Mariners

More Good News Stories

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”.

More Good News Stories..

Knee (28 February)

From a Mariners member…

I injured my knee playing football in 2012 and have not been doing any sports for a while, but could move well and do other things that did not put much pressure on the knee. Last Thursday, it got worse and I booked to see the doctor on Friday. I was referred to the hospital for a scan of the knee, particularly the (Fibula and Tibia). On the Monday after the scan, I had an accident at home, twisting my knee and aggravating the pre-existing injury. This incident effectively negated the scan from the previous Friday, meaning I needed another scan! I was offered a Crutch to walk with in the meantime.

My wife and I started praying and also sent a message to Andy, to which I received a quick response about prayer and also an opportunity to lay hands on it at the Thursday lunch time service. I came to the Church on Thursday, walking with the aid of a Crutch, having also strapped my knee for support and protection. I was prayed for after communion and something happened. I could walk reasonably well without the crutch and made it home without much difficulty. I no longer have the bandage and I have very little pain now. I would say it is about 80% improved!

I saw my doctor this morning and she said there is just some inflammation left. The bone that was the problem last time I saw her is back to its normal place. She said I do not need to strap it any more or use the crutch. She said that the inflammation will take 6-8 weeks to go. She prescribed Ibuprofen gel 3 times a day. More prayers still needed as I believe God will do the remaining work any time he wishes, as he did this week. Thank you for the prayers and God be with you.

God as Father (23 February)

A member of Mariners, “Thanks for a really good service again this morning! During the worship, when we were singing about our relationship with God as Father, I suddenly thought of a game I played with my dad when I was very small. He would trap me in his legs and pretend to be a shark! It wasn’t frightening as I knew he would let me go – and I always came back for more because I actually liked being trapped in a secure place! I suddenly imagined God playing that game with me – though I decided a lion was better than a shark! I then thought of Aslan’s velvetted paws… It was a great image! And I saw myself coming back for more!”

Sight (23 February)

A member of Mariners, “There was a word this morning about someone’s left eye and I wasn’t sure if it was for me or not because my right eye was playing up more than my left one, so I decided to put my hands on both of my eyes and leave it to Jesus. When I got home, I felt my eyes burning and could do nothing more than take medication for a headache which might have been due to my eyes, and fell asleep. When I woke up, both eyes were much clearer – which is noticeable whilst typing this.

(several hours later) My eyes are still unblurred in the dark when they would normally be worse. Thank you Jesus!”

Diabetes (6 February)

Bill Pickard reports, “I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in November 2013, with high cholesterol (for a diabetic) and put on medication. After a recent blood test, it was found that my condition had improved enough to warrant me coming off the tablets and my cholesterol was described as “perfect” by the nurse. I believe prayer has worked in two ways: (1) in actual bodily healing (which is ongoing), and (2) in the strength I have been given to face the condition. I am so grateful for the prayers and support of the Mariners family”

Neck (6 February)

From Mariners member, “We arrived home after Furnace (worship/prayer gathering) last night with Mary complaining of pain in her neck and a crunching, cracking noise coming from her neck as she moved it. I remembered that when I got to you in the prayer tunnel, you took hold of my hands and asked the Lord to use them to heal, so I took hold of her neck with both hands linked behind her neck and commanded healing of Arthritis and Spondylosis. She was healed instantly! I asked how it was this morning and she said it was fine, but asked me to wait before letting you know. She got back this evening after being at Mariners and I asked if she was still free of pain and crunching. She said yes (Hallelujah!). Our God Reigns!”

Head, Neck & Shoulders (5 February)

Someone who was prayed for at Mariners on Sunday reports that there has been a marked improvement in her condition in that the pain in her head, neck and shoulder is markedly less. Also there is less pressure in her Sinuses. She experienced relief as soon as she was prayed for on Sunday.

Neck (5 February)

From a Mariners visitor on Sunday… “Neck felt immediately better when prayed for. It was stiff and sore…..from a hard circuits session on Fri evening. However, it did go with prayer and has not returned!”

Financial Provision (5 February)

At the Furnace prayer gathering this week, we took up an offering for a church family who (due to sickness) had lost vital income this week. It raised £223. On hearing the news, the mother said, “I am so touched and overwhelmed by the generosity but mostly the love, care and kindness the Mariners family have shown. We both want to give our heartfelt thanks to all who kindly gave last night”. The father added, “That is so humbling and generous, it’s overwhelming. May God bless you all; we are so blessed to be part of this family”.

Foot Broken Bone (1 February)

Stella reported, “A friend of mine fell down the last 3 stairs and after resting for a few days eventually decided to go to A&E where an X-ray showed she had a broken bone. They put on a cast but she was really sad cos she felt The Lord had said it would be fine after 4 weeks (and she would now be in plaster for 6 weeks.) We prayed and when she went back to have it checked the next day she was offered another X-ray (we’d prayed this would happen) and she was told it wasn’t broken after all and she was sent for physio instead!”

