Jesus, I want to see the deaf hear tonight

Jesus, I want to see the deaf hear tonight. – This is Chapter One from my book Putting Jesus on Display with Love and Power

This is a prayer I have prayed many times, but this evening in Brazil it seemed to carry a special weight. I was reminded of Isaiah 35:5, the Scripture that says, “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.” We had seen the blind see on that trip, but my heart was yearning to see the deaf hear, too. I wanted to put Jesus on display by doing the ministry He called every believer to do. And that includes healing the deaf.

A month previously, I had been ministering at a church in the United States when a young girl asked for prayer. She had been born without any ear at all on one side—it had been folded in on itself, and there was no shape of an outer ear and apparently none of the structures inside the ear that allow hearing to take place. Plastic surgeons had created an outer ear for her, but it was purely cosmetic. She had undergone surgery to help her doctors determine if hearing would be possible through a medical hearing device. The outlook was dismal outside of supernatural healing.

As I began to pray for this girl, I could feel a spirit of unbelief settle all around me. I could feel it trying to creep up inside me, to keep me from praying. I could feel it coming from the demonic forces that know a seed of unbelief can squelch out the conviction that Jesus still heals today and uses everyday people like you and me to do it.

It would have been so easy to launch into the “sometimes we don’t see healing happen, and sometimes Jesus heals gradually” speech, but instead I prayed for her. I prayed a quick, short prayer of command, telling the malformed ear to hear. I prayed again and again. Each time I prayed, I asked the girl to test out her ear and see if she noticed any difference. Gradually, she started hearing

faint sounds. Then louder sounds. Within moments, she could hear fully on both sides! She wept as she covered her good ear and others whispered into the opposite ear, which had lacked the necessary structures for hearing anything. She wept again as she held a phone up and had a conversation through an ear that had been impossible to hear through.

That evening in Brazil, as I prayed, Jesus, I want to see the deaf hear tonight, I recalled that girl’s face from a month earlier, beaming in the wonder of God’s goodness.

I had been in Brazil for a couple of weeks, ministering with my good friend Blaine Cook, and we had joined up with Randy Clark and his Global Awakening ministry trip to Brazil. That evening it was Blaine’s turn to speak, and I would be part of the ministry team. I had seen God do amazing things on this trip—there had been tremendous healings and outpouring of God’s power. But I had yet to see the deaf hear.

As we pulled up to the church in our bus, the prayer rose inside me again: I want to see the deaf hear tonight. When I walked into the building, I noticed a section reserved for the deaf ministry, something I had not seen at all in my weeks in Brazil. My faith skyrocketed. I knew that it was not just my prayer I had been praying. It was the Lord giving me faith. He was showing me what He wanted to do that evening. He wanted to heal the deaf.

At the end of the service I began ministering to people, but I was struggling because of the language barrier. I don’t speak Portuguese, and not many people spoke English. A woman named Ana approached me. “Do you need help? I could interpret for you,” she offered. She explained hesitantly that she had never interpreted before, but she was willing to try.

We began praying for people, and amazing things were happening. Ana wept as we saw more and more people healed of various illnesses and pains. She had never seen healings like this. I began coaching her in how she could pray for the sick on her own. She was amazed that people were getting healed through her hands. And yet my heart was yearning for the deaf section on the other side of the room.

“Ana,” I asked, “do you mind if we go over to the deaf section? Do you think any of the people there would like us to pray for them?” Not only did I not know Portuguese, I also certainly did not know how to sign. I knew I would definitely need Ana’s assistance to enlist the help of the people who were signing, who could translate for us.

“Let me go ask,” she said. She walked over to the deaf section, and to my astonishment, she began to sign with them. Ana knew Brazilian Sign Language! At that moment, I knew something supernatural was about to happen. That prayer I had been praying as I pulled up on the bus had come from God’s heart. What are the odds of being offered the help of someone who could interpret in English, Portuguese and sign language? This had to be a divine appointment. As Ana asked the people with deafness if anyone wanted prayer for healing, one lady quickly came forward.

I have a strong conviction that the ministry of Jesus is supposed to be reproducible and meant for all believers, not just a select few anointed disciples. Ana translated from English into Portuguese and Brazilian Sign Language, and I coached her as we both prayed for this woman’s hearing to be restored. We prayed three or four times, each time with the woman’s hearing beginning to open more and more. Eventually, her ears popped open and she could hear fully. She had been born deaf in both ears, so she had never heard anything. She did not yet have the ability to speak, but she could hear!

Tears were streaming down the woman’s face, and her eyes beamed with awe and joy. “It’s so loud!” she signed to Ana as noises she had never heard overwhelmed her. Immediately, the woman wanted to find her husband and share what had happened. He was also deaf from birth, and she thought, If my ears can be opened, maybe his can, too. She signed to Ana, asking if she could bring him over and we could pray. I told her through Ana, “We would love to pray for your husband, but I want you to help us pray!”

