The following anecdotes from the life of this mighty Son of God are collected from various sources, to help the reader learn and understand how God had been shaping Ayyah for the high office he was chosen for. These are but a small fraction of his inexhaustible life experiences and are presented objectively.
At his christening service, Ayyah's mother insisted his name should be Paulaseer. There was no one in the family with such a name, nor did anyone know the meaning of it. On her request it was finally accepted and he was thus named. Later in life the Lord spoke to him and quoted Isaiah 45:4. "I have even called thee by thy name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me." He explained to him that his name was, Paul a seer, Paul a prophet. This chapter refers pointedly to Ayyah, verse 1 saying, "He is speaking to His anointed." It is evident that King Cyrus was not the anointed. The meaning of the word ‘Cyrus’ is 'Son.' Isaiah 41:2 refers to Ayyah as being, "The righteous man from the East, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him." He told him that the 54th chapter of Isaiah was his ministry. Anyone with even a little knowledge of Ayyah's life at once recognized the aptness of this statement.
THE NEW NAME, WHEN PAULASEER BECAME ‘LAWRIE’
Whenever God spoke to Ayyah audibly, He would call him 'Paul' or 'Paul, My son.' In the summer of 1967, while he was staying at the home of Leigh Vayle, a friend in America, he awoke to hear someone calling him 'Lawrie.' He got up and asked his host what he wanted, as he thought he had called him. His host assured him that no one called him. A little later the same thing happened, and he again asked who called him only to be told once again that no one had called him. He then realized that it was the Lord. He was now calling him 'Lawrie' instead of 'Paul,' as he formally had; from then on, when God spoke to him He would call him 'Lawrie.'
INVITATION TO DINNER
One time when he was very hungry the Lord told him to sit on a particular stone and wait, which he did. Pretty soon a woman came and asked, "Are you the Apostle Paul?" When Ayyah answered in the affirmative, she said, "The Lord spoke to me in a dream and told me to come to this stone and ask Apostle Paul to come for dinner."
WAGER GOD ACCEPTED
On one occasion on a street in Los Angeles, California, in 1959, Ayyah while giving his testimony in open air preaching, a Muslim from Iran challenged his statement that the Lord always supplied all his needs. He was making fun of him in front of the large crowd that gathered. The man said, "Hey, don't cheat the people like this!" He grabbed hold of Ayyah's hand and said, "You say Jesus is wonderful: If your Jesus drops 100 dollars into your hand, I will accept him as my God." At this the crowd started laughing. Then Ayyah prayed, "Oh Lord, don't let me down now!" At this very moment a man came running from the opposite side of the street and dropped 100 dollars into his hand. It appears that the man who gave the 100 dollars had a dream the night before, in which he saw Ayyah. The Lord told him in the dream to take 100 dollars and give it to him at that very place. Hence he had been waiting there for an hour, but on the other side of the street. It was just at the moment of the challenge that the man finally spotted Ayyah to give him the money. The astonished Muslim fell on his knees and accepted Jesus right there on the road.
HIS FATHER'S CHARITY SAVED HIM
Ayyah gives this account of how his father's charity saved him:
"My father was a just man and I also wanted to lead a just life. One day, riots broke out in Ceylon, (Sri Lanka) I ran into a house, kept my wife and children under a bed, (and) came out and stood there. Then two thousand Sinhalese were coming. The present day Prime Minister Premadasa also was there. And when they came near, they took a knife and said, "Kill him", in Sinhalese. Then he looked at me: "Who are you?" "I am Mr. Rasiah's son." He fell down and said, "He is my master, he only taught us all these languages and all. He spent a lot of money on us. Your face is just like him. Forgive us." Then Premadasa and all the people asked forgiveness. Then they said, "You have to go to India, otherwise somebody will kill you." So my wife and children, they took us, they put us on the train and with bodyguards we were sent to Dhanushkodi. (A place where they caught the ferry to India.) At Dhanushkodi I told my wife and children, "It is my father's charity that saved my life so when I go to India, all my money and everything is only for the poor people." That is why the Ashram was started."
CIRCLE THE GLOBE WITH 50 CENTS!
In the first of his world missionary journeys he started out from India with only 50 cents in his pocket and faith in God that his needs would be met along the way. After visiting Scotland, England and Holland, God told him to go to America. Since he had no money at that time, they refused to book a passage ticket without his paying the money first. He assured them that there would be money by the next day. They reluctantly booked the ticket. The very next morning, Ayyah received a letter from a person from the Persian Gulf who said, he had been saved in one of his campaigns. He had enclosed enough money to pay for the ticket, much to the surprise of all those who doubted that he would have ticket money as he had said.
