Today, Shannon said to Andy’s daughter who works there too, ‘Your dad healed my wrists!’ Nay replied to Shannon, ‘He didn’t. Although dad prayed for you, Jesus healed your wrists’.

Back (13 Sep)

At 24/7 Prayer morning today, we prayed for Beke who was suffering from a back sustained about a month earlier while doing gardening. She says, “I have been working as a gardener over the summer. After cutting numerous hedges on a ladder, it didn’t take long before the strenuous labour took its toll on my back. For nearly two months, I have been unable to twist very far at all [either way] without experiencing pain.”

After we first prayed, Beke could turn completely to the right. She looked surprised! The left side was still not good. We prayed again – then the pain almost immediately vanished and she could also turn to the left. She has since has felt a lot better! She said, “I just want to celebrate God’s faithfulness to us! It is incredible 🙂 Praise Him!”

Eye Infection (18 August)

John O’Donnell says, “I went for healing last Thursday for a spot on my eye which has been quite painful for three weeks. I had made an appointment with the doctor for this week, but decided to get some healing prayer as well. On Friday, I felt no pain or irritation in my eye and it has stayed like that, as if there is nothing in my eye any more”.

Whiplash (18 July)

Beka Jones reports, “On Thursday of last week, I went out to practise driving with my dad, as I haven’t passed my test yet. I stopped at the junction at the bottom of the hill near home. As I went to pull off, I stalled the car but remained stationary the whole time. A second after I had stalled, another car drove into the back of my car very hard and smashed the whole back of the car in. After this, my mum took me to the hospital to get me checked out as I had a really bad headache. The doctor said everything looked fine but that my neck would be very sore in the morning due to the sort tissue damage caused in the accident. She predicted that I would struggle to move it. So, she gave me some neck exercises to do. In the evening, we went to the Alpha course. I was prayed for at Alpha itself and also at the pub afterwards!

I woke up the next morning with absolutely no pain or stiffness! It has remained fine since. Praise God!”

Right Ear Infection (18 July)

Mark Norris reports, “I’ve had an infection in my right ear for the last three weeks that has left me unable to hear at all from that ear. I’ve been completely deaf in that ear. Yesterday, Andy prayed for me. Today, my hearing is about 65% of normal, which is great stuff indeed! A great improvement! It’s great to hear what people are saying instead of lip reading”.

Right ear infection (16 July)

Last week, Peter developed a painful infection in his right ear. By the end of the week, he thought he would go to the doctor. But then he thought he would simply get prayer at church on Sunday. After the service, he went forward for prayer and was prayed for. Peter reports that his ear was healed as he was prayed for and that he has had no further pain or discomfort since.

Left Knee (15 July)

Mary Ible reports, “My good friend Yvonne has recently had an operation on her left knee but it had not healed well and she has been in substantial pain. This has caused her not to be able to sleep well, walk without a stick, stand up and sit down without being in pain and struggling to get out and about. Last night before Choir, she asked me to go over and pray for healing. I laid hands on the front and back of her knee and prayed a simple prayer. During this time, Yvonne experienced spasms in her leg and felt heat from the inside going out. Afterwards, she tried her leg out and was able to bend it for the first time in weeks, stand up without pain and came to Choir without the aid of her stick. Throughout the evening, we stood up and sat down several times and she was able to do this without pain”.

Left Foot (3 July)

Sarah Jones reports, “During Thursday’s Alpha there were a number of words for healing, including one about a “left foot”. Well, the top of my left foot was bruised from the wide strap of my sandal so, although it wasn’t life threatening or anything, I put my hand up to acknowledge the word was for me. We then went into our small groups and I got so caught up praying for others that I forgot all about it. Later, at the pub, I sat down and realised that all the pain had gone from my foot! I was able to share this with one of the ‘seekers’ from our group, who I had been praying for, which rather shocked him too!”

Trapped Nerve (1 July)

Simon Lock says, “Last Wednesday, half way through the afternoon, I had a very bad dizzy spell at work which got even worse when I closed my eyes, as it felt like I was in a washing machine on maximum spin. I wasn’t sure what had caused it. As it was a hot day, I decided to fill myself with water and get the air-con on full blast, to see whether it was heat related or not. It helped a little, but didn’t cure it. So I prayed and asked God to heal me, for His hand of protection to be over the coach, and to get the passengers and myself home safely from Longleat. He graciously answered this prayer.

The following day, things seemed to have improved slightly. The dizziness still came and went, but nowhere near as bad as the previous day. So, off to work I trundled, but as the day went by, I started to feel a very mild stiffness and a slight pain in my neck. I put two and two together, and put the dizziness down to something like a trapped nerve in my neck.

After that evening’s Alpha, I got a couple of people to pray for my neck and the dizzy spells. The stiffness and ache went from my neck immediately, and I haven’t had a dizzy spell since”.