Shoulders & Back (1 February)

Mariners member Stella Dyer, “At Healing on the Streets (HOTS), we prayed for a busker who had pain in his neck, across his shoulders and down his back. All pain in his shoulders and back went very quickly but he said ‘the pain in my neck will never go, I’ll always have that’ – The Lord gave us lots of words of encouragement for him and as he was about to leave he realised his neck pain had gone!!!”

Allergic Reaction (30 January)

I have a couple of food allergies and, while I was at the Alpha course last night, I had a reaction to some food which should have been safe for me to eat. After just two or three mouthfuls, I felt my throat go a bit funny and I tried to swallow but couldn’t. There were lots of people around and I didn’t want to cause a scene, so rushed to the toilets to see if I could make myself sick or do something. Without going into to much detail, nothing I could do helped the situation. Maggie was praying in a nearby room and experienced a peculiar sensation in her own throat, which alerted her to the noise I was making. She came to investigate and asked if I was alright. I managed to ask her to get Sue but struggled to say much more. I can’t quite remember the order of events as I was starting to panic at this point, but I do know that Sue prayed for me and almost instantly I felt my throat sort itself out and I could swallow again. I don’t know why I reacted as severely to the food as I did as that’s never happened before. But I do know that God answers prayers!

Financial Provision (14 January)

This from a Mariners member…

God has been leading me quite specifically recently – positioning me for what He is up to in these days. Since November, I’ve been immersed in the classroom of ‘faith’ in a number of areas in my life. I sense strongly that for this season I need to be fully trusting God for all my needs to be met, including financially, and that if I were to get paid work, for me, at present, that would be disobedience. (Obviously that is most peoples’ norm, and has been / will probably be mine for most of my life, but this is a season of training for me). He has given me things to pursue, do, explore, learn – some of this is within Mariners, much is wider. Therefore I am not seeking any other work, and as a non-job seeker, neither am I claiming any benefits.

My limited savings ran out mid January, and 2 weeks ago I realised I still hadn’t paid my rent. God is such a good, kind, generous God – and He’s my dad. Therefore I didn’t spend hours begging for Him to provide; as his daughter, I don’t need to beg, but I did ask. Specifically, if fairly briefly, for my rent. That very evening, at the Furnace, those with financial needs were asked to stand – and were gifted with prayer, IOU’s, money. What a blessing! That evening, God paid my rent with £5 left over!

The following morning, an unanticipated and immediate one off need for an amount that is double that of my rent came up. After a few hours of near despair, I decided instead to lift my gaze and view this as another opportunity for God to provide. Slowly, over the next few days, just enough money came in to cover that too. God is good. He is faithful. Since then someone has also generously offered to pay a portion of my rent each month. God has nearly got me through January – He can get me through as many months as He wants! I’m grateful both for His faithfulness as provider, and for the generosity of many people in my life. God is also teaching me to step out in faith more, and to become more generous myself.

Kindness of God (14 January)

“I’d been really under the cosh since just before Christmas till yesterday: despite all my “good practice” (prayer, practising God’s presence), I felt weakened, savaged and beaten down. The daily returning to an empty and cold house, coupled with a “fork in the heart” sense of real grief at missing so keenly at Christmas the loved ones I’d known, eventually sent me into a quick cascade, as if the whole pile of balanced dominoes just went. Any reality and perspective of who and where both I and God was, crumbled frighteningly quickly, and I spent the time till yesterday in all sorts of condemnation, fear, guilt, grief and rage… Nasty and unpleasant.

It was thus a considerable effort to step into Mariners yesterday, and I did so not because I was strong but in my weakness felt no other option…”how much worse can it get?” Taking the decision to stand up in order to receive prayer was a battle but I was prayed for lovingly, affirmingly and without judgment. Lo and behold…I felt no worse!

I was also “randomly blessed” by a gratuitous act of kindness. I was then approached by a lady who told me she and another had had the same (or similar) dream from God as me. I really appreciated and enjoyed the Mariners shared lunch after the celebration…and was sent on my way home with some divine carrot cake! As I drove home, I was aware that the sheer howling torture of the past weeks….er, …was no longer there”.

Financial Provision (14 January 2014)

I went to the Furnace at Mariners last Wednesday. During the meeting, those waiting for financial breakthrough were asked to stand up. I got up, and presumed I would be just prayed for. If anything, I was grumbling a bit ‘back stage’ because I have been giving to God for ages but was fed up with being poor. I …was fed up with saying no to my children all the time. They are really fantastic children in that they don’t ask for much.

People were then asked to give money or an IOU to those standing, or simply to pray for them. I was a bit embarrassed when several people gave me some money. I really didn’t expect that and said to myself initially, ‘I’m never doing that again’ because I’m sure there are people worse off than we are.

