the power of testimony and answered prayer

And so we are in to February already… and if one thing has marked this year to date at the Sanctuary’s centre, it’s an awareness of a marked increase in the number of obvious answered prayers we have been witnessing.


Some of these answers have been instant – and some have come long after we prayed. Some have been small some big.

Some have been at an obviously miraculous physical level. Some have looked more like turned around circumstances that could be explained away if you tried to, but wisdom whispers something different. And some have happend at the most impressive level of all – the transformation of human hearts.

To mention just a few things from the last month alone... we have recently witnessed specific answers to prayer around remarkable provision; incredible new links, relationships and opportunities to influence; a physical healing; marked improvement in the mental health of a number of people; a job provided; the safe escape of 200+ people from the capital city of the Central African Republic and an offer from a volunteer to score the Sanctuary’s songs so we can make sheet music as well as chord sheets available.

And of course every time we meet to worship at the Sanctuary we stand in a living, solid, 3D testimony of what God is able to build from nothing.

And we dare to believe that the biggest shifts in the headlines we have seen over recent months – even as far as ceasefires – have come because people have agreed with the heart of God for peace. And cried out for enough to be enough in Jesus’ name. We are hoping we have been some of those people, and that we will continue to be.

All these testimonies give us a new confidence to pray – to expect to see change. And we are learning how important it is to cling to them in the face of what we are praying for.

We often return to the ancient practice of recounting prayer as we list all the things that spring to mind that God has done – an ever growing list! – to remind us of his faithfulness and power as we lift new situations to him.

He is not just able to do more than we ask or imagine. He already has done more than we asked or imagined. He is acting in a similar way today – whether we have seen it yet or not. And he will do so again and again – for he is yesterday, today and forever the same. Good. Loving. And mighty to save.

We needed to remember what the Lord has done this morning again… as we prayed for our nation with heavy hearts.

And as we reflected again on the joy and sorrow of sharing God’s heart for our broken world we returned to one of our bedrock scriptures… Isaiah 58. It contains both a challenge and a promise. And what a beautiful promise… that as we stand beside the broken we will become like a well-watered garden…

We have experienced this truth. As we try – with God’s help – to spend ourselves on behalf of the oppressed, we are seeing some of our prayers for them answered visibly. And when we do, it feels exactly like looking at a well-watered garden – or like seeing streams in the desert. Breakthroughs that are more beautiful still for the desolation they have come from.

And these testimonies of answered prayer and God’s deliverance are our strength and protection – enabling us to keep facing the pain in and around us, interceding for change and taking action to part of the answer with unshakeable hope:

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”                  (Isaiah 58:6-12, NIV)

One Response to “the power of testimony and answered prayer”

  1. anne hollis says:

    Great page of testimony and encouragement to press on on behalf of the poor and oppressed. keep up the great work!
    With love
    Anne x