ANGELS HIS GUARDIANS
On one occasion a very strong and belligerent devil-possessed man came to the platform where Ayyah was preaching, with the intent to beat him. When he came close, the man saw an angel standing beside Ayyah. When Ayyah noted that the man was staring steadfastly at something on his right side, he also looked there and saw the angel. Suddenly the man started screaming in pain and cried, "Please, please stop beating me! I will not harm your servant."
UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE ON A PARK BENCH
Upon arriving at New York without any money that cold day, he passed a church called the ‘Glad Tidings Tabernacle’ where there was nice singing. He went in but was thrown out, because it was a white church and he was a black man. Dejected he went to a park and sat on a bench, cold and shivering. In abject disappointment he started to reprove the Lord for permitting a world where the white people bear ill will towards those of another colour. Just then a man in an ordinary business suit came and sat on the bench with Ayyah. Ayyah turned his back, as he did not want to speak to any white man again. The man opened up saying, "You seem to be very angry." "Yes, I am very angry." "When I was on earth, I was not a white man." So saying the man walked away in a fast pace. "Oh Jesus, I didn't know that," said Ayyah, and pursued Him. Then Jesus changed His suit to a robe and Ayyah was now running at top speed but couldn't catch up with Him. Then Jesus turned and laughingly said again, "When I was on earth, I was not a white man."
A STRANGER IN THE TAXI
While Ayyah was on the 1959 missionary trip in America, he was going in a taxi toward Chicago. A stranger in ordinary suit stopped the cab and got in. He immediately asked Ayyah, "What is the name of your God?" Ayyah fumbled for the proper answer saying, "Jehovah, Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost..." And so forth. Then the stranger said, "Aren't you ashamed not to know your God's name?" And then for about 10 minutes he opened up the Bible and expounded the whole thing saying, "People have been fooled, 'Jesus' is His name." As Ayyah was looking at the Bible, the man stopped the taxi and got out. Remembering that he had not thanked the man he looked out, but there was no one there.Both he and the driver searched for him but he had completely disappeared. There was no building or anything where he could have gone; it was just open field on both sides, yet he was nowhere to be seen. The driver was so mystified that he even looked under the car and raised the hood of the car searching for the man. Later Ayyah realized who He was.
JESUS NEVER FAILS
Time and again God came to the rescue of Ayyah from the strange predicaments he found himself in during the tenure of his ministry. One time he was called to attend an ‘All India Pentecostal Convention and Conference’ at Lucknow, North India. Many of the pastors who attended the Conference became jealous of Ayyah for the great impression he was creating among other delegates. Some of them, especially those from South India, started to assassinate Ayyah's character as a drunkard and a thief. One man went to the extent of informing the police to keep a watch on Ayyah's activities. From then on Ayyah was not given much opportunity to preach or to take part in other activities, so he walked out of the conference along with another preacher from Sri Lanka. Both had no money with them and were stranded far from their homes. Seemingly there was no one to help them in their situation. After a while the friend left telling, he was going back to join the Assemblies of God or some other group to get assistance. Ayyah just stayed there to wait on God for His assistance, standing alone at a crossroad praying. Just then a car stopped in front of him. A foreigner at the wheel greeted him, "Praise the Lord!" It was Brother Mark Buntain. After a few pleasantries he thrust some money into Ayyah's pocket, saying that God wanted him to give that money. It was a great surprise to know that Brother Mark Buntain was on his way to Calcutta and had no intention to go by that road at all. By such acts, God strengthened the faith of Ayyah.
PROTECTING POWER OF GOD FROM SNAKE BITES
In his life Ayyah had been in danger of death ever so many times. The forces of evil tried to destroy him by various methods. Studying his life, one can only conclude that the powers of the dark and the powers of the Almighty God contended with each other unceasingly. The former trying to snuff the life out and the other protecting it and infusing more strength. There is on record, three different occasions when Ayyah was saved from the very poisonous snakes that are in India. The first instance on record is, when as a boy, Ayyah was bitten of a snake at Mandapam. He was going to Sri Lanka with his parents and they were forced to stay in this place for a night to comply with the embarkation regulations. As he was washing at the water pump outside the building, a snake bit him in his leg. As the poison rose up his leg, he ran to his father and reported to him of the snakebite. He began to feel giddy. His father encouraged him to trust in God and gathered everyone around and prayed, stretching out his hand. Within 15 minutes Ayyah could feel comfortable and subsequently the poison had no effect at all.
