A missionary in Africa wrote this in his newsletter, ‘for the first time in my life I understand what this verse in Psalm 126 means – ‘Those who sow in tears will reap in joy’.
Then he went on to describe how he would watch some of the African mothers sowing seeds whilst their babies remained strapped to their backs. They would sow the grain that they really needed to grind for flour. They knew if they would eat their seed they would have no meal tomorrow. As they were sowing they would weep having no other choice but to sacrifice what they had today for a greater reward later on.
We shared this story to the team before we went out to pray on Edgbaston St. We had a sense that perhaps some folks would come for prayer in tears because they too did not want to sacrifice this season’s seed. They were crying because of difficult choices they would have to make in their lives, or maybe because of the choices that other people had imposed upon them. Whatever the cause of people’s sorrow, God has the power to transform it into a future of joy and peace.
During our prayer session before we went out, some words and thoughts came to us which we thought might relate to people coming for prayer. Some of those words and thoughts were Blue umbrella, Hunched back, Endoscopy and Wheelchair.
The first person prayed for by one of the team members had an endoscopy arranged. A lady on a wheelchair came for prayer. From the prayer record book I can’t see any record of prayers for someone with a blue umbrella or Hunched back. If any of the team members prayed for someone with this condition or description, would you feed back to us, please?
Some of the other prayers recorded in the book were for:
- A job interview
- A man in need of reassurance of being forgiven. The team sensed God’s spirit working in him as they prayed, and an overwhelming peace surrounded them.
- A woman with emotional and mental health issues. The team prayed that in addition to medical treatment she would find good friends to be with her when she needed them most.
- A girl who was being bullied by her teenage friends.
- An on-going eye condition which God is healing stage by stage.
- Someone’s nephew who committed suicide, and their family who are experiencing great distress, pain, loss and suffering.
- Someone who had to make a tough decision.
- A man in deep grief and pain as his four year old disabled brother had passed away.
- A lady worried about health issues. She was very touched by the love the team showed her and expressed in their prayers.
- A small child brought by her father. She sat on the chair and the father explained she had an internal damage in her forehead, and that this could kill her at any time. The father wanted us to pray for her but not with her, so they left. As they went, the last thing we saw was a big smile on this little girl’s face. The team, still kneeling, prayed over the empty chair for the little girl in faith. Would you pray for her in faith too?I’d like to finish this feedback with the following email that I received from one of our team members about this session.My overwhelming feeling was that the ‘sow in tears and reap in joy’ was the overwhelming message of the day. I don’t think that I have heard so many harrowing stories out on Edgbaston St for a while. It’s encouraging that God prepared us to sow seeds in the faith that He would bring the harvest in due course… Revd Elsie Blair-Chappell