Angel in Cornwall (29 June)

Jacqui was driving down to Cornwall recently with her adult daughter. They were on a busy main road, being an arterial road into Cornwall for holidaymakers. The light was fading at the end of the day and then, suddenly, Jacqui could not engage the clutch. It had seized up. As she and her daughter pushed the car to the side of the road, they felt in great danger due to the heavy traffic and the fading light. She was worried that other car drivers would not see them. She sent up a prayer, “God, please help us!”

A few minutes after pushing the car to the side of the road, a car came past them, then slowed to a stop and reversed back to where they were. A man jumped out of the car and said, “I have come to help you”. He then said he would take them to the safety of a layby further along the road. He asked Jacqui to drive his car to the layby, while he drove her car for her. Jacqui had a real sense of God’s presence and was not at all afraid by the approach of this stranger.

They drove to the layby. In the meantime, Jacqui’s daughter phoned the AA, who said they could get to them within 5-10 mins. When they got to the layby, Jacqui asked the driver who he was. He smiled and said, “I’m a bus driver. I’ve come to help you”. He asked whether they wanted him to wait with them until the AA arrived, but they said they were fine. Jacqui noticed he was wearing a shirt which bore a logo ‘Saved’. He then got into his car but neither of them could recall seeing him drive away. It seemed he just disappeared.

Jacqui had a strong sense that she had encountered an angel sent by God to help them in their hour of need.

New Business Premises (27 June)

Someone from Mariners reports, “Last Summer I realized my business premises were literally bursting at the seams and I needed to move soon. A while ago, I had seen nice new premises up for rent on the same estate as the one I’m on, so phoned the estate agent to find out the details. My enthusiasm was quashed when I heard that someone had already rented it. The agent took me around the whole estate and showed me all available premises. Unfortunately there was nothing suitable. I prayed about it and thought I’m not going to waste time looking around for something similar; I’ll make do with what I have already.

Six months passed and I bumped into someone who also rents a workroom there. He told me about some amazing bargains available in one of the stores on the other side of the estate. As someone had already mentioned that to me, I went and had a look. When I came out I saw the same guy in front of a building opposite the store, which was the building of the premises I had earlier wanted to rent. I went to thank him for the tip off and mentioned that I had tried to rent the place but it had gone already when I asked. He told me that even though there were goods inside, the premises were up for rent and I should talk to the Landlord again. I did, and I was able to move in within a month (February 2014)! The decision to take it was prayed about by myself and others, and people have come and prayed with me in the premises and around. I think that it was all in God’s timing and the place was there waiting for me.

The other really big thing since I’ve moved in here was the financial side which has been a great worry to me: the rent on this place is double what I was paying, but it is a really light and airy place with a separate store room. It seemed greedy at first, but it’s good to be working in an environment that you enjoy – and I do now enjoy going to work!

Coming back to the financials… a lot of building work had to be done. I commissioned all the interior and that cost me quite a packet. The rent and staff costs seem astronomical, and in the four months since taking on the new premises, I’ve not been able to take home much money for wages. However, in all that time, my bank account has not gone into the red. This had not phased me before as I always knew that I could make the rent. But now it is different – I was really worried that the money wouldn’t come in on time. But so far, it always has! This month I really had to smile though: I was down by over £92 the day before the rent was due. This made me quite miserable and I worried that if this happened one month, then the next month would be even worse. In the evening of that day (a Sunday), I had a text message from a client saying: I’ve just sent you what I owe. Curious if the money had come in already, I had a look at my bank statement online: the money paid in made up the rent money plus 57 pence to spare! It made me smile. What about that for God’s provision!”

God’s Provision (25 June)

There are a few members of Mariners who rely on God to provide their income (or part of it) as they are not receiving a salary. One of them shared this:

I had a big decision to make between two options. The first option seemed to be better, but it also cost quite a bit more, so I wasn’t sure if I could justify spending the money. I asked a few people to pray. I knew what I wanted to do and I know that God is not working on limited funds! On the other hand, I didn’t want to cause other people to feel they had to bail me out if I ran out of money! But otherwise, I didn’t feel I had a strong prompting in either direction, so I decided to go towards the better but more expensive option and ask God to stop me if I had got that wrong.

At the last minute, I asked him to give me some indication that it was right to spend the money now, on this option. Then I noticed that a friend had posted a recording of a church choir on Facebook singing a song based on Psalm 39. Certain verses jumped out at me: (In NLT): “All our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you…. 12 Hear my prayer, O Lord! Listen to my cries for help!”

What I sensed God saying to me through these verses was: “Don’t worry! And don’t hoard your money for a rainy day!” And “Lord, You know what you want me to do and I trust you to show me.” I decided that was good enough and went ahead, choosing the more expensive option – as that meant not hoarding the money.