The second time he was saved from death of snakebite was when he was at a meeting at a place called Naranamozhi in Kerala. After a great evening of preaching and praising, Ayyah and a pastor Rev. K. J. Thomas, a strong man, were coming down the mountain side late in the night by a foot track. When they came to a place where the tracks branched, Ayyah who was in the lead was about to take the wrong track, when Pastor Thomas from behind pushed him on to the proper track. In so doing the Pastor stepped on a cobra and was bitten. Had he not pushed him aside, Ayyah would have stepped on the cobra and been bitten. The Pastor died that night of that snakebite.
At another time at Shencottah, Ayyah was a guest of an Assembly of God missionary. As they were talking someone came and reported that the water flow through a down spout pipe was blocked. They went out to see what could be done. Ayyah with a long stick prodded inside the pipe and felt something soft clogging the passage. As he could not pry this out, he put his hand in to pull it out. It felt like something rubbery. He repeatedly tried to get a hold of this object to pull it out, but failed. The gardener watching this, put his hand in and dragged the object out, which turned out to be a six foot long Cobra. It bit the hand of this gardener. They killed the cobra but the man died within a few hours. All the while Ayyah was prodding the Cobra and trying to pull it out he was not bit. This is just another example of the heavenly protection that always surrounded him.
THREE TIMES SAVED FROM PLANE CRASHES
Ayyah was in the Rome airport waiting to board a plane to Zurich. Just then a Tamilian (South Indian) man touched Ayyah on the back and said, "Come we will have some coffee." Thinking there would be enough time for meeting this countryman from India, Ayyah went with him for coffee. After that Ayyah ran to board the plane, finding only that he had missed the flight. Within a short time it was broadcast over the speaker that the plane which just left, had crashed on the Alps. Ayyah then searched for the man who caused him to miss the plane. He went to the place were they had gone for the coffee and asked, "Where is the Indian man who was here with me?" He was told, "No one was with you. You were only here alone." It was learned that all the people died except the one man who never got into the plane. God Himself caused Ayyah to miss that fatal plane.
The second time was when Ayyah was flying to Venezuela, and the plane fell into the sea. The nose of the plane was under the water but where Ayyah was seated it was high out of the water and he was rescued. Many died or were injured who were in the front section of the plane.
Another time Ayyah was flying from Madras to Bangalore. He had an invitation to preach in a big church there. Suddenly during the flight, the plane developed problems, shaking all over and was in danger of crashing. Ayyah then repented, when realizing he was going to a place that was not in God's will. When he knelt and asked God to forgive him, the plane suddenly righted itself and the pilot came on the speaker, saying the crisis was over but for the sake of safety they would return to Madras. (Further details of this incident appear on a later page.)
SAVED FROM AUTO ACCIDENT BY UNSEEN POWER
In 1987, Ayyah was in the auto driven by his son Devadayavu. On the main road between the Ashram and Gandhinagar suddenly a heavy truck that was coming from the opposite direction on the road, got out of control and was heading straight for their auto. There was no place for his son to turn off the road to avoid a head on collision. Judging the situation, Devadayavu stopped the car right beside a culvert to his left. Then, just as the truck was about 10 feet in front of them and it looked like a certain disaster, the truck overturned several times and fell off the road, hitting the culvert on it's left side. Only a supernatural power could have pushed this speeding vehicle out of the way. The vehicle, by which Ayyah and Devadayavu were travelling, was an open Trekker, and if the truck had hit it, there would have been only a few things left to look for. After this terrible occurrence, Ayyah, patting on Devadayavu's shoulder, just said smilingly, "Did you get scared, my son?" Thus once again Ayyah was saved from harm by heavenly protection.
