Teaching People to Connect with God – the Prayer Ministry of Penny Bailey

Penny Bailey has been teaching people how to pray for more than twenty years. The member of Wellington Square United Church in Burlington said that prayer has been “the blessing of her life”. “Prayer builds our personal relationship with God. It releases God’s loving power into lives and situations that we pray about.”

Prayer releases God’s love on earth,” she said. Although Bailey said she has always prayed, her prayer life deepened after she attended a Benny Hinn Crusade at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens twenty years ago. “I really went to pray for other people, but I was on crutches at the time because of a knee injury and arthritic joints.” By the time she left all her pain was gone and her mobility was restored. “I hadn’t been able to move like that in 15 years,” she said. “I was able to climb stairs. I felt a deep, deep sense of thanksgiving and then I really started to believe in miracles and to pray for miracles for others.”

For twenty years, Bailey has led sessions to teach people how to pray, based on Maxie Dunnam’s Workbook of Living Prayer. “I ran 50 session of that course,” she said, “and trained about 150 people. Some people took the course several times. It’s very exciting the first time people realize they’ve heard from God.” Although Bailey no longer leads the sessions, prayer courses continue to be taught at Wellington Square by other intercessors.

Bailey has seen many miracles come out of her prayer experience. “I started having prophetic dreams. One night I woke up in the middle of the night. I had dreamed about a fire and I knew it was real. I asked God to send help quickly and get everyone out safely. The next morning, my brother called from out west, and told me his place had caught fire the night before. He said that help came quickly and they all got out safely.”

For the past 24 years, every Friday morning, a group has gathered with Bailey, at Wellington Square to pray. They pray for the sick and distressed, the church, the staff, for church missions and for the next generation. In July and August the group prays in the park and also pray for the town emergency workers, children and camp and Vacation Bible Schools, for those traveling and for those who have requested prayer. Sometimes the prayer is done in a vocal form of intercession and other times the group sits in silence and listens for the voice of God.

Bailey likes to do what she calls “strategic prayer”. Bailey found out that there were more traffic accidents in Burlington at 4:00 on a sunny afternoon than at any other time. So she “started praying that drivers be refreshed as they drove home. I later read in the Burlington Post that there was a 22% drop in accidents at that time of day.”
Several years ago the prayer group prayed for a nurse with terminal lung cancer. After they prayed over her, the nurse told them that her breathing had improved and her pain was gone. “I felt led to tell her that her second report would be good,” Bailey said. “Sure enough, on her first report the cancer had stopped growing, but it was still there. On the second one, it was completely gone.”

Another notable miracle that Bailey remembers is of a young girl who had had chemo and radiation for a cancerous brain tumor. They also found tumors in her hip and her knee and they were going to amputate her leg above the hip. “We found out that the tumors in her knee and hip had disappeared and the brain tumor was gone.”
Every morning Bailey has a regular prayer routine she calls a blanket of prayer. She starts with praise, then confession, and then she offers prayers for others. She even prays when she’s doing the dishes. A miracle board is mounted above her kitchen sink with pictures of people she prays for. “I’m a visual person so it helps if I have a picture,” she said.

Although Bailey’s Friday morning prayer group is closed to due to the confidential nature of the prayers, in the summer time the group is open for more to join in. Interested parties can reach Bailey through Wellington Square United Church. She will also be conducting a prayer workshop as part of the Ministry in Motion Conference, November 13 – 15th at Wellington Square. For more information go to www.ministryinmotion.ca