Answers to questions from NCC special needs webinar by Pastor Chris Gore
What a joy to speak at the NCC webinar in March 2021. While there was not time to answer the questions on the night, as promised I would answer them all and post to my webpage. A number of the questions were very similar so some of them were not answered for the sake of duplication.
God revealed to me that boy boths would be completely healed & in ministry, am I blocking/delaying the healing?
That is incredible, and I would love to see more parents stand on God’s promises like this. I have seen many parents think that maybe they are the block to their children’s healing. There is nothing bigger than Jesus, and the price is already fully paid for. I truly believe that the only block to our healing is the block that we think is there.
How do I pray when my requests for healing or achieving certain milestones seem hard to reach?
It’s important that we don’t miss the miraculous because we are only looking for the spectacular. Yet when we live in a place of thanksgiving and are thankful for every little breakthrough and live in the place of thankfulness you’ll always be filled with hope. In life we need to have big requests in front of us that we are believing God for, but I also need to have everyday requests in front of me that I’m believing for.
If I am only believing for and pushing the larger rocks in life, it can quickly become discouraging. It’s important that I have both, because it’s seeing breakthroughs in the smaller things that give me strength and encouragement to push on the so-called larger needed breakthroughs!
How can we stay positive and confident of our special child's full and complete restoration, yet not let our child feel that they are lacking/ inadequate?
This is a great question. I believe that it’s important that we are always praying, the answer rather than just praying into and identifying the problem. It would be very easy for our child to feel inadequate if the prayer was all about the problem. Pray with thanksgiving and abundance and speak identity and Jesus into them.
How to be in peace and faith especially as a couple and family and not fear.
It’s important that we work hard to keep our peace in all circumstances. There are many times in a week that we need to stop when we feel fear or anxiety creeping in and remind ourselves that fear is not our friend. There are times when we need to actually stop and catch ourselves, pause and take a conscious step back into peace!
How to constantly live with peace about my child's condition? Fear and anxiety sometimes hit hard and the emotional roller coaster can be exhausting.
Yes it can be an exhausting journey. The only way I have found success in this, is to keep my contentment in the truth that I have Jesus. When my contentment is in the miracle, it tends to lead very quickly to fear, anxiety and an emotional roller coaster. The answer is not in the problem, it’s in Jesus!
How to keep our eyes on our Lord when things are not moving? Besides to keep hearing the gospel.
Well continuing to hear the Gospel is for sure a great way of keeping your eyes on the Lord. Another way that we have found to be a great source of encouragement and focus on the Lord is to do what we can to feast on the power of the testimony. Do anything you can to get your hands on healing testimonies of breakthrough of any kind. I have a saying that goes like this, I’m just 5 seconds away from depression. If I can keep my attention on what has happened and happening as opposed to what has not yet happened, I will be encouraged every minute and every day of my life.
How to remain in faith while you have not seen the physical evidence?
Sometimes we think that a person of faith is a person that sees results. However the bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 That faith is the evidence of things NOT seen. A person of faith to me, is the person that can set their eyes on Jesus and even in the absence of not seeing a miracle, not be swayed about the nature of Jesus. The most productive way that we can remain in faith, is to not put our contentment in the miracle, but having a steadfast contentment in the person and the nature of Jesus. It’s very easy to lose that place of faith when your contentment is in the miracle. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, faith is the by-product.
How do I continue to trust the Lord for healing while accepting my child's special needs.
The identity of the child and the condition of the child are two very different things. We need to learn to separate the two. Your child is the perfect gift from God, but the condition is not. If we don’t separate these two things, we will begin to accept the condition thinking it’s a gift from God. This is not the truth. Jesus came to give life and life abundantly. Religion and the politically correct spirit will tell us that we need to accept the condition as a gift from God. Yes we accept the child and love the child dearly, but we don’t accept the condition as a gift from God.