A lady prayed with me and encouraged me simply to ask and I would receive, so very sheepishly asked for help with finances. Since then money has been turning up, almost every day! I mentioned while being prayed for that we had been invited to a wedding but couldn’t afford to buy outfits, but this morning I was given a sum of money which should cover these. Thank you.

Mute speaks (3 November)

Testimony from a church member…

I just thought I would share this and I promise it is completely true, I grant you completely unbelievable but true just the same.

I was working with a client on Monday afternoon and thought after reading Mahesh Chavda’s book I would give it a go and pray for a client. I knew nothing would happen but thought what the heck.

So I held out my hand towards K and prayed in the name and power of the Holy Spirit for K to say something. K is mute and has never said a word in her entire life and communicates by tapping. I never expected anything to happen (why would it), but twenty or so minutes later she jumped up walked over to me and said ‘hello’. I was amazed and did swear under my breath, not quite believing what had just happened. K just carried on in her normal way, dancing as though nothing had happened. I then looked at her and said ‘what’ and she looked at me and said ‘hello’, and again. She then just carried on, not aware of anything, happy and content in her world.

New Life (3 November)

This week at Mariners, we have had three reports of people surrendering their lives to Christ – one on Wednesday, one at the Thurs lunch time service and then one today at our morning gathering. This is new (and lasting) life – the biggest miracle of all! How amazing and exciting!

Knee (17 October)

From Rory, “My knee is healed! Praise God. Noticed when I went to bed that the pain was less and I have now just finished a one hour work out including 30 minutes on the cross trainer with no pain. Please thank Peter and Richard (and the rest of the small group) and tell them that it is true God does use anyone!”

Severe Headache (10 Sep)

A visitor reported, “I had developed an intense shooting pain in my head behind my right ear on Friday which was so severe it kept me awake all Friday night. It continued on Saturday. As we were worshipping at Mariners, I felt a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit and I felt my spirit leap and bubble in response, and felt that I was being healed. I was too afraid to touch the place where it hurt in my head, so I didn’t touch it till the next day, but the constant throbbing pain had stopped during the service itself, praise God! The shooting pains have not come back either. Thank you and bless Mariners for their worship and stewarding of God’s presence. Thank you also for the wonderful warm welcome, generosity and hospitality. Arnie and I were absolutely bowled over! God bless you.”

Hernia (6 Sep)

Sarah reports, “I have had a growth and a hernia at the top of my right leg for over two years; both have caused discomfort and pain”. Sarah went to a Christian conference at the end of August and she describes what happened, “On the first night whilst worshipping, my leg was quite painful and then burning. It wasn’t until the morning that I realised my leg was no longer hurting and even more than that, felt normal. I was unable to check my leg properly until the evening. When I did check it, there was no discomfort or pain – nothing!! All gone. No growth, no hernia!”

Back (5 Sep)

At today’s lunch time celebration, a 63 year old man received prayer for his back. He felt warmth in the affected area as he was prayed for. He tested his back by walking up and down the church and reported that the pain had gone completely.
He also reported that he got prayer for a neck injury two Sundays ago. He said this was 80% better and he had stopped taking painkillers. God is good!

Hips & Back (22 August)

At our celebration, a 74 year old lady called Ruth (first time visitor) came forward for prayer. On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is no pain and 10 is much pain, she had an 8 in her lower back and in each hip. After several mins praying with her, she said the pain had reduced to 2 in her right hip, then her left hip and finally her back (in that order)! She left celebrating God’s goodness.

Freemasonry (27 August)

A member of Mariners reports, “For the last four weeks I’ve been exploring the fact that I was a Freemason – had I done anything which would go against the fact that I’m a Christian? Although I expected the answer to be a ‘no’, after much prayer and pondering of past masonic meetings I sensed the answer was ‘yes’. Although unintentional, I realised that sin is sin and ignorance is no defence. I then started to read my Bible, seeking an answer for what I should do next. I came across 1 John 1-9 that if we confess our sins to God, He will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. For me, that was an immense help and I prayed and asked for forgiveness and repented of my past wrongdoings.

“A couple of weeks ago, I chatted to a leader at Mariners church about it. He advised me that I needed to remove all Masonic regalia and books from my house as they could be acting as a block to my relationship with Christ. On Sunday, we agreed a time to burn all my masonic stuff. On Sunday evening, I started to get a headache which lasted until this afternoon (Tuesday) and went at exactly the same time the case containing all my regalia started to burn. I am a bit cynical about these things but, honestly, at the precise moment of the fire catching, my head cleared and I had no further pain”.

Shoulder (16 July)

Andy asked for prayer at ‘Rise’ for his right shoulder which had been painful for several weeks and which was stubbornly refusing to improve, despite not putting any weight on it. It improved as he was prayed for. The next day, it was so much better that Andy was able to do some resistance work with it (40 press ups)…and the next day, with no ill effects. It remains fine seven days later. Praise God!