Soon after, I went shopping and decided to just check my account to see how penniless this decision had made me! I was rather shocked in a nice way to find that instead of being in a bit of a tricky situation, I had been given enough gifts for three months in the last week! God really has a sense of humour! If I had known that before making the decision, it would have been confirmation enough, and the decision would have been easy – but this way round, I felt God was saying “I did hear your prayer, and listened. I had it all sorted (five times over!)  … so next time, just TRUST ME! I want good things for you!”

Back (22 June)

Jan says, “I’d been feeling low all week – just niggly things at work and things with my Dad. Then on Saturday, I damaged my back. I don’t really know how – I just stood up and couldn’t move for about 10 minutes. I had acute pain in my lower back radiating into my right leg through my sciatic nerve.

On Sunday morning, I was almost dreading coming to church and, quite frankly, felt like crawling under a duvet. I knew there would be bending and lifting and I couldn’t work out if I’d be able to stand up if I sat down! I’m rubbish at asking for prayer really – either I’m too busy at the end of the service or convince myself it’s not worth bothering with. On the way to Mariners, I decided I’d ask anyway, but thought nothing would happen … that looks really rude about God; it’s not that, I just thought it wasn’t important enough. Well, I was stood up there with you all and I think Sue put her hand on the source of the pain. There was just instant warmth, and then where it had been hurting down my leg there was this warm nothingness (not numbness – just a weird feeling!).

My back was so good at the evening celebration that I was able to get down on the floor to pray for someone – Dan held and caught her as she went down, but I was able to support. The only thing that held me back was my position by the pew. I didn’t think about my back until afterwards, then I realised how insane that was after how I’d been feeling for 24 hours!!

What I realised when I got home was that I’d been worshipping and feeling amazing when I’d felt so rubbish first thing. Still feel amazing this morning from everything from the two amazing services – the worship, the talk, the leading … everything. Feel like God has nudged my life back into perspective and the niggles at work don’t matter, and God’s helping me deal with Dad – and I just feel right with Him again. Without that healing yesterday, I guess I’d just have gone through the motions and carried on feeling rubbish, BUT knowing God DID notice and DID care and DID bother was HUGE (and YES I know I should know better than to ever think he doesn’t, but when you get low you just feel like you disappear somehow). But with that healing came freedom and excitement and JOY (only word to use really!!) and EVERYTHING!! Feel like a different person and still chuffed to bits that God did notice me!!

It’s a bit sore this morning (Monday) but, frankly, I’m not bothered in the least! I still feel happy and peaceful and excited and like it’s all bubbling over … God is blinking amazing, isn’t he?!!!”

Dream (22 June)

Mary says, “A couple of weeks ago I had the same dream twice concerning some friends who I hadn’t thought about for months – they work in a troubled country and in the dream they were arrested and accused of something they hadn’t done. I don’t generally “do” dreams! So when I woke up, I wondered if I should be reacting to that dream or putting it down to eating some cheese! I attended the Thirst prayer meeting and decided to tentatively pray for their safety. It couldn’t do any harm! Two of the others joined in my prayer – and they were much more fervent than I was in praying for protection for my friends. I then checked on the friends to see if they were OK. They said that he was about to enter the country alone and that they were both pretty apprehensive – about safety and about difficult decisions that the church had to make. So I continued praying about that. I have just heard that when he was driving to the location, the three cars in front were attacked by armed robbers. Yet he felt a very strong sense of peace – he knew God was watching him. The decisions made by the church also went very well – much better than expected. So he and his wife are encouraged, the church is encouraged and I am so encouraged to see that when I act on a nudge from God, all be it tentatively, he really responds! I’m learning how to listen when I think God might be nudging me…”

Church Family (21 June)

From a grateful Mariners mum, “Just a short note to say a huge thank you from my husband and myself for the [gifts of] clothes and voucher. Our children are delighted with the clothing which surprisingly enough seem to fit…! We used the voucher to buy some things for [our daughter], which she has already worn to a party. [*] and [*] both now have enough clothes for their week-long school trip…”

Job (17 June)

Pete Griffiths says, “I have a good news story for you. As you know I’ve been looking for a permanent teaching job. A couple of weeks ago, you invited anyone forward for prayer who was looking for a job. So I went forward. Rory prayed over me for a long time. Well, on Friday 13th June I had an interview for a teaching job at Birdlip and I GOT IT!! Its a permanent (part time) shared job with a year 3/4 class, which will also get my NQT done [teaching qualification]. Absolutely perfect for me! I’m so grateful for all the prayers and support – and that I can finally get my teaching career underway! Very excited!”