QUESTIONS ON HOW TO PRAY
There were many questions around the similar topic of how to pray for our children with special needs. I have answered this one with a general answer, as many questions were similar
I talk about this more in full in my book “The Perfect Gift” In John 14:27 Jesus says My peace I give to you. Many times I see Christians praying out of desperation which often comes more from the lack of peace that they carry. In the book of Mark we see Jesus in a storm with the disciples. Jesus was sleeping in the boat and the disciples were far from at rest. They never had authority over that storm, as we can only have authority over a storm in a storm that we have the ability to rest in. When Jesus speaks peace to the storm, the word in ancient Hebrew means the “Spirit that destroys chaos” Are we ministering out of the peace/Shalom that Jesus gave us, or are we ministering out of frustration and lack? We really can only give way what we know that we have. Many times our prayers are mere words, rather than powerful words/prayers that come out of a place of rest. If it was our desperation that got us healed, I would propose that we would all be healed. When I’ve watched others minister to special needs children it greatly concerns me, when I see them praying out of lack and spending more time praying the problem than praying the answer. They shout and use forceful strong language which I have discovered only upsets the children. Often the prayer is nothing more than ministering out of lack of identity than ministering out of rest and knowing the abundance of the one that lives in them.
QUESTIONS ON GOD'S WILL AND HEALING, AND WHY MY CHILD HAS A DISABILITY
If Jesus has already given us healing, do we still keep praying and asking for healing everyday? Or do we believe in Mark 11:24 and live by faith that my child is healed?
When we look at the life of Jesus who is our role model for ministry, we don’t see anywhere where He asked His father to heal someone. He just did it. In fact there is also nowhere in scripture that He teaches on healing, He just did it and told us to do the same (Matthew 10: 7-8)
If we went to work each day and we asked our boss to do our job, I’m not sure that we would have a job for very long. I walk very much in the theology of the finished work of the cross. Yet I’m also not going to put myself in bondage because I think I prayed the wrong prayer. Yes I love to align myself with what was paid for at the cross and the price that Jesus paid was in full and a complete work.
If God can heal cancer, all sickness, why does he not heal my sons issues? Does he not consider my child his because my child is unable to know of him and ask for healing and forgiveness?
I like to put it like this, there is not a condition that was not paid for at the cross. There is also not a person that was not paid for at the cross. It’s either a finished work or it’s not. We sometimes tend to think that the power of the cross does not apply to us. Well there are no special exemptions in the Kingdom. He’s not sitting in heaven deciding who He will heal and who He won’t. We are each His children. I would encourage you that He cares about your child more than you do and loves your child more in one second than any parent could love their child in an entire lifetime. The choice to heal your child was paid for at the cross. It’s not our performance that heals us or even our ability to forgive. It’s God’s kindness and goodness that brings us to repentance, it’s not our repentance that brings His goodness. The more we can come back to the simplicity of the gospel knowing that it’s not our performance but His performance, the more we see the power of the gospel flow. Let’s not elevate autism to the too hard basket. There is no name above the name of Jesus and there is no condition that has not been paid for in full.
Why does God allow disabilities (intellectual & developmental disabilities)? And please don't say it's because of sin or the fallen world or because it will be for God's glory. Why don't God heal developmental disabilities in his children? Why don't the Church care more about children with disabilities and their families? This is the population that is often overlooked within the church. Only in recent years churches started to see the needs of families of children with disabilities. Probably because more and more people in their congregation have this issue, though it has existed since decades ago. Disability is not a new thing and I always wonder where God's people are to help this population.
There are multiple questions within this statement, so I will do my best. Like you, I have an issue when people say it’s for God’s glory. God is not glorified in our sickness, He Is glorified in our health. If God made us sick for Jesus to then heal us, I would suggest that we then have a divided kingdom and a divided kingdom will not stand. He never sent or allowed sickness, to teach us a lesson, in fact He sent Jesus to teach sickness a lesson. The more we align to the power of the gospel the more we will see special needs children healed. Yes we are beginning to see breakthrough and have seen many special needs children now healed. But we need to see more!
Yes I would agree with you that the church often overlooks children with special needs and that is just heartbreaking. That needs to change and it will change if each one of us does our part to love on special needs children. I’m just so thankful that I am beginning to see churches take notice and not overlook these precious children. There are so many churches that I am now aware of that have ministries for special needs children and their families and loving them so well and standing for healing in their lives. It’s time for God’s people to stand and love well and stop projecting powerlessness.
Have you encountered anyone healed of autism? What is the Lord's heart for this group of children? I work with children with special needs.
Yes I have seen a number of special needs children either get significant breakthrough or full breakthrough. I would love to tell you that I have seen them all get breakthroughs, but that would not be the truth, however, the only way that we will see breakthroughs is by stepping out in risk and going after all that Jesus paid for. Unless we take a stand and go after this, we won't see a breakthrough.