Migraine (14 July)

Testimonies were shared at Mariners about migraines being healed and people were invited to come forward for prayer re migraines. Laura responded and received prayer. Eight days later, she reported that she had not had a single migraine, despite the very hot and humid weather. She was delighted!

Back (11 July)

Judith asked for prayer for her sore back – she had quite restricted movement. As she received prayer, her back got better and better. At work that afternoon she said in front of her unchurched colleagues “I’m healed. I’ve got a new back. Isn’t it great?!’ The next day she reported that she sat in the car and noticed the seat pressing in on her back where previously there had just been a gap. Her left knee was a bit clicky going upstairs, but there was no pain. Her back and hips were achy as if they had had a big work out, but all the pain and pressure on her discs had gone, praise God!

Migraine (4 July)

Three testimonies were shared at this week’s midweek celebration (on Thurs) of people being healed of migraines at Mariners in the past few months. We invited those suffering from migraines to come forward for prayer at the end.

Our speaker Andrew came forward for prayer. His migraine had come on the night before and he had nearly contacted Andy to say ‘Have something prepared for tomorrow; I’m not sure I’m going to make it!’ He was anointed with oil and prayed for. As the prayer ended, he said ‘That feels much better already’. He said that as he was anointed with oil, it felt like curtains in his head being drawn back (so he could see clearly again) and, as a hand was laid on his head during prayer, the heaviness of the headache lifted.

Healing (13 June)

One member reported, “I’ve always felt ‘inadequate’ when it came to praying for healing, and thought it was something that much more ‘professional’ Christians do.  It has been humbling and so exciting to realise that it is something we can all do, and that ‘little’ things do get noticed by God.  I also love the times when God uses a word about an injury, for example, to nudge someone into coming back to talk to him”.

Broken Heart (9 June)

Jan says, “I can’t remember which of the girls had the word of knowledge about a broken heart… Whoever it was felt it sounded ‘cheesy’ or something and I think was doubting it.  Well – it led to THE most poignant prayer session with a lady that moved me to tears … it was a privilege to pray with her; and for her to ‘hear’ that God knows she’s hurting must have been huge. That was beautiful today”.

Right Knee (9 June)

A word of knowledge was given by one of the girls for an injured right knee. Peter responded as his right knee had been locking up regularly over several weeks. He received prayer, felt heat in it as he did so and then tested it. It was fine! He was busy flexing it later at the bring and share lunch!

God Speaking (9 June)

One member said, “The sermon and the whole Mariners experience last Sunday (2nd June) was amazing.  After the talk, I knew I’d have to respond to the call for prayer – before the first verse of the final hymn was over I had eyes full of tears and a deep stirring within; I knew this was of the Holy Spirit.  I think the ‘trigger’ areas for which I asked for prayer were despair and depression – there were others but by this stage I was aware that I am over 6 feet tall with my back to the congregation and blubbing.  So something happened…”

Back (5 June)

Helen reports, “I have suffered with a bad back for many years. On Sunday morning (2 June), I went up for prayer at the end of the service. I was invited to sit down with my feet out in front. In front of our eyes, my left leg gained 1.5 – 2 inches and came level to my right leg. We also prayed that everything would be realigned and go back to its proper place. It was amazing!! Praise the Lord.  Now I feel so much better. Awesome!!”

God Speaking (3 June)

Someone visiting Mariners on Sunday reported, “…the whole service was for me, from Dan’s word at the start about hope to Andy’s excellent and very clear talk, to the final word of knowledge. And then I came up for prayer, and all the hurt and pain of the last 2 years just flooded out of me. God IS good all the time, even when we don’t understand why he is asking us to do certain things…”

God is There for Me (3 June)

Someone reported this after Sunday’s celebration, “I was a bit taken aback when Dan started the service with Psalm 73, because in recent weeks I have felt my faith slipping away a bit (‘But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well near slipped’). It got my attention immediately.

It’s been a very tough few months, I’ve not really talked about it (I’m very good at hiding my pain), but I have been feeling very lonely and distanced from Church, and in my personal life in general. I come along on a Sunday, but I feel like I’m watching something amazing, but through a window. I see everyone chatting and forming friendships, but I find mixing like this a challenge. I feel very much on the periphery of the family side of Mariners. (I know this is a ‘me’ thing, and it’s not a criticism, just a statement of where I’m at). I’m lonely at home too, I have highs and lows, it’s pretty tough knowing that I’m the architect of my own misery. I do get comfort that God has a plan for me, and that He wants me to prosper, I’d just like that to be sooner rather than later.

Such is the state of my head at the moment, I can’t remember the details about the talk at all … but I do remember the raw emotion that I felt. I felt as though God was telling me that it’s never too late and that I can never be too far from him that he can’t find me. No matter how far away I feel, he’s still there.