Thursday Communion (12 June)

A member of the Thursday congregation, “You have no idea how much this service means to me. It needs to be said! I’m so glad I found you. The Holy Spirit really ministers to me during the services and I feel the wonderful (woozy!) effects of it throughout the rest of the day! Thank you so much for putting it on”

Job (12 June)

A member of our Thursday congregation said today, “You know we prayed for my son to secure a job [we prayed together after the service recently]. Well, of the 40 people who applied, he got the job! He is delighted. Thanks for praying with me”

Encountering God (27 May)

Cathy says, “I have been a Christian for many years but I have never experienced the healing power of Jesus as a regular event, in such a tangible way as occurs during the Sunday worship at Mariners.

A number of times I have arrived at Church with concerns about life events and God has met me in the worship and dealt with all these concerns and fears in the most real and amazing way, without anyone praying for me personally. It’s like a powerful God encounter nearly every week I worship!

It has been a wonderful and very healing experience.  He has gently lifted off all the concerns of the week and replaced them with the assurance of His love, presence and peace.  I have left Church strengthened, with the joy that whatever I face in the coming week He is real and will be right there walking through the week with me!”

Elbow (29 April)

James says, “I became conscious of the pain in my left elbow at the start of Holy Week (about 13 April) and the swelling became progressively worse each day; so much so, I was poised to contact my GP immediately after the Easter holiday weekend. I went forward for prayer at Mariners after the Easter Sunday service 20 April.

During prayer, I felt a cooling effect and immediately afterwards, I noticed that the inflammation had eased by about 60% and regained about 40-50% of my elbow’s mobility. What has surprised me is how quickly the swelling has reduced – and the physical response I felt when I was prayed for, an actual cooling sensation. I don’t think it was tennis elbow as such, but it was painful and concerning enough to wake me up one night.

My left elbow feels much better now. The inflammation has been reduced considerably and I can apply some pressure to it without causing pain. This is a great outcome for me and has reminded me about the power of prayer. I’m so grateful for God’s healing and loving presence”.

Encountering God (19 April)

A regular Thursday attender says, “As you know, today is the 2nd anniversary of your introduction of the Thursday lunchtime services. About ten of us were at the first one and now over 20 regularly gather, eventually, at that time. So attendance has more than doubled, but I sense that is not your primary aim for that service. You faithfulness in ensuring a service happens every Thursday with good worship and teaching even when you can’t make it along yourself is an example to all of us. Thank you.

I have only missed a handful in the last 2 years, and long ago I blocked out that time in my work calendar so I could get across to it each week. Why do I do this? Because every week I have both encountered God and heard from him. Otherwise, life is a bit of a struggle for various reasons, but each week on a Thursday (and also Tuesday at ‘Rise’ when I get along), I am reminded that God is real and loving and powerful and he has not and will never give up on me even when I am frequently tempted to give up on myself. I am trying to be real here, but I think I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for those meetings at the Mariners – and the support and prayers – I would have probably fallen away spiritually completely by now and given up on all the good things that have happened to me…as a pleasant dream.

I appreciate the good concise teaching… But…I believe it is the heart you have to prioritise worship and seeking God’s face that has moved the church on so far so quickly, and has drawn broken and bruised people like me to your side”.

Knees (11 April)

A member reports, “About 3 weeks ago, I started to learn snowboarding. It hadn’t been 5 minutes since I started, until I went across the slope under the control of gravity. There I was, trying to work out how to stop the bloomin’ thing! At the same time, one of the other ‘learnees’ was doing the same thing; unfortunately, he was sliding across the slope the other way resulting in crunch, crash, bang, thud, ouch situation with both of us flat out on the snow with legs, boards and bodies tangled up in one mess!

This resulted in me twisting my left knee quite badly, but didn’t cause too much grief for the rest of the day as it was -5° in there, and everything was completely numb. But the following morning I awoke with quite a bit of pain and very restricted movement in that knee. I got a friend to pray and, shortly after, it was comfortable enough to walk on. After a week or so, my right knee started hurting in the same way, almost like it was coming out in sympathy with the left, but it was actually more like my body compensating for the bad knee, resulting in damage occurring in my good knee.

So on the 3 April, I came to the midweek celebration hobbling into Mariners like an old man (no offence to old men) and after the service I went forward for prayer. I was 90% healed there and then!

It was only the following day, with my knees only 90% better, that I thought to ask God if there was anything He was trying to get my attention over. I sensed there was something and, as soon as I committed to doing this thing, my knees were completely, totally healed! Our Heavenly Father is so good!”

Knee (6 April)

A week or so ago, Rory’s knee swelled up like a balloon for no discernible reason. He had great difficulty walking on it – he could not bend his leg, he could not squat down, he could not get his sock or shoe on that foot and he could not drive. He had this for a week, the final straw being when he woke up at about 2am one night in agony with his knee. He then went to see his doctor who diagnosed water on the knee and thought (from its appearance) that it was a sports injury. He gave Rory a prescription for two weeks of anti inflammatory pills for it and advised him he would need about six weeks of physiotherapy, once the swelling had gone down.