What do you do if you're trusting God for help and refusing to send your child for early intervention because you're trusting God by faith? What do you do if you're trusting God for help and refusing to send your child for early intervention because you're trusting God by faith? Because I have a friend who has a child with special needs, but is refusing to acknowledge this despite all the teachers and principals trying to offer help, because they are believing by faith for God to help improve the child's condition, and missing out on early intervention. As this seminar is looking at this from a Christian perspective, I definitely would like to know how I can help, and what to do.
Great question! I don’t believe it one or the other. It’s both and.. Let’s put this in a medical term. If I am overweight and have diabetes, an act of power could get me healed, but stewardship of my body is likely to keep me healed. I have seen so many people who live in bondage, because they think if they go for early intervention or medical help they are not standing in faith. Yet perhaps they don’t seek medical or early intervention not because they are standing in faith, but because they are standing in fear. Perhaps they could be afraid of what the Doctor may say, or the report or diagnosis the Doctor might give. If I am sick I want to go to the Doctor, so I know how to Pray and how I can best steward my body. The Doctor may give you facts but Jesus is not the spirit of fact, He’s the spirit of truth. I’m not afraid of what the Doctor might tell me. It makes me sad when I see people rebuke the Doctor when the Dr just gave you facts. They are paid to do this. I need facts so I can apply the truth of Jesus to my situation. As a father I would be wanting to do everything I can to help my child in the natural why also applying truth and believing for the supernatural intervention of heaven.
What are we missing out that we don't see healing happening in special needs children? I work as a Music Therapist for children with special needs, and really want to see divine healing in these children.
Firstly, thank you for what you do as a teacher to special needs children. We need more people like you! Yes it bothers me as well, when I don’t see a child healed. I know that the lack is not on God’s side. When I don’t see healing it brings me back to my knees or praying Father I need a greater understanding of my identity. We are your body and you healed everyone that came to you. They came to me and they did not get you! I have to use it to stir my heart for greater breakthroughs. We never condemn the people that did not get healed, but I use the situation to push in for more and allow it to be fuel on my fire..
QUESTIONS ON ACCEPTANCE AND HOW TO SEE MY CHILD
How do "accept" your child yet want him "fixed/healed" at the same time? How do you deal with fears about his future?
This is a very sensitive topic to deal with especially when dealing with parents with special needs children. Many parents of special needs children would not see their children as broken or needing fixing. It’s a subject that needs to be dealt with great sensitivity and love. Many parents come to the resolve that in the lack of healing then it is how God made their child. Its often at this point that the condition of the child becomes the identity of the child. So to many if I was to say I hate autism, they would be highly offended, as they think I just said I hate your child. This is clearly not the situation. The child is the perfect gift from God, but the condition is not. I love the child and of course I accept the child and love them dearly. I just don’t love the condition and don’t accept that as a gift from God. I have learnt to pull the identity and the condition apart as two separate things. This is such a sensitive subject, as I would never want someone that has made the condition the identity, think that I'm out to fix them. I want to be known for the love that I have towards the child. So do I love my child unconditionally? Yes absolutely. I love her just as she is. When I pray with her I am always speaking into her identity, rather than trying to deal with a problem. If we are not careful our children will begin to think that they are not accepted or loved. Love has to be number one!
With regards to dealing about the fears of the future. I have discovered that there is always grace for today. I'm not so sure that grace is available for my worries of tomorrow, so I do my best to live in the grace of today! It is for sure very tiring to have your attention on the fears of the future. I have found that many of the things I have worried about for the future, never happened anyway.
What do you think should be the most important attitude to have for parents towards their special kids?
To love them the absolutely best that you can possibly love them today! Enjoy every single minute. The best thing that I can do and the attitude that I can have is to always see them as God sees them. They were created in His image.
How should I deal with people asking my child's condition, do I speak the obvious or do I speak by faith?
If I was to correct everybody that spoke wrong about my child and the condition, then I would be exhausted always bringing correction, and no one would likely want to talk to me. I do like to emphasize that they are not a autistic child or a disabled child, but rather a child with autism or a child dealing with a disability.
How should we explain to the child their condition as a special needs child?
Well that might depend on the comprehension of the child. Yes it's a sensitive subject and I would never want the child to think that they always need fixing. One way I have addressed this is to explain they are a work in progress but always speaking identity!
QUESTIONS ON HOW I CAN TAKE CARE OF MY CHILD /
How do you help a child with special needs understand and make sense of a situation when a parent is diagnosed with a critical illness such as cancer?
Well the child does need to be addressed to their level of comprehension. I have not had to be in this situation and can't imagine having to ever be in this situation!