BIBLE SPEAKS GOD'S TRUTH
Ayyah always venerated the Bible. He believed that the Bible is not an ordinary book but a living book, and it speaks if you read it in the real spirit. He continued to advise everyone to read daily for spiritual growth. Relating now are a few incidents how the Bible spoke to him. Many times Ayyah was on the verge of joining a church denomination, but every time God would warn him not to join. One time when Ayyah was trying to join the Assemblies of God and was making arrangements, a Bible fell off the rack. The verse that caught his eyes as he picked the Bible up was, 'Woe unto them that go to Egypt for help, trusting their chariots.' (Isaiah 31.1) He took this as a bit of coincidence and went ahead with his plans. When he got into the train then it jerked forward. The shutter of the window fell on his hand with such a force that he cried out, "Lord, I won't join any denomination!'" Then he went back home.
During his first tour to Europe he wanted to cross over to America. He was trying to find out the will of God, whether to fly or to go by ship when a friend dropped his Bible to the floor. When Ayyah picked it up, his eyes fell on this verse, 'Ye shall not go in haste nor go by flight.' (Isaiah 52:12) Then he bought the ticket for the passage by ship.
LIFE THAT PLEASES GOD
With the exception of the Bible, probably the book that influenced his life the most, was the book The Life that pleases Godby the late Harry W. Beach of America. This book was formerly published through Fred L. Page Publications, Montrose, Pennsylvania. Before his death, Brother Page offered to Ayyah complete rights of the book and he printed and distributed it free of charge to all that asked for it. This book is an intensive search for just what kind of a life really pleases God. It reviews the lives of the most famous godly men of the Bible in a most absorbing study. The final conclusion comes out with the answer to the question, "What is the life that pleases God?" The answer, ‘The life that pleases God is the life that glorifies God through Voluntary Dependence upon His Will.’ This great truth has not been grasped by the average Christian but to Ayyah it opened some great secrets about God that he incorporated into his own life and service to God.
GLORY IN TRIBULATION
Also another little known book that Ayyah liked very much was, the ‘Life Testimony of Madam Guyon,’ a French woman of the 16th century who was from a wealthy family. She was persecuted cruelly by the clergy and reduced to humble and degrading circumstances. She gloried in her tribulations and hardships. She was a beautiful woman but when, she had an attack of smallpox, her face was terribly disfigured. She was happy about it because it made her realize that she had had pride in her beauty. The whole story is that of complete submission to God, and like the Apostle Paul, she gloried in her infirmities and trials. This inspired Ayyah to also patiently endure hardships because at the time he was also going through many hard trials, persecution, and hardships in his walk with God. While looking back on these trials, he could realize that they were all part of the training for the work God had for him to fulfil.
THE WAGES OF DISOBEDIENCE IS PUNISHMENT
The Lord requires strict obedience. At one time the Lord told Ayyah not to leave the Ashram till the first day of January. In his own thinking he thought, December 31 st was close enough to January first, and thus made preparations to go out. The Lord was annoyed by this disobedience and punished him by a disaster. It so happened that his son wanted petrol and he drained it from the Jeep. When a young boy brought a lamp near the jeep, it caught fire.
In another incident, like Jonah of old, Ayyah disobeyed God by accepting an invitation to speak in a church at Bangalore Ayyah said that sometimes it was a temptation to be invited to a big church like that. He was flying in a plane from Madras. Soon after taking off, the plane developed engine trouble. The pilot warned the passengers to prepare for a crash landing. A few seats away sat Sister Goebel, a German Missionary lady from Switzerland. She inquired of Ayyah where he was going and on what business. He told her of his engagement as the main speaker in the Church of South India, at Bangalore. Immediately the lady flared up and shouted, "How can you do that? You are not supposed to do that, this plane is in trouble because of you!" Pricked in the heart, Ayyah knelt and prayed right there on the plane and asked for forgiveness, promising not to compromise again. Right after his prayer the pilot conveyed the message on the intercom that the mechanical trouble was under control but that they were heading back to Madras anyway, for further inspection. On reaching Madras, there was a radio message for Ayyah from Bangalore inquiring whether he would still be available for speaking. He replied that he was not coming.
FISH DROPS FROM THE AIR
One day when Ayyah and his wife were away on one of their missionary trips, the children pestered their aunt who was caring for them for fish. She had no money for buying, so she told them, "You go and pray for fish, I don't have money to buy." The children huddled together and prayed, "Lord give us fish; Daddy has left us and gone." Soon after an eagle flying overhead dropped a large fish near their feet. Happily they enjoyed the fish dinner they had asked God to give them. In such ways the children of the Lawries were also trained in faith life. Sometime later it was learned that the fish had been taken from the police inspector's house by the eagle.