A day after seeing the doctor, he visited his mother in law who gave him a crutch to help him walk. An hour later, a friend prayed for his healing (early evening) and he was able to bend his leg. By the time he went to bed it was 70% improved, with much greater mobility. By the next day, it was 90% better.

When he went to work the next day, his colleagues (who had seen him hobbling about for a week) could not believe the improvement and asked how his leg had got better so quickly. He told them he had been prayed for but they were disbelieving saying, ‘No really. How did it get better so quickly?’ He also phoned the physiotherapist to tell her he would not be needing physiotherapy after all. Within a couple of days of being prayed for, his knee was 95-98% better.

God’s Presence (3 April)

I have been going through a really difficult time lately where God has been getting to some deep rooted things in my life. I felt such overwhelming pain which led to me (stupidly) self harming. When I arrived at the Furnace, I was welcomed by people as usual and replied to ‘How are you?’ questions with my usual ‘Not too bad’ response. Not wanting to maintain the pretence, I went and sat outside. After Furnace got underway, I went back in and felt a strong sense of God’s Presence, which seemed to change the pain into joy as the evening proceeded. At the end when someone asked me how things were, I was genuinely full of joy and laughter.

God as Father (1 April)

Cathy says, “I grew up with a Dad who seemed quite distant and did not show much emotionally. I have realized for a number of years that this has had some effect on how I see God as my heavenly ‘Father’.

On Sunday morning at Mariners we sang the song ‘Oceans’. I suddenly found God ministering to me through this song in a really deep way regarding seeing Him as a Father who had time for me and cared for me. When we got to the line, ‘My soul will rest in your embrace’, I felt like the Lord was sitting on the pew next to me and was saying, ‘It’s ok to stop and sit and let me give you a hug. I am here and I care about you!’

The whole experience was so real, moving and healing. The rest of the service (even though it was Mothering Sunday) was about God being both a Father and a Mother to us and continued to confirm further what God was speaking into my heart.

I don’t think I have ever experienced God healing me that deeply without anyone praying for me. It was a wonderful experience. All afternoon I found myself saying, ‘Wow God!’, because the sense of God’s presence had been so powerful and I have continued to feel God at work healing and holding me close throughout this week”.

Back (27 March)

Ryan says, “I had always been sceptical about back problems. As I’ve employed a lot of people over the years, it always seemed like a good excuse for some sick time. However, my view on this changed completely 18 months ago when I herniated a lower disk in my back. I sat awkwardly on a plane seat whilst holding my little one. I guess I had not anticipated my positioning with the extra weight I was holding. I spent the next 2 weeks on holiday in agony, but put a brave face on as best as I could.

When I arrived back to the colder weather in England, things went from bad to worse. Once the cold hit me, the pain in my sciatic nerve was unbearable. I simply could not move. I was writhing and screaming in agony. I really could not believe just how much pain I was in. I was taken to the hospital and the problem was diagnosed. I was sent away with a range of painkillers and a physiotherapy plan.

The next 6 months was horrific. The pain was still unbearable; I could only stand at work. Lifting my son was difficult, which was so upsetting, and the effects of the painkillers were awful. After 6 months, the intensity went away. However, I continued to have stiffness and pain in my right foot/back from the sciatic nerve. I have been limited in what I can lift and I am constantly cautious.

When in Portivo Lounge with a few friends from Mariners the other week, I made a horrific ‘old man’ noise as I stood to my feet. One of my friends asked me what was wrong and I explained to her; she asked if we could pray for me, which they did – there in the pub! Anyway, a few days went by and I had completely forgotten about the prayer. We had some carpet fitters in at work and when I returned to my office, my big heavy desk was not in its normal position. So, I moved it to where it should be and then sat down. It then occurred to me that I had no idea how I had managed to do that! That was now over 2 weeks ago and my back feels so much better”.

 

Shoulders (25 March)

Bill Dean says, “At the service on Sunday 9 March, a word of knowledge was given that someone had a problem with their shoulder and an invitation was given to come forward for prayer during the first two worship songs. I had arrived at Mariners with just such a problem and before arriving I had made up my mind to respond, if a word was given. I had a motor cycle accident over 20 years ago and suffered a traumatic injury to my left shoulder, which has troubled me at various levels of intensity since – sometimes hardly at all, but on other occasions pretty painful. I went forward during the second worship song and was prayed for at some length. Praise the Lord, my shoulder was healed – instantly pain free and complete freedom of movement!

Then last Sunday, on arriving at Mariners, I told the person who had prayed for me that my left shoulder was still free of pain; I asked him to pray for my other shoulder, which was giving me a lot of jip. After the service, he prayed for me and there was about an 80 percent improvement initially. He carried on praying and the pain left me and I was able to rotate my shoulder joint. I had some twinges whilst driving home (and have done from time to time since), but nothing like I was experiencing prior to being prayed for. Our God is truly awesome and faithful and true!”