How to deal with a child with specific fear e.g. fear of huge trees at night in particular?
One thing that I am not is a child psychologist, so I’m not sure that I am suitability trained to address this question. I have learnt to never make fun or light of their fear! This will just bring psychological issues and make the situation worse.
Is it alright to take medication and let it control you?
I am not 100% sure what you mean by letting it control you? I do believe in the medical community and think they are at times a necessary part of the journey. You are not lacking faith because you take medication.
How do I handle the exhaustion & weariness of caring for a special needs child?
Much of my focus in the ministry to special needs families tends to lean more towards the parents. This is a marathon and really important that as parents we learn to take care of ourselves. Many parents I have met do not take care of themselves and it feels like a recipe for disaster.
I do my best to eat well, exercise and get time out for myself. If you are a stay at home parent and carry a bulk of the responsibility, the working partner often gets a break by going to work. It’s important that you have grace for each other in this journey. As I travel a lot I get many breaks, but when I come home, I need to recognize that my wife is often exhausted and needs to have a break. Neither of us were designed to carry the full load 100% of the time. I love to be able to give my wife a break and once a year she takes a holiday somewhere international by herself or with a friend. Like the saying goes “Happy wife, happy life”
How do I discipline my kid and not spoil him while telling him that God’s unmerited favour is upon him.
God’s unmerited favour does not mean we go without discipline. However there is a huge difference between discipline and punishment. When you discipline your children, it needs to hurt the parent more than it hurts the child. If it hurts the child more, then I would propose that it's called punishment, and punishment often is just a show of control and strength to our children out of our anger! This is not representative of God’s unmerited favour.
Discipline in our lives is so important. I want the loving discipline of God in my life and discipline in our children's life is also important. Yes I am unpunishable as a believer because of the blood of Jesus, but yes I desire discipline of a loving father and God’s unmerited favor is still upon me!
Single parent handling an ASD youth and another problem youth
I could not imagine doing this journey alone. I am not sure of the question here, but I bless you with much Grace!!
Dealing with adolescent and puberty
I pray for grace, guidance and wisdom!
Questions on how the church or community can support the special needs community better.
How can the church community help to better support the families with such individuals more specifically? I am a social worker & counsellor by training & am in a special needs ministry of my church.
We need more people and churches like this! Many parents feel that they are not welcome in church because their child makes too much noise. Many parents I know with special needs children, no longer go to church as the church has rejected them. As a church we need to do a much better job. At our church, we have a special needs service with trained workers so their parents can attend and enjoy church.
I work with families with special needs and children with sensory challenges and parents whom are non believers , how can we bring the truth of His word other than sharing knowledge and praying for them. Follow the Holy Spirit and Annointing of the Lord i believe. Can you impart on the gifts of the holy spirit for this area ?
Being a spirit of peace in their environment is sometimes the best thing you can do. Praying for them may not always be an option, but loving them and spreading peace is always an option. Live out of your union with God and work hard to not lose your peace in tough situations.
QUESTIONS ON SCHOOLING OPTIONS, STUDIES, AND SPECIFIC BEHAVIOURAL INTERVENTION
I’m not a special needs or behavioural education teacher. I am sure that the following questions can have many better professional responses. I left a few questions off as they were simply way outside of my area of knowledge.
How to let go and let God that my child is able to cope in his studies.
The adventure of our journeys with our children is important. I believe that there is lots of grace for the issues of today. When it comes to study, it's obviously important that the child is studying at the level that they can cope with and not a level beyond their means. I think the best way that we can let go and let God is by us not worrying about tomorrow! Enjoy the day and the grace that is available for today!
Which models will help special needs kids to flourish - segregation, integration or inclusion?
I have seen many special needs kids within all these models and many of them are run so well. Again I am not a qualified special needs educator, but I want to see my child placed where they will thrive.
How do I Prepare my kid to mainstream? Is it ideal?
I have seen a number of special needs children go from segregation to integration and rise to the top of the class. Again I would enjoy the day and as healing flows your educator will be best to advise if and when it's Appropriate for mainstream integration.
How to undo a routine? My son plays with his computer at night but it affects his sleep. When we stop him from playing, he throws a tantrum.
Every child is so different when it comes to discipline and routine. What works for one does not work for all. Behavior issues with special needs children can be complex. I would be seeking professional help on how to adjust habits..
I hope that these help answer your questions in your journey that we are all on. If I can help in any other way with questions, please feel free to reach out via the contact form on chrisgore.org