Evangelist Rick Bonfim has been in ministry since the age of 14, but in his profound new book, Praying with Accuracy, he says it took him a number of years with fasting "several days a month, waiting on God, and asking Him for wisdom" to learn how to pray powerfully and effectively for hurting people.
This search to discern the essential deep needs of people who come to him for prayer began with a ministry trip to Mississippi. The event is described in the preface of Praying with Accuracy. I think many of us can, at some point, identify with Bonfim's vulnerable admission shared in his book's opening.
He says he preached on Lazarus at a church and then invited people to come to the altar for prayer if they felt far from God. "The response was overwhelming when over 90% of those attending came forward." Bonfim wrote that "as they knelt at the chancel rail, I saw so many faces. Before me were faces filled with fear, faces trying to hide anger, faces with sadness, and faces revealing trauma and hurt."
The problem was that Bonfim did not know how to get beneath the surface of what he was seeing. He did not know what to pray or how to find the root need beneath the symptoms so easy to see. Bonfim says, "The Spirit of God had been convicting a whole congregation, and I ... felt completely out of the process." He felt like a bystander rather than like a follower of Jesus released in power and authority to heal these people.
I think many Christians who hunger to miraculously help others in physical and inner healing can identify with this helplessness and uncertainty about what to say and do. Certainly, the disciples in the Bible also reveal to us that confusion and ineptness can be part of the growing experience to becoming adept in ministering in power and with the authority freely granted by Jesus.
Bonfim's book, Praying with Accuracy, provides hope and direction. How can we gain faith, certainty and know-how in our desire to participate in the healing ministry of Christ today? Bonfim's book and ministry have been full of guidance and encouragement for Christians "running after" all that Jesus has for us to experience as his followers and apprentices.
You can learn to get to the deepest issue in the life of someone who comes to you for prayer and help. Bonfim says in this book, "... you must get to the very essence—the core need that is the single most influential factor affecting the life of the individual before you. Getting to the heart of the need will require the leading of the Holy Spirit and the proper use of Scripture."
But the good news is that Jesus can teach us!
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye on you" (Ps. 32:8).
For more from Evangelist Rick Bonfim on hearing the voice of God and knowing how to help people, particularly with inner healing and deliverance, listen to this episode of Rooted by the Stream with Dr. Pam Morrison on Charisma Podcast Network now.
Dr. Pam Morrison is a pastor who has both led churches and also ministered in the inner city and elsewhere with recovering addicts as a pastoral counselor and as part of a healing rooms ministry. She has seen much physical and inner healing. Pam loves ministering overseas and has had a special relationship with people in Cuba for many years. She is the author of Jesus and the Addict: Twelve Bible Studies for People Getting Free from Drugs, available in English and Spanish. Her website is pammorrisonministries.com. Her podcast with Charisma Podcast Network is called Rooted by the Stream. You can email her at email@example.com.
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