I went hospital visiting last night, spending time with Luke Smith and George Harper. Both are great leaders at different ends of life – one in his thirties and one in his nineties. Both are visionaries working and praying in different ways for revival and wanting to get the most out of every drop of life God gives them. What a privilege to have people like that in church! Both are having a rough patch with their health, so it was good to sit round the bed with each of them – listening, talking and praying in the name of Jesus.

When I arrived home our Belfrey Group was well under way, meeting not around a bed but around our kitchen table. They were putting sweets, ribbons, cocktail sticks, foil and a candle into bags ready for the church’s annual Christingle service on Sunday. Kids love Christingle and it provides a good opener to Advent, as we begin to prepare for Christmas. Anyway, as people worked they were chatting and catching up, sharing news and things for prayer. It was brilliant. Practical. Personal. Prayerful. At the end we prayed for Neil Cole who’d arrived with an inflamed right ear which was temporarily deaf. So we got him to lay his hand on his ear, and we spoke to the ear and told it to hear, and told the infection and the pain to go and the deafness to disappear all in the name of Jesus. As we did so, Neil begin to laugh as he sensed things starting to happen inside his head. First he said he felt a gurgling sound, and then he could hear, and then the pain began to go. So we prayed some more, and by the time he left he was so excited as his ear was almost better. I received a text this morning that read: ‘Slept well, no pain. Improving. Thank you so much for prayers. Still grinning. :)’

It’s amazing what can happen sitting round a bed or a table in the name of Jesus.