Ok – so I haven’t been around this blog much for the last few days, mainly because I have been involved with our local healing festival, an experience that was really valuable in many ways.
I saw the ad on the local Supa Valu store a few weeks back – ‘pranic healing, holographic re-patterning, cranio-sacral balancing, reiki, aura drawings… etc etc… but no prayer for healing. I figured we could have a crack at that.
I’m not particularly gifted either in healing or in prayer, but I can pray and I reckoned it’d be great to be in the mix of all that was happening. So we managed to secure a spot and got organised very quickly.
I rang both Ross Clifford and Phillip Johnson, two blokes who have written this book and who have been involved in the Mind Body Spirit expo in Sydney for the last 13 years. They were really valuable in helping me think thru how we would function.
What We Did:
Ross and Phillip both suggested that the critical part of the whole deal was actually getting people to stop and engage. From there it is a matter of sensing the way forward.
So… on their advice, we put up a poster of the ‘Jesus in the Snow’ image and also had it on the small ‘invite cards’. As people walked past we’d give them a card and ask them if they could see the face either on the board or on the card.
This began some fun conversation because some could see it and others couldn’t. From there we would refer them to the other notice board that had 10 different images of Jesus (lifted shamelessly from here). We asked people which image of Jesus they could relate to. Most people enjoyed this and responded well.
On the coffee table in front of us were a set of picture cards with a sign stating ‘every picture tells a story’. If people were still around they usually asked us ‘what we do?’ What is our ‘thing’?
We’d explain that ‘christocentric healing’ referred to drawing on the power of Christ thru prayer to possibly bring healing to mind body or spirit. We would then tell them that if they could choose a card to depict where there life is at and then share some of that story, we would pray from them and ask God for what they needed.
It was a very effective way of engaging people and drawing out what was happening for them in a way that ensured they were comfortable.
Most people took a card and pondered the picture. Many stopped and looked at the Jesus pics. Quite a number went further and spoke of where their life was at and around 15 people over the weekend were happy to have us pray for them. The cards were promoting a course I’d like to run called ‘Attaining Christ Consiousness’. I’m not sure if anyone will take it up but we’ll see!
- It was really enjoyable and very easy to engage people.
- 90 % of those present were women. All the people we prayed for were women.
- The vibe was very casual and laid back and the other folks working there were very friendly.
- There are many ex church goers present at these events. Our conversations uncovered many people either disillusioned with the church system or unable to experience God in a meaningful way.
- There is a huge spectrum of healing practices from the deeply spiritual to the much more physical. I sensed that there were some practices in the room that I could benefit from.
- I need to drink more water…
- I would pray more slowly. As evangelicals we do have a tendency to simply blurt it out. In an environment where people are looking to experience something I reckon we need to give them time to encounter God in some way – to feel stuff during the prayer. We did take our time to some degree and ask people what they were feeling (everyone felt ‘something’) but I just struggled to go slow. I reckon we could do this much better.
- Bring a box of tissues – most people we prayed for cried.
- Develop a few other alternative ways to get people stopping and engaging.
So here’s a serious question for you…
These guys got together and put on a healing festival. I’m sure part of it was to promote their own businesses, but I also know many of them are very keen to see people healthy and well.
They allowed us to come (as you would hope they would.)
What if… the churches in the area put on a combined healing event (hey what a novel idea…) and these guys asked to be part of it – the reiki girls, the crystal balancing lady, all the practices not compatible with a Jesus worldview… would we allow them into our festival?
By the way, as I was leaving the key organiser who was pretty toey about our involvement first up, actually shifted to being very friendly and we got an invite to come back next year. So I reckon that says we slotted in pretty well.
Here’s the invite we used… we changed the cost from $60.00 to $30.00 (for 6 weeks)