Encountering God (20 March)

James says, “My life before God was a very dark place filled with distrust and unease, preoccupied by threats, disappointments, betrayals, poor decisions, unmet needs and aspirations. God was only seen or heard in glimpses, so he became a friend I could not trust. I searched desperately for constancy and fulfilment but in doing so, chose many false gods. This led me to bad people or towards people whose good I could not see. Such was my fear of rejection and loss, I descended into new depths of despair.

In my long journey back to faith, I realised that neither divorce nor death could separate me from my need for peace and joy. I yearned for a meaningful connection with others – those who might welcome me with smiling eyes and a warm embrace, just as my parents did when they welcomed me into this world. Soon after my mother died, I envisioned her soul being carried into heaven by angels. Yet I sense those angels were sent by God to help me, leading me to Mariners when I had reached my lowest ebb.

In the space of a week, I had been overcome with the kindness and love I experienced at church and then on the Alpha course. On the Alpha weekend away, I invited the Holy Spirit back into my life, but with no great expectation. What I experienced was amazing. A feeling of complete trust engulfed me. I sensed a healing presence around me and then felt an intense pulse of energy come through me. It was as if I had been zapped by an incredible power. It later unleashed a flood of tears that gave way to laughter. There was a lightness of being I had rarely experienced in my adulthood. A gentle stillness enveloped my existence, like the calm after the storm.

In the hours and days that followed, I have felt a new vitality for my life and a sense of direction. A new found confidence to express my gifts, without fear of rejection or rebuke. I’m feeling my instincts more keenly and the need for much greater compassion. There is a determination to prevail even in the face of adversity. In closing the door to the devil, I have opened the door to Christ and a brighter world filled with wonder and opportunity; the promise of eternal peace and joy. I am not alone”.

Encountering God (20 March)

Stacey says, “From a very young age, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life. I was never close to my parents and it was not a Christian home. During the bad times, I always felt very much alone, but I always got through them no matter how bad it got. As a result, I built a lot of walls around me, especially emotionally. I rarely cried or got even got upset.

For years I had wanted to go to church, I don’t even know why! I didn’t know anyone who went, a lot of my friends and family thought I was mad when I said I wanted to go and wouldn’t come with me. Eventually after encouragement from my partner, I plucked up the courage to start going to my local church on my own for the Sunday service. I liked going but it was rather traditional and formal and I didn’t really get anything out of it.

Then, friends invited me to an Alpha launch event. I mentioned Alpha to my partner the next day and he encouraged me to go. His words were ‘I think you’ll get a lot out of it’. Well that was definitely an understatement!

The real turning point for me was the Alpha weekend. It was one of the best and definitely the most emotional weekends of my life. I don’t think the people who are closest to me have ever seen me cry but that weekend pulled down a lot of walls. I finally felt like I could let go of everything I had been holding on to from my past. As a result, I cried like a baby all weekend but it was the best feeling in the world. I realised I’d never been alone, even throughout those really bad times; God has always been with me giving me strength and courage. And now, best of all he has given me peace.

I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, I would never change my past, it has made me who I am today and I have a very long ‘lessons learnt’ log! But now, I don’t worry about the future, I don’t feel alone and I know that God wants what is best for me, even if I don’t know what that is”.

God my Father (20 March)

Kim says, “I was brought up in a military family; we attended church on a weekly basis. When I was about 10 years old, I lost my young brother. This time was so hard; I didn’t understand why he died and why he was taken away.

When I reached the age of 14, I had to make a choice of attending church on my own, due to my parents giving up and leaving the church. This time was a difficult time for me. I choose to stay and continue to attend the youth group. My relationship with my father deteriorated. I felt rejected and unloved by him, and he stopped having regular contact with me.

On 2 March during the evening celebration at Mariners, I had an incredible breakthrough. During the worship I received a picture of a hand; written in the middle of it was my name and the words that came with the picture was ‘Your name will never be wiped away; your true identity is within me alone.’’ This was the first time I truly was able to know that I have a Father who designed me and created me and loves me for who I am. It has been such a difficult thing for me to be able to call God ‘Father’, because my earthly father hasn’t been a positive role model to me. But during this evening celebration, I felt that this wall totally break down and I actually felt that, no matter what my earthly father has done to me, I have a father God who never lets me down and will always accept me”.

Leg Grows Out (12 March)

Rachael Kirk tells her story, “I was born with one leg longer than another, which led to my hips being out of line with each other, and in turn, scoliosis (a curvature of the spine in an s shape). I found out about this at about 11 years old when I had a full body scan and x ray through a project called ‘Children of the 90s’. I was referred to a podiatrist who told me I would have to live the rest of my life with back pain and insoles in my shoes, which were an inconvenience, but manageable. When I was about 15 years old, it began to get worse and I was told that I would need surgery on my legs when I reached 18 years which would stretch the bone above my knee in order to correct everything else that stems from the difference in length. Naturally, the idea of having my bone cut and stretched terrified me, but it just seemed like it was not negotiable and a necessary action to take.