I do remember that at the end of the talk some words of knowledge were read out, one of which was ‘Someone feels they are slipping’ – I think that described me. I went up for prayer and was prayed for simply and effectively. I felt stronger after that. It didn’t stop me from ‘running away’, but it did make me think and pray. I want a kingdom life, I know that this is warfare and the enemy will not win.

I do feel better after Sunday, and I do feel that my place is here at Mariners (sorry, not getting shot of me yet!). There’s nowhere I’d rather be. I think the key thing is that after the weekend I do feel that God is still there for me, he still loves me and that’s a huge relief and comfort to me. The Word of Knowledge and Psalm 73 were both spot on and that I feel stronger for hearing that”.

Migraine (1 June)

Last Thursday I attended the Connecting @ Mariners evening at the cottage. As I arrived, I was experiencing a visual disturbance that signalled a migraine was on the way. Usually this is followed by a “heavy head” and a headache over the next day to two that can’t be shaken.

I received prayer and the visual disturbance cleared with no after effect. A few days later, I remembered that the expected headache had not materialised!

Alive But Not Living (1 June)

A while ago, I responded to a word brought on a Sunday morning about someone who was ‘alive but not living’. I received prayer that morning and I felt touched by God. Over the past couple of weeks I have felt an increasing return of joy to life. I particular I have had an amazing and busy week! I have had…the opportunity to connect and share with some girls who are not Christians, and I have had a renewed sense of focus and passion at work too!

Every time I think that God had brought me through the storm to a better place, he seems to be showing me that it will be even better again.

Headache/Dehydration (29 May)

I felt god speaking to me the other week about ministering to my family. So I’ve been thinking of ways to do that. This is not easy because my family do not yet share my Christian convictions.

However, last weekend whilst on our maiden camping trip, we decided to have the day out in Symonds Yat and went for a very long walk. My son started to feel very poorly with combined headache, probably dehydrated due to length of walk and heat of sun. So I persuaded him to pray and ask Jesus to make him feel better and explained the principle of healing. With no other choice he listened and prayed that his headache would go and he wouldn’t feel poorly. Instantly he began to feel better, so I reminded him to say ‘thank you’ to Jesus and told him about the story in the bible of the ten lepars who were healed and the one who said ‘thank you’ was completely healed. Moments later, he felt completely restored. My son was surprised too!

Knee (21 May)

Helen from Mariners said, “At the end of last year (2012), I hurt my right knee. I was signed off from work for several weeks and, from the X-rays that were taken, the doctors said I had a ‘Medical Meniscal Tear’. Basically, I had torn a muscle on my knee and needed an operation. It was painful to walk and it hurt to even rest my other leg against it. Kneeling was impossible.

On the 28 April 2013, I came to Mariners with some friends. I sensed God wanting me to kneel down during the worship. I did so and within a couple of minutes, I had absolutely no pain at all. That is still the case 3 weeks later, so I have also advised the hospital that I no longer require the operation as I’m no longer in any pain! He is a most awesome God.

Swelling & Pain (14 May)

A member of the church shared this story following last Sunday morning’s celebration, “I developed a swelling which caused acute pain on Thursday. It came suddenly and for no reason. It got progressively worse in the next couple of days and by Sunday morning, it hurt to walk or sit. By the time I went for prayer at the end of the service at Mariners, it seemed to have got 50% better, just during worship. By Monday morning, it was 80% better and by the evening the swelling and the pain disappeared completely. Praise God!!”

Right Knee (28 Apr)

During another great morning together one lady, visiting us for the first time, experienced the power of God. She has had right knee trouble for 18 months, causing her pain and discomfort. She reported after the service that, the moment she walked into the church, the pain left her – and she was busy flexing her knee joint to prove it! God is so good!

Whiplash (28 Apr)

A week or so ago, I was driving a car in the US. I was stationary at a junction when I was hit from behind with some force by another vehicle. I estimate that she was travelling at about 40mph. The driver was very apologetic and admitted that she had not been looking where she was going. Both vehicles were quite badly damaged. The police lady pulled up alongside us on one side and the smashed up vehicles on the other side. She asked “so where are the vehicles?”! I pointed and said “what you mean those two smashed up vehicles right next to you”!

We went through all the procedures following a car crash and organised tow trucks, etc. By the time we had finished I realised my neck was aching and so, that night before I went to bed, I asked my friend to pray for my neck – that any aching would disappear and that I would not get a whiplash injury. I woke up the next morning pain free, and I have remained that way since. I am pretty sure it was a miracle because, from what others have told me, I should have had some whiplash injury from an impact of that force! I am very grateful.

Coma Recovery (28 Apr)

(Continued from the story below, reported in March 2013)

Jan from Mariners received a text (28 April) from N (Olly’s mum) saying : “Jan, Olly just took his first steps and we will be transferred back to Wrexham hospital this week for a few days and then home – completely DISCHARGED!!! I can’t believe it XXX” – with a line of happy smileys!