Ana and I then showed the woman how to help us pray for her husband. To her amazement, Jesus used her to help bring healing to him. The sweetest thing to me was that she was pregnant. These new parents would now be able to hear their baby’s cries and respond. They would learn their child’s voice. They would rejoice at his or her first words. A whole new world had just opened up to them.

We continued praying for more people in the deaf section. Each time someone was healed and could hear for the first time, I had that person pray with me for the next person. Jesus said in Matthew 10:8, “Freely you have received; freely give.” I was explaining in English, Ana was interpreting into Brazilian Sign Language, and then the now-hearing, formerly deaf people would help pray for their friends.

Another woman who had been born deaf had a husband who was not deaf. When he learned what had happened, he came up behind her and whispered in her ear. To his shock, she turned around at the sound of his voice, which she had heard for the first

time! They embraced with tears of joy rolling down their cheeks. Jesus was not only restoring hearing to her; He was bringing a deeper intimacy that this couple had never experienced before to their marriage.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” exclaimed the man who led the church’s deaf ministry. He was stunned as he went around to check on each of the people as they were healed, to make sure they could hear. I prayed for him and Ana for an increased impartation for healing, and the power of God came strongly upon both of them.

“I think your ministry to the deaf has just changed,” I told them. “Not only will you minister to them through sign language interpretation, but now your ministry will also include healing them!” Their lives were radically changed that night, too.

When I got back on the bus, I sat there in awe and wonder, reflecting on what had happened. Not only did we see hundreds of healings, my little prayer earlier on the bus to see the deaf hear was also answered beyond what I could have imagined. We had seen a fulfillment of Isaiah 35:5, “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.”

When I got back on the bus, I sat there in awe and wonder, reflecting on what had happened. Not only did we see hundreds of healings, my little prayer earlier on the bus to see the deaf hear was also answered beyond what I could have imagined. We had seen a fulfillment of Isaiah 35:5, “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.”

It was this lack of understanding I was confronting at a church service in South Africa when I said, “I know you all believe that God can heal people through me. But you don’t believe God could use you to heal the sick. You also don’t believe God could use the sick to heal the sick. You think you are disqualified because you have sickness. 

Both of those are lies from the enemy. God has called every believer to heal the sick, and He can even use the sick to heal the sick. You don’t believe it yet, but you’re going to believe it. Who here has a deaf ear on one side?”

Two women stood up and came forward. One woman had been deaf in one ear for a couple of years, and the other had been deaf on one side for much longer. I had the women face each other as I said to the congregation, “As a sign to you that God will use ordinary people, and that God can use the sick to heal the sick, I’m going to have these ladies pray for each other. As soon as they do, their deaf ears will completely open!”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I felt uncertain. It had been a gift of faith that had given me the boldness to make such a confident declaration, but now I was struggling. I thought to myself, Either something supernatural is going to happen or I’m going to be humbled, and I’m okay with either of those outcomes.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I felt uncertain. It had been a gift of faith that had given me the boldness to make such a confident declaration, but now I was struggling. I thought to myself, Either something supernatural is going to happen or I’m going to be humbled, and I’m okay with either of those outcomes.

As they did this, immediately both their deaf ears opened. The congregation was stunned. And I have to admit, I was stunned, too! These seemingly unanointed, broken, deaf ladies had prayed for each other, and both of them had received their hearing instantly.

This demonstration of God’s desire to use every ordinary believer to do the ministry of Jesus shifted the church. The result was a congregation of people who believed they could heal the sick. That evening, as a line of people who needed healing stretched from one end of the church to the other, 100 percent of them received healing, all through the hands of other people in their own congregation who believed Jesus wanted to use them. That night clearly demonstrated that it is not about the man of God; it is about the people of God.

It is not just physical deafness that Jesus wants to heal. He also wants to heal our spiritual deafness. As Jesus proclaimed, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 11:15 NKJV). I believe that what happened that day in South Africa was a prophetic sign to all of them, but also to all of us. Jesus wants to use everyone—even you—to put Him on display.

I believe a spiritual deafness has fallen over much of the Church today. It is a deafness that has kept people from hearing and believing that God has called every believer to put Jesus on display with signs and wonders. This spiritual deafness has blocked the ears of believers from hearing the commission He gave us. 

I believe this spiritual deafness has perpetuated the lie of the evil one that causes people to think, God can’t use me. Or, I’m not qualified; it’s only for an anointed few people. Or, These gifts have passed away. 

This spiritual deafness has blocked us from hearing Jesus’ commissioning to His Church (all believers): “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give” (Matthew 10:7–8).

We have all been commissioned to heal the sick, preach the good news of the Kingdom and demonstrate the love and power of God to those around us. It is not about possessing a special gifting or anointing. It is not about the great man or woman of God. It is about the great God of men.

I believe God has given us ears for the purpose of hearing, not only physically, but also spiritually. We as the Church and the people of God need to have ears to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying, in order that we might put Jesus on display with love and power.

Blount, Brian. Putting Jesus on Display with Love and Power (p. 23). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

For a free copy of chapter one of Putting Jesus on Display with Love and Power, fill out the form on the home page.

Here are two video testimonies that I talked about in this chapter…

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