Five years ago in 2011 we were in São Paulo, Brazil teaching The Elijah Challenge at a vibrant cell church calling itself by the acronym INEMPI. At that time the church was about ten years old and there were about 250 people present at our meeting. The report on that event is at Many healed; six souls harvested for the kingdom of God.
As we walked out onto the stage to preach at their Sunday morning service five years later last Sunday (January 31, 2016), we saw the crowd pictured below. The photo shows just part of the crowd which had gathered.
This cell church had exploded in the five years since we had trained them with The Elijah Challenge.
That Sunday we preached from James 5, teaching about healing prayer for sick believers:
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. (James 5:14-18)
After this teaching we prayed over the sick in the congregation according to our understanding of James’ teaching, and the Lord was gracious to confirm His word. “The prayer offered in faith made the sick people well; the Lord raised them up.” Several people were miraculously healed at that moment from various infirmities. They came streaming forward up to the stage to testify publicly what the Lord had done for them during the healing prayer. They formed a line across the stage and waited to testify one-by-one. Some said that they could actually feel God’s healing power (like heat) at work in their bodies. On the left side of the photo below you can see our Brazil host Pastor Jonathan Ferreira (an elder statesman in the Brazilian Church) interviewing each person whom the Lord had just miraculously healed. Behind him stands Sister Lucille who had just prayed over the sick from the podium after our preaching, and behind Lucille stands Pastor Aldacir our interpreter.
We thank the Lord for His wondrous works in accordance with His promise for sick believers in James 5. If you’d like to know what we taught that Sunday from James 5, please click on Ministry to Sick Believers in the Context of the Body of Christ according to James 5.