Jan says, “Thank you so much for the times you’ve prayed, and for what your support has meant to N. From Olly being knocked down by a car and being, in her words, so broken – and from the “There’s nothing we can do” messages from the doctors to this … WOW!! Thank you God – you are just indescribably amazing!! Oh – a little P.S. – Olly hasn’t spoken but he did giggle loudly when N his mum tripped over her bag and landed on his bed

Coming Alive (21 Apr)

J said, “I believe God is working in my life right now. I responded to a word at Mariners on Sunday about someone who felt alive but not living. I have felt like that for a very long time now, as if everyone else is getting on with their lives, but I didn’t really feel part of it.
I believe my healing started recently when I felt able to cry – something I had not been able to do for quite a long time. Now, it’s happened quite a lot recently. It’s been a real release. I really sensed God comforting me, which is something I’m not used to. I am beginning to feel much freer and I feel more mellow inside, which is positively affecting my response towards other people. I don’t really understand it all, but I genuinely feel very different.

I genuinely believe I’m not alone any more. It’s as if I know God will help me with whatever I need to do. God just keeps comforting me and just very gently saying that He’ll help me, so I don’t feel I have to do everything on my own any more. I feel that, because God is with me and I’m genuinely loved unconditionally by Him, I’m starting to reconnect with the world around me again. Consequently, I feel as though I’m coming back to life. I’m loving every minute of God working in my life. I feel as though He is putting me back together again. I used to be depressed and suicidal, but God has removed all that already and given me a reason for tomorrow”.

Neck, Jaw & Shoulders (21 Apr)

Carol King, “I was diagnosed with arthritis as a child; it is in my family. I have had x-rays showing the damage to the bones, which become rough over time. I have damage in my neck, jaw and shoulders. I have particular problems with my jaw, which crunches when I chew or yawn.

I responded for the second time to the word on Sunday for a stiff neck. This Sunday, I felt heat and then as if my shoulders were being re-arranged. A good deal of stiffness in my shoulders has gone, and stayed gone. I’d say they are 50% better than before. My jaw is still crunchy with arthritis, but I can open it more normally. By Monday, I estimated the improvement to be 85%. It has continued to improve and I would put the improvement now (Tuesday) at 95%.

My neck is still stiff but rotation is improved – I can see more when I look behind. It is clearly a work in progress.

I’m also aware that God is dealing with my tendency to be anxious and worry, which of course is the opposite of faith. Praise God! I’m so thankful… and I eagerly expect more. God is SO good, and so is Mariners. Thank you for these services”.

Back (21 Apr)

Nam said “On Thursday night, pain in my back suddenly came on – a deep muscular sort of pain at one point in my back, and I couldn’t sleep much on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. It hurt a lot if I twisted either way. Then on Sunday at Mariners, a word of knowledge was given for back pain, so I went forward and received prayer. At the end of the prayer, the pain had reduced and it only hurt if I twisted to the left, so it was a 50% improvement. By the evening, I would say it was 80% better and I had a really good night’s sleep, praise God!”

God in Southern Asia (Apr)

Dan Browne took a team to Southern Asia recently. He reports:

One day we had to make a trip through the mountains, which we knew was potentially dangerous. In fact, one of the expats had said that morning that since 10 foreigners were brutally gunned down in the mountains 2 years ago, just the thought of going to the mountains with us that morning made her hyperventilate! That was an encouraging word before our trip! Another one said it filled her with terror. These were seasoned expatriate workers! So, having prayed and weighed up the dangers, we decided the trip was worth it.

We set off in two mini buses and drove about an hour out of the city towards the mountains. As we came to the mountain pass, I could feel a sense of foreboding rising up in me and I pulled my headscarf tighter over my head. There were 14 of us, including one native driver. I was driving the other vehicle.

We headed for the pass and then suddenly, to my utter horror, the vehicles engine stopped and wouldn’t start – literally 50 yards from the pass! We couldn’t get it to start – and so we sat in the middle of the road, being eyed suspiciously by a bunch of locals. We’d been warned earlier about the main threat being terrorists on motorbikes who were likely to come and do a sudden raid – to kidnap or rob or worse. As I looked, there were several people around on motorbikes. I’m thinking “Oh no … this is not a relaxing day out”!

We managed to get everyone off the road by using the other mini bus to ferry them to an out of the way spot and the driver worked on the engine. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, came a couple of truckloads of security personnel in some kind of uniform and armed to the teeth! They drove straight past our vehicle and through the pass – closely followed by a silver land cruiser with tinted windows. Then they were gone through the pass.

It was a short while after that that our vehicle suddenly started again! We heard from the driver that the trucks with soldiers were escorting a VIP through the mountains and that the soldiers went through first to make sure that there were no bandits waiting to attack the VIP or anyone else. Not only did they do that, but they also cleared the way for us! Got sent a VIP escort for us! We were able to go through and come back with no incident. Who knows what might have happened but for what God did! It’s often been like that over the years.