“When the time came to start the process of preparing for surgery, I found out I was pregnant and the process went no further, hoping that after I had given birth, I would ask again for the surgery. Because I now had a child, the idea of going through about nine months of slowly stretching out the bone, which would mean I couldn’t walk or really manoeuvre around, seemed scary and impractical, so I never got in touch or started the process. But I’ve always wondered when/if the right time to have the surgery would be. I’ve always had bad back pain, knee pain and hip pain, which can stop me sleeping, working and keeping fit in any way, so it felt as if that would just continue to get worse if I chose to opt out of the surgery year after year, and it felt like the clock was ticking down before intervention was required.

“BUT last Saturday at the Alpha weekend, someone came to me and asked if they could pray for me, and my first thought was to pray for my back. I wanted so desperately to be healed and to be free from that worry and stress. While being prayed for, I felt I needed to lie down, because I felt a huge weight on my head and shoulders pressing me towards the ground. While I lay there, my knee, my feet and possibly my hands too were hot and had pins and needles for about five minutes. I just felt God working on me. When I got up, I felt no different and I thought I should check in the morning to see if there was a difference.

“I’m quite a forgetful person, so it wasn’t until Wednesday (today) that it occurred to me to check my legs, and they are COMPLETELY THE SAME SIZE. Where once, when I sat hips flat against the wall, one heel would tuck in front of the other, they fall exactly together, heel to heel. My knees are exactly next to one another! My body hasn’t yet caught up with the fact that I don’t need to lean when I stand, my centre of gravity is no longer to the left but in the MIDDLE. I’m just speechless. GOD IS SO GOOD. I’m just so overwhelmed with this gift and this amazing change. I’ve never had a physical (visible) healing before; it has just taken my breath away!”

Lost & Found (11 March)

Over the past month or so, I’ve been negotiating with a friend to sell him my motorcycle. Having agreed terms, he went to my home in Sibiu (Romania) ready to pay and collect the bike. But unfortunately when he got there, the official documents could not be found. My mum, my sister and my brother in law all searched everywhere for them. No success. My friend was very keen to take delivery as he needed a motorcycle, but I could not sell it without the documents. I began to think that I would have to get duplicate documents from the police, which would have cost another £100! My friend and I eventually agreed that we would share this extra cost and would get the documents from the police on Monday 10 March.

Last Wednesday (5 March), I went to the Furnace worship and prayer gathering at Mariners. At Mariners, we have been hearing about many answers to prayer recently, so I decided to ask for prayer for the discovery of my lost documents. In my mind, I was thinking “God, if possible, please help us find them by Sunday 9 March!”

On Saturday 8 March in the afternoon, my brother in law called me saying that he found the documents in the most logical place – under the bike’s seat! I was so pleased and was praising and thanking God for the rest of the day. I’ve always been aware of God’s way of working things out for me but I realised that sometimes I ask for His help too late, instead of asking him in the first place. It was a good reminder to me to pray as a first resort, not as a last resort!

Encountering God (10 March)

A member of the church, “I had to email you first thing today to tell you about my experiences over the Alpha weekend! The Worship was Amazing, the Prayers very Powerful and the Fellowship like a Family. On Saturday afternoon when we invited the Holy Spirit to come, I was apprehensive – not knowing quite what to expect! However my experience was very calming, quiet and gentle. I felt a warmth flowing up my left arm into my face which felt like it was glowing with heat and light! I felt compelled to kneel and let myself go, trusting that no harm would come – and just thank Jesus for what he has done in my life.

On Sunday before lunch, we shared Communion and before even taking the Bread and Wine, I felt a powerful surge of emotion and when we called on The Spirit to come. I felt calm and confident that I would receive something special! This time, I felt cold and shivery then warmth flowing through me, then cold, then warmth continuing to come and go. Someone came to pray with me; she placed her hand over my heart and prophesised over me. What she told me was Incredible! The power and heat flowing through her hand into me was an experience I will always remember (BEAUTIFUL)”.

We were then joined by someone else and we prayed for my husband. I have been struggling with him not understanding my faith, my love and passion for Jesus and my journey with Mariners. The answer was simple – just continue on my Journey and encourage him to join me; it is his free will if he does decide to follow this path or not. Whatever happens, I know I can trust that I will be supported, encouraged and carried by Jesus and the Mariners family.  Thank you”.

Burns (10 March)

From a Mariners member, “I had an accident last night. I put honey into the microwave and, as I took it out, it squirted over my fingers. I put my hand under cold water for a long time, but each time I took it out the pain was intense. It was just before bed time so there was no way I would sleep with one hand in water, this being the only way that I could ease the pain. I prayed to Jesus that he would heal me; I continually prayed for about 5 minutes and the pain subsided until it completely went; then I went to bed and slept. This morning I feel fine.