PICK POCKET THE PICK POCKET
Ayyah was taking his youngest son to Moore Market in Madras for an outing. They had ice cream and after paying they walked over to the stalls in the Market to buy a watchstrap. When Ayyah put his hand into his pocket to get his purse to pay he found it missing. Just a few minutes before, it had been there while paying the ice cream vendor. Then Ayyah remembered, that as they were walking, someone in the crowd had jabbed him in the ribs. He had felt the pain of it but took it as an inadvertent elbow thrust in the jostling crowd. He now realized that it was part of a pick pocket's plan to relieve him of the purse.Having no money on him, Ayyah told his son that they would have to walk back home. The boy was so disappointed and blurted out, "Daddy you told us that God hears our prayer. Why can't you pray that He send an Angel to pickpocket that pickpocket?" Immediately Ayyah prayed for the purse. Hearing about their difficulty the watch strap stall owner in his kindness gave them enough money for their bus ticket home. On reaching the house, Sister Lawrie asked her son how he enjoyed the outing. As he was narrating what had happened, Ayyah went into his room and there he found, on the table, the very same red purse which he had lost to a pickpocket. In answer to their prayer, this purse miraculously came from a distance of 15 miles.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF GOSPEL WORK
God's ways are not always according to our own thinking. Ayyah was puzzled when He told him to take 50 gospels and catch the train bound for a certain destination. Not wanting to be a 'book seller,' Ayyah made a feeble protest, asking Him, what kind of gospel work that was. He told him to just pick up the 50 gospels and go, which then he did. He boarded the train, not knowing where he was being sent. When the train halted at a station, a wedding party of about 50 people got into the compartment. A middle-aged woman came and sat near Ayyah. As the train moved, this woman started to shiver with frenzy and screamed that she was possessed of a goddess who would be leaving her that day. Ayyah questioned what was the matter with her. She again said. "I have a goddess in me and that goddess is telling me that she will be leaving me today." The agitated woman continued to carry on. Then Ayyah shouted, "In the name of Jesus I command you, get out of this body!" Immediately she fell down unconscious. Everyone crowded around the woman in amazement. After a few minutes she got up completely sane. Fear fell on all the passengers, who bought the gospels he was carrying, and thanked him and promised to follow Jesus in their everyday lives.
GOD GIVES SUPPORT AGAINST MOCKERY
God had never allowed His servant to be insulted or belittled. From Vellore, Ayyah wanted to go to Madras by train but had no money to buy the ticket. It was very important that he should go that day. With faith that God would provide, he went to the railway station. There he met a pastor who was also going to Madras. The pastor knowing Ayyah's lack of funds started making jokes saying, "If God is with you He would have provided you with a ticket, wouldn't He? Ha, Ha, Ha, doesn't He know you need to reach Madras?" Thus he continued laughing. All the time Ayyah was praying. The train would be steaming off in about five minutes and there seemed to be no one who would come forward to help him. Just then someone came running towards him shouting, "Anyone going to Madras? Here's a ticket, I am unable to use it." Ayyah said he needed a ticket, and it was given to him right in front of the pastor who had been making fun. Now the pastor was dumbfounded as Ayyah said, "Ha, Ha, first class!" And he waved his comfortable first class ticket. The pastor had only a ticket for the crowded third class compartment.
THE POWER OF DISCERNMENT
In the earlier stage of his ministry, Ayyah had a powerful gift of discernment similar to that of Brother Branham. This gift gave him the ability to see vivid visions in which he could see the actual acts of various persons. It would be like watching a movie in colour. This gift manifested strongly in gospel meetings and he could point out the sins and secrets of others, causing them to repent. Through this gift he gained a great name and popularity. Then the gift was suddenly taken from him and for many years he was deeply concerned that he had lost this power. He wondered if there was something in his life that displeased God, causing him to lose this power. Some of his fellow workers even accused that there must be some sin in his life, to bring about this loss; this was a great worry for him. After he had the wonderful experience of God coming down into him at Chicago on July 21st Moonlanding Day, God showed him that the gift of discernment was not for him as He had a much greater ministry for him. Discernment would gather ‘Seeing and Believing' believers but the ministry God had for Ayyah was to bring believers who had faith to believe without seeing signs and wonders.
