A few weeks after my trip to Chicago, when I found out that I was an anointed chicken instead of a mighty man of faith, I was shopping at Walmart with my friend, Jon. We were looking for fishing equipment, but God had bigger plans. He was intending to teach me about His fishing equipment and give me another opportunity to learn to become a fisher of men. Jon and I were simply walking through the store; we were talking and just hanging out. We were not talking about spiritual stuff, just talking about life.
One of the Walmart employees walked up to us and asked if we needed any help. We said, “No, we’re just hanging out and looking around.” The employee continued to follow up and was persistent about wanting to help us find something. (Isn’t it funny when you go to a store and need assistance you can never find anyone, but when you want to be left alone they won’t leave you alone?) So, being the nice, sweet Christian that I am, I eventually turned to him with a stern look on my face and said, “Leave us alone—we don’t need anything.” The employee turned around and walked off. My tone and attitude were clearly in a state of annoyance and I was obviously being a jerk.
As he was walking away, I had the impression that this guy had a pain or irritation in his eyes, and I needed to go and pray for him. My first thought was, No way! How can this be? I was so rude to him! But then I remembered what happened a few weeks prior at Popeye’s Chicken. What if this really is God and not my imagination? I don’t want to chicken out again. So now I had two hurdles to jump over. First, I had to overcome my fear and doubt, and second, I had to overcome being a jerk to this guy just moments before.
I decided that I would take a risk, so I went looking for the employee. I located him, but to make matters even worse, he was not alone. There were other employees around him. I drummed up my courage and walked up to the group and spoke to the man. I said, “Excuse me. You are never going to believe this, but I am a Christian, and sometimes God speaks to me.” I tried to act like a professional evangelist, but this was actually only the second time this had ever happened to me in public, and the first time I had chickened out.
I apologized to him for being rude, and then I told him that when he turned and walked away, I began to have a burning sensation in my eyes. As soon as I said these words, another set of words came out of my mouth before I could catch them, “You have had this condition for two weeks in your eyes and I believe God wants to heal you right now. Can I pray for you?”
He told me that my impression was correct and I could pray for him. I could not believe it! To begin with, I was correct in hearing the word of knowledge, and second, he was going to let me pray for him even though I had been a jerk. I suggested we go to an aisle that wasn’t crowded with people so I could pray for him.
I asked him to hold out his hands. After all, this is how we usually prayed for people in church; I was still a novice at praying for people in public. I prayed, “Holy Spirit, come and release your healing on this man now.” What happened next no one had ever prepared me for. After my short prayer, the man began to heave very loud breaths in and out. I did not know what to do, so I just stood there watching him. After a few moments of this I asked him, “Hey man, how are your eyes?”
He responded, “I can breathe! I can breathe!”
“I wasn’t praying for your breathing, I was praying for your eyes,” I said, bewildered.
“You don’t understand. I haven’t been able to breathe like this for months. I can breathe! I can breathe!” Then I asked him again about his eyes, “They are fine too!”
To be honest, I was completely shocked and puzzled by what had just transpired. I didn’t know what to say or what to do next. So I said, “Well, I guess its double bonus day for you, dude!” And I walked away, shaking my head, completely blown away by what just happened.
You may be thinking, You could have led this guy to Jesus! Not only are you a chicken, and a jerk, you are stupid! Yes, I would probably agree with you now, but at the time I was so shocked with what happened, I did not know what to do. This was only my second experience with the power of God outside of the church walls.
This encounter proved to be a watershed moment for me. There was a profound shift in the tectonic plates of my worldview. There was no turning back; I now knew by experience that God is willing and able to do in the streets what I had only seen Him do in church.
This is how I started in power evangelism - read part 1 -
Brian Blount - From the Sanctuary to the Streets - Kindle Edition.