Jesus tickles OK! 21 March

After my last two serious postings I wanted next to tell a story of God doing something lovely. But I didn’t have a story to tell. Until 2 days ago…

Last Friday I went to talk to a friend who could let me know if a detail I had written in my next novel is unbelievable or not. It seemed to me that Jesus was encouraging me to offer to pray with him, not for himself, but for someone he knows. This ‘word’ came to me through using the ‘Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice’ by Mark Virkler ( Albert, my friend (not his real name) and I had prayed together before, so I felt not too awkward in making the offer. I still knew that I could be accused, as I have been before, of being religiously pushy.

Albert was very happy with my offer and wanted to pray for his grandson, Paul (not his real name either.) About two years ago Paul, then about 5, was critically ill with kidney failure. The doctors had told the family to prepare for the worst. Albert, his wife, and I prayed earnestly together. The lad recovered. He was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder. Last week he had had a check-up which showed him to be doing fine. But they warned that in future he may well need a kidney transplant. Paul is very close to Albert’s heart.

I talked with Albert about finding a picture of the Holy Spirit coming to Paul which we would use in prayer. (Person Centred Prayer Ministry: I suggested beams of sunshine or streams of cleansing water, with a little mention of Jesus’ hand as another possibility. In the past Albert and I have prayed for light and he has experienced light, so I was expecting that to be his choice. As I was talking, Albert was surprised to find himself picturing Jesus, with His hands up in front of Him at shoulder height, palms out, like ‘I surrender.’

I said Jesus was showing His hands for us to ask Him to place them on Paul. It is common that Jesus or the Holy Spirit come close, waiting to be asked to come closer, to be invited to do something particular – as we did. Albert then thought Jesus leant forward and down, reaching out His arms. I asked Jesus to put a hand on Paul’s lower back, and then wondered where Jesus’ other hand was. What came was that Jesus was tickling Paul under his chin. I’m never too confident about the ‘pictures’ I see as they are hazy impressions, but I told Albert. I also tickled Albert under his chin to show what I had seen. It didn’t mean anything to him. We were both encouraged to have seen something, but had no sense of anything significant having happened.

Paul was staying with Albert later that night – his wife was on holiday with her sisters. Albert said nothing about praying with me. They had a good time at the local pub with Paul arranging to see the bar girl again. They had fish and chips, and were sitting watching TV. Paul turned to Albert and said ‘Grandad, please will you tickle me?’

Albert was taken aback. Paul had never asked anything like this before. He was also taken back to our prayer earlier that day. Calmly, Albert agreed. ‘Yes, if you want. Where shall I tickle you?’ ‘Under my chin, just here – and on my hands.’

Albert stroked Paul gently under his chin, where Paul had indicated and where I had tickled Albert, and on the palms of his hands where Paul had showed him. ‘That’s really nice,’ said Paul. His body relaxed, and he decided it was time for bed. He slept deeply in the renewing peace of Jesus. Maybe Jesus’ hands were on him all night, renewing his kidneys?

Wow! Thank you Jesus!

Roger Harper

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