THEY GAVE HIM POISON
In the village of Nazareth Ayyah was preaching about the experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit. This was a subject that the churches there seriously opposed and his continuous preaching on this angered them greatly. It so infuriated one of the pastors that he planned to kill him and instigated a local woman to poison him. One day as Ayyah was passing her house, this woman called him inside, offering him a glass of milk. Soon after he drank the milk he began to feel giddy. By the time he reached home he was retching violently. He vomited so much that he thought he had come down with cholera, the deadly disease. He began praising, believing God would heal him. Then suddenly the voice of God spoke and said, "You have been poisoned by such and such woman, but I have protected you. You will be healed." Immediately he vomited something like a black pouch, and on scrutiny they found all the poison inside. Later the deed of this certain pastor became known.
On another occasion Ayyah stopped at a drink bar for a cool drink. Just as he was lifting the glass to drink, the bottom of the glass fell out spilling all the drink. It became later known that someone had put poison in the drink. All were amazed when their efforts were foiled when the glass was broken, saying, surely God is protecting Ayyah.
Somehow or other Ayyah's father could not be won over to his son's convictions and beliefs and they had many heated discussions. One day his father came to the Ashram and told he had a dream. He saw a tall Palmyrah tree cut down and in it's place grew a Banyan tree that became great and spread all over the world. His father told him that surely Ayyah was that Palmyrah tree to be cut down and he was the Banyan tree that will have a great ministry. When his father died a short time later Ayyah realized, it was his father that was the Palmyrah tree. When his father's death came, Ayyah and his brother were conducting a campaign at Vaigai Dam, about 150 miles away from the Ashram. Ayyah heard the voice of the Lord telling him that his father had expired in a hospital and that they must wind up the campaign and rush home. After reaching the Ashram, the telephone call came with the message that his father died the previous night, according to what he had been told by God earlier. It was Sunday and the banks were closed, so there was little chance of getting funds to go to his father's home in Nazareth. Still it was necessary for them to go. Just then a gentleman walked into the Ashram wanting to repay a loan he had taken from Ayyah three years back. God again fulfilled His promise to meet his every need. They could go to Nazareth and give their father a respectable funeral.
HE CARES FOR LITTLE COMFORTS ALSO
The Lawries were conducting meetings at a place called Thengamputur in Kanyakumari District. They were put up in a house where they could retire late in the night after the meetings. They could not get proper sleep because of a rat that frisked here and there in the nights, keeping them awake. They tried to chase it away but every time it would return in about five minutes. Feeling exhausted from lack of sleep they prayed, "Lord, remove this nuisance from here, as we can't sleep." Before they could finish the prayer, they saw a cat pouncing on the rat and carrying it away. From where the cat materialized is again a mystery. It just appeared from the corner of the room.
MONEY COMES FROM THE AIR
Ayyah was in Melapalayam and wanted to buy something but could not, because he had already finished spending all his money. To buy what he wanted and also to purchase petrol for the return trip home, he needed fifty rupees. This became a battle as the devil was saying, "You knew you needed fifty rupees to go home; why did you spend everything?" But Ayyah thought, "Even though I spent, should He not know I need fifty rupees?" So he prayed, "Father I need fifty rupees." Then right at his feet fifty rupees came flying through the air.
AND HE GAVE HIM HIS POWER
Ayyah always had a great burden for people who were sick and maimed and he sometimes became over burdened from feeling the weight of their infirmities. Praying for the sick was the most difficult part of his ministry, as it drained much of his strength. Yet for the glory of God, he cheerfully stood at his post, praying and laying his hands on them sometimes for hours on end. As for the number of miraculous healings that have taken place, there is no account; but a few of the incidents are here to give the reader an idea of the diversity and immensity of Ayyah's ministry. These are not set in any chronological order.
A LEPER HEALED
A 41 years old man, George, from a place called Arumuganeri in South India, was suffering from the incurable disease leprosy since the age of 12. In his misery he had attempted suicide. Then he attended one of Ayyah's open-air meetings. The crowd was large and he could not get close to him; but as Ayyah was praying a mass prayer from the platform: The mans tells, "I was trembling under the power of God and received a great joy that cannot be explained. My skin is all right now. The Lord Jesus has healed me of the dreaded disease."
PRAYER THAT GIRDED THE GLOBE
People from far and wide wrote to the Lawries with requests to pray for their various ills. In a letter to Sister Lawrie, in India, a Miss M.A. Scott, of Devon, England, gave an account of her experience. For 13 years this Miss Scott was bedridden due to a spinal fracture sustained by a fail on the ice. She happened to come across a copy of the Lawrie's publication 'Healing Leaves,' and she wrote to Ayyah, who at that time was touring America. Ayyah wrote back, assuring her that he was praying for her. The
night she received the letter Miss Scott had a comfortable sleep, and when she got up the next morning she was completely cured.