We also saw many people healed. We were meeting with locals – someone heard we were there and so they brought a crippled boy to us to be prayed for. He didn’t get healed that day but his whole countenance changed and he began smiling and laughing as we prayed.

Another young man’s tumour dissolved as we prayed – it got smaller and smaller then suddenly disappeared. He couldn’t believe it! He kept feeling and searching for it – at first refusing to believe it had gone!

As we prayed, a lady’s leg grew longer right before our eyes. She had been suffering with hip pain for years because of having one leg longer than the other. She stood and exclaimed in wonder and disbelief “Oh my God”! Indeed!

Many other healings happened including one other boys leg which grew 3 cm longer as we prayed and worshipped. Others had healing from knee pain, foot pain, toothache and back ache!

Asphyxiation (18 Apr)

On Monday 15 April, a colleague took a call from her son in law informing her that her 5yr old granddaughter Phoebe had had an accident playing on the garden swing. She had spun on the seat and choked herself as she got tangled in the rope. She had stopped breathing. The paramedics got her breathing and had taken her in the ambulance. We were all quite shocked. I instinctively prayed for her recovery.

The following day we were called to say that the little girl was in a drug-induced coma and they would have to wait and see how she was. Today our colleague was with us and she said that the little girl was talking and all of her Limbs were functioning. She was moved from ICU to the high dependency ward. The medics have said that in most cases of asphyxiation in children they don’t survive, and her progress is remarkable!

I was aware that God had prompted me that he had answered my prayer. This felt like a real breakthrough for me, after some seemingly unanswered prayers over the past couple of years. Phoebe was discharged from hospital on Friday 19 April (5 days after the accident).

God’s Faithfulness (14 Apr)

Someone who has been a member of Mariners for only a few months could not have been further away from God in his previous life. He joined us, very tentatively at first, always standing at the back. From poor choices made previously, he had a number of debts. In his time with us, we have seen a marked change – he could not be more helpful and is so willing to pitch in where he can. He asked for the following moving prayer he wrote to be made public: “Thank you, Lord Jesus, for providing me with such wonderful, caring, loving people in this marvellous church, Mariners. I thank you for bringing me closer to being debt free, through the works of your people here at Mariners [the church paid off one of his debts]. I thank you for life and not death, which once looked like the only option left for me. You are the Lord, King, Provider, Carer, Lover, Friend and the Light that now leads my path through this journey of life. Lord Jesus, thank you”

Prostate (6 Apr)

(Peter) In June 2012, a church member in his seventies said that due to prostate problems, he had to go to the loo between six and seven times each night. As a result, his sleep was disturbed, he got tired and his energy levels were low. We prayed for healing of his prostate. A week or so later, he said that he had only had to get up three times and that ‘it makes a lot of difference’. He was so thankful to God for the dramatic improvement. Having asked him recently, he said that the improvement had been sustained and is so much better than last year! We are continuing to pray for complete healing, so that he does not have to get up in the night at all.

Financial Provision (7 Apr)

Glory says “I wasn’t going to come to Church on Easter Sunday. But something (I think, God!) told me that I would regret not going. My problem wasn’t physical, but financial. I often felt my problems were less important than those that were physically hurting. I kept telling myself that I could somehow figure it all out on my own (even though I had done all that I could and still wasn’t impressed with my handiwork!)

As people from the congregation got up to share what God had revealed to them about people’s needs, I was ready for the usual physical ailments. But Andy had said something profound during his service – God’s good news looks different to different people at different times. If you are enslaved by debt or addiction, getting free of it is Good News! I was daring God in my heart to come through for me.

That one last bill needed paying, and I didn’t know how I was going to make it work. A call was made for anyone who had come to church wondering how on earth they were going to meet a debt, to come and receive an envelope with money in it. I sat there in awe! He had shown up just as He had promised. I stood and received prayer – received His freedom. I didn’t walk away empty handed either – the money in the envelope will go a long way to help me meet that last bill! God’s good news for me today (Easter Sunday) is His goodness and favour. God really hears our cry when we call. Thank you Jesus!

Then things just got even better! For some time now, my mother living in London has been struggling with some mental health issues. In her confused state, she had somehow concluded that I was taking money from her. She had really distanced herself from me – this has been painful as we used to be really close. Recently, I had been to visit her, to help her complete various forms so she could continue claiming welfare benefits. This week, she rang me to say she had heard from the benefits office. I feared the worst! However, in their letter they had apologised profusely, saying that they had underpaid benefits to my mother since 2004 and the amount owing to her amounted to £28,000!!

I could hardly believe it. For a start, my mother rang me to tell me the news. She hardly ever rings me these days. There was no talk this time of me taking her money – the usual theme of our conversations! She seems to be at peace again. God’s breakthrough in my family this week in the realm of finances has been totally amazing!