New Life (9 March)

One young man invited Jesus into his life during the Alpha weekend. New birth – the greatest miracle of all!

Depression (9 March)

At the Alpha weekend, on the Saturday, one young man said that he felt depressed and normally takes weeks for the depression to lift. After the ministry time during the afternoon session, he felt really happy and full of joy.

Upset Stomach (9 March)

Peter came for the day to the Alpha weekend. He arrived with a stomach upset; these are not unusual to him and they usually trouble him for several days. He did not think he would last the day. However, he was prayed for and quickly felt better. He not only survived the day but was able to take a full part in the evening’s entertainment!

Hips (8 March)

At the Alpha weekend, a word was given for damaged hips. A woman in her thirties came forward saying she had had problems with her hips since she was 15 years old, with them often dislocating. They click and cause her pain. After a walk that afternoon, they were painful. We prayed and she tried them out. No clicking and no pain, for the first time in many years! She was delighted.

Veruccas (6 March)

A member of Mariners reports that, about eight years ago, she had verrucas on her foot which she found uncomfortable and embarrassing. She attended a Maundy Thursday service at church with her mother in Dorset, where she lived at the time. The vicar there was washing people’s feet, following the example of Jesus who washed His disciples’ feet as an example of service.

Initially, she resisted having her feet washed (due to her embarrassment over the verrucas), but was eventually persuaded. The vicar washed her feet and prayed as she did so. In the course of the next few days, she noticed that the verrucas turned black and then began to disappear. They were gone within a week!

Right Shoulder (6 March)

Heidi had problems with her shoulders frequently dislocating. About three years ago, she had keyhole surgery to try and remedy the problem. She was still getting problems with her right shoulder and, eight weeks ago, she had open surgery on the shoulder (more invasive than keyhole surgery). Following the surgery, it was just as painful (if not worse). Two weeks later, she saw the surgeon who was puzzled by her condition. Heidi was unable to raise her arm to more than straight out in front of her (with her hand parallel to her shoulder). It often woke her up at night, due to the pain.

Last week at Alpha, following the talk on prayer, some of her group prayed for her. She had no particular sensation and did not think any more about it. But she had an undisturbed night’s sleep that night (no pain) and, when she woke up, she realised that all pain had gone from her shoulder! She was able to move her arm freely, having full joint rotation. Her boyfriend thought she was kidding! To really test it, she went running – with no ill effects!

She went to a planned appointment with her physiotherapist who asked her how it was. Heidi said, ‘Fine’. The physio replied, ‘No. How is it?’ Again, Heidi said ‘Fine’ and went to demonstrate by doing a full rotation of the shoulder. The physio tried to stop her, fearing the worst! She took some persuading that all was well.

Right Knee (5 March)

Basil has had problems with his knees for about 10 years, the right one in particular. He got used to the pain and simply learnt to ‘grin and bear it’. It has been exacerbated in the last few months due to all the training he has been doing as he prepares to run the London Marathon. He has been in a lot of pain.

At the Furnace worship and prayer gathering at Mariners this week, he knelt down during the worship. He could kneel down on his left knee but not his right, as it was too painful. At the end of the evening, we prayed for healing for his right knee. After we had prayed, he felt a tingling sensation in the knee – like pins and needles. Cautiously, he tried it out by walking up the aisle of the church – and discovered that all the pain had gone and he could move it freely! He was telling several people in the church, and even phoned to tell his wife!

The next day he reported in by text, “Had a good night’s sleep. Been for a run and no knee pain, praise the Lord! Thank you for your prayers last night. Happy days – no knee pain, no painkillers!” Later the same day he reported, “Right knee has been completely perfect today, even when kneeling. Praise the Lord! I have experienced healing before, but never so instantaneously”.

Encountering God (2 March)

A longstanding member of Mariners, “At the evening service, after arriving late which I was annoyed with myself about, I soon became aware of a strange feeling slowly overwhelming me. I initially thought I was perhaps starting to feel the beginnings of a cold or something, but then began to recognise what was happening.

Years ago I had the same thing happen, at Mariners during a service. The feeling was of a peaceful, warming, overwhelmingly loving presence. By the time I got up to take Communion, I was trembling and struggling to concentrate on what I was doing. I felt so full of Jesus’ love, it was physically draining me. I couldn’t understand why no one else was feeling the same thing, but perhaps they were.

The best thing about this experience was that I felt that everything was okay with Jesus, that He loves me despite not deserving or earning His love. I felt fulfilled, a beautiful feeling that I want to hold on to. I see this as a sign that what is happening at Mariners is pleasing to God. I pray that everyone will have a similar experience”.

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