We were sitting in the Harrogate Conference Centre many years ago listening to Mahesh Chavda speaking at the “Healing in the ’90’s” conference with John Wimber. We had been asked to look after John at the conference, but he was resting in the hotel next door while Mahesh spoke.
The thing that intrigued us was Mahesh’s approach to the morning session. He began to tell us about a time when he had to repent to his dog who had snapped at his son and cut his face. He was really cross with the dog and it had made a big problem between the two of them!
The next thing he said was very interesting - he talked about a lady he’d prayed for in Ohio who had cancer and she was totally healed.
A few weeks later he was in a neighbouring city and she joined the prayer line so that she could thank him for the prayer and testify to what God had done. Then she asked if he could pray for her friend who also had cancer and was waiting outside. Mahesh asked why she was outside and her answer puzzled him. “Because she’s my dog!” She brought the dog in and he prayed for her. He went on to explain that it was perfectly OK to pray for sick animals and suggested that anyone who had cats, dogs (and numerous other animals) should stand and receive prayer for their pets.
It was now time to go and pick up John for lunch so we left the meeting and walked to the hotel nearby - wondering how we were going to explain what just happened in the meeting. The conversation went something like this:
John, “How did Mahesh get on this morning?”
Martyn, “You don’t want to know!”
John, “Why is that?”
Martyn, “He’s still in there praying for sick animals!”
John put his hands over his face and said, “God bless him!”
However, John went on to explain that there was a time when some children in the church phoned him to ask if it was OK to pray for pets. John asked why they were asking him and they explained that their hamster had tried to chew through the wire cage, had lost a few teeth and was covered in blood. His response was, “If you’ve got the faith for it - go for it!”
Seemingly, they did have the faith for it - went ahead and prayed - and the hamster became the proud owner of a few new teeth!
Now John was on a roll! He began to explain about a situation with John G Lake in South Africa in the early 1900’s. John was apparently walking through the downtown area of Johannesburg when he came across a commotion on a street corner. Apparently, a horse pulling a flat-bed cart had collapsed and died at the intersection and it created a logjam. Seizing his opportunity, John walked over to the horse, grabbed it by the ears, lifted its head and said, “In the name of Jesus, get up!” The horse shuddered, shook its head and stood to its feet. Seizing another opportunity, John climbed onto the cart and started preaching about the healing power of Jesus to the sizeable crowd that had gathered because of the commotion. A number of people gave their lives to the Lord - one of whom was the owner of a boxing arena in Johannesburg. After John had prayed for him, he told him about the boxing arena and said that he didn’t have any fights planned for the next six weeks and so the arena was his to use as a venue for meetings.
John G Lake and his new disciple hand-printed flyers for the crusade meetings and started distributing them in the surrounding area. The first night the arena was two-thirds full and many people gave their lives to Jesus. After that, it was full night after night for the next few weeks and literally hundreds of people became disciples of Jesus.
All because someone had the faith to step out, seize the opportunity and minister healing to a dead horse!
So, next time your friend or neighbour tells you that their cat, dog, snake (be careful!), hamster or budgie is sick - you know what to do . . .