Neck/Headaches (26 Mar)

(Bill) I had been suffering with bad headaches, so much so that I was often left feeling giddy. I was feeling very stressed at the time and wondered if this was the cause or was it due to eyesight problems (I am short sighted and my long-sight is also deteriorating). I was taking pain killers daily even though I am very reticent when it comes to taking medication.

However at a recent prayer gathering, I was being prayed for on an unrelated matter when I felt a real warmth on the back of my neck and I felt all tension leave me. I have not had a problem since then. I now know that it was a stress related problem and I am very grateful to the Lord for his touch.

Right Knee (24 Mar)

(Rory) For the past few years, I suffered from pain to my right knee. The pain for some strange reason tended to be worse upon waking and some mornings I really struggled to walk without limping. I have put this down to wear and tear – or as my children will say, old age! The pain felt as if there was something loose in my knee and the bones grated on each other. Recently, I have started running again and have been very concerned about the impact this would have on my knees.

On Sunday, I went to Mariners and Andy preached a sermon about healing. At the end of the sermon, words of knowledge were given. Two different people mentioned the right knee specifically. I had a sense that God wanted me to receive this healing. I probably would not have gone forward to receive prayer for my knee, but on this occasion Andy asked everyone to stand up if they had something that had been mentioned they wanted healing for. So I stood up and the people around me proceeded to pray for my healing. The prayers were simple but authoritative, as we had been instructed: “Knee, I command you in the name of Jesus to be healed!”

I did not feel heat, nor did I shake or fall to the floor, but what I did experience was a sense of peace washing through me and I felt my whole body strengthening. We were asked to test the areas that had been prayed for, so I proceeded to squat down onto my haunches and where, just moments before, there had been sharp piercing pain in my right knee, there was none! Two days have now passed and there continues to be no pain in my right knee.

Migraine & Lower Back Pain (24 Mar)

(Mike) Sunday was fantastic! I was starting to get a migraine during the service; I can recognise the early signs, and in a way I can almost taste them coming. Anyway, I was starting to get one, so when two people gave words of knowledge for migraines, I thought I would stand up for healing. Additionally, I have been suffering with a niggling back pain for a week or so now, lower right hand side near the kidneys; a word of knowledge was stated the right hand kidney. Double whammy!

I received prayer. After the first round of prayer, my migraine had all but gone and my back was less troublesome. However, after the second prayer, both were clear. My back was no longer aching and my head was crystal clear, and remained so all day. I often suffer with a migraine the next day if I have managed to stave one off, but today has been fine too. My back is probably 80% better today too – just a slight ache, but nothing that bothers me!

Right Knee (24 Mar)

(Rod) I received prayer for my right knee today. I wasn’t going to ask for prayer as…’I was a bit too proud to ask’ but I also thought I shouldn’t ask for something that was a bit trivial. What changed my mind was when someone…was specific about the pain, saying ‘behind the knee-cap, rubbing on the bone’, or something like that. After having recently had my pain diagnosed by my Doctor as ‘being caused by the back of the knee-cap rubbing on the bone behind it’, it was obvious that I should stand to receive prayer. …I am halfway through my shift at work and despite having climbed three flights of stairs several times, I have had no pain whatsoever. Coincidence? Not a chance! For months now, I have not been able to do this without at least feeling some pain. God speaks to us in different ways and we should take everything to Him, no matter how trivial we think it is. He is not only there for the big issues! He has reminded me of this today.

Excema (24 Mar)

(Jan) I prayed for Sandy (with a couple of others). His ear was troubling him; after we prayed, he said that it felt warm. Then we prayed again – he didn’t feel any difference straightaway but then over coffee he told me it was like excema and his ear had been really itchy, but now it was fine and was not bothering him at all.

Arthritis (20 Mar)

Peter got prayer for arthritis in June 2012. We recorded then “Peter had been suffering with painful arthritis in his hands for four months. He received prayer and felt warmth and tingling in both his hands. On moving his hands immediately after prayer, he was amazed to feel an enormous improvement. He said his right hand was 100% better and his left hand was 50% better. A couple of weeks later, Peter’s right hand was still fine. His left hand maintained its improvement, but still had some swelling and pain. He received more prayer and again felt warmth in his hands; on checking out his left hand, there was further improvement”.

Today, I asked him how it was. He texted me, “Arthritis in my two hands completely healed. Marvellous. Thank you”.

Knee (24 Jan)

Sue Dove, “Thought you would like an update on my knee, which had been so painful and weak – after one day of being back at work (after nearly 3 months off) I was struggling. It was crunching and feeling vulnerable. However, the good news bit – when Sue and Sarah prayed, my back straightened and it immediately felt strengthened and relieved. It had been out of alignment due to my knee. My knee also seemed stronger.

Over the last few days, my knee has stabilised – meaning that it doesn’t cause the pain and vulnerability that I had experienced since the op! Praise God, indeed – I have shared with some folk about the power of prayer – what a witness, eh!”