The distraught parents of a soldier wrote to Ayyah to pray for their son who was then at the fighting front.They sent their soldier son the reply they received from Ayyah, saying that he had remembered their son in his prayer. As the soldier was reading this, a shell burst close by, killing all those near him but leaving him unscathed. He realized the prayer had protected him.
PRAYER AND FASTING FOR POWER
In India there is much practice of witchcraft. Those who indulge in such acts are able to do astounding things that Westerners'can scarcely believe. To challenge these witchcraft practices, the Lord told Ayyah that he should fast for forty days drinking water alone. Although this was a difficult task, after he completed the ordeal, from then on, he was able to control the fiercest of them. People that worship demons also fast for 40 days, to receive such satanic power. They are able to curse a threshold so that anyone passing through will get a disease or some other affliction. There is much devil worship, sun and moon worship, as well as the worship of many false gods in India.
After Ayyah's fast, one of the very powerful demons in a man challenged him and said he would destroy him. As Ayyah was going on the road at midnight with his brother and a pastor, this demon came to attack him. Ayyah was saved from death by a supernatural power that lifted him six feet in the air. As this powerful demon came flying toward Ayyah to kill him, he was lifted off the ground making the demon pass under him. The demon seeing he missed his mark, turned and came back three different times to attack; but every time God lifted Ayyah just as the demon came near, keeping Ayyah safe from any harm. Incensed, the demon then turned and attacked the man that sent it.
DRIVING OUT DROVES OF DEVILS
There had been times when Ayyah was called upon to clear out demonic forces from haunted houses. At a place called Ilanthayadivilai near Thamarai Kulam, Kanyakumari District, there was a haunted house belonging to a miner working in Nagpur, Central India. Gospel workers and sorcerers could not get the evil spirits out of this house.
The Daniels unsuspectingly moved into this house in December 1957, and had terrifying experiences. As they went to bed they could hear loud knocks on the door. The locked kitchen window was forced open by some unknown hand and a hole was found dug in the floor. Mysteriously the lights in the house would be blown out. One evening, the occupants could hear loud noises from every direction, and when they inspected they found no one near the premises. The next day when they came down the stairs, they heard such a frightening noise that they scurried back up the steps. They saw a black apparition on the northern side of their house. That night at about eleven, a terrible scream shattered the quiet, followed by the crash of a jar on a table upstairs. Lights went off and the Bibles had been thrown down. Two sorcerers were called to drive the evil spirits out. They told the occupants to go and take rest and they would watch in the night. They saw the flowerpots thrown down from upstairs, but saw no one doing it; also a table was thrown down. Early the next morning a hideous noise like a lion's roar could be heard. On investigation all they could find was the lamp which had been upstairs buried in the kitchen. About ten that morning everyone could hear voices around, but no one could see any person. They all shouted questions, asking the evil spirits what they were after. To this they replied that they wanted the life of one of the daughters, who could feel some unseen power strangling her throat.
The men who practised witchcraft demanded an exorbitant amount of money to drive the devils out. At the time, Ayyah was having meetings at Nagercoil. The Daniels sent a taxi to bring him there to drive the evil spirits out. Ayyah had just two hours before a meeting, but went there, prayed in the name of Jesus and sprinkled water all over the house. There was mighty deliverance from the evil forces and the occupants were never bothered afterwards.
FIRM FAITH, AID TO CURE
At a place called Mudalur, Ayyah was taken to the house of one Mr. Jayaraj who was crippled for many years by a paralytic attack. On reaching the place, Ayyah looked at the expectant face of the man and asked, "Do you want to get up?" To this Jayaraj replied, "Sir, I believe that I will get up." "If the Bible is true you will get up." Ayyah prayed, anointing him with oil. Then Mr. Jayaraj who could not as much as stand on his legs for many years, immediately jumped up and walked. There was a big stir in that area because of this healing. Later this same man had a tumour in his eye. His eyeball was protruding so much, it looked as if it would come out of the socket. With faith in prayer and strengthened by his earlier cure, he came to Ayyah to be prayed for. But Ayyah advised him to go to a surgeon and get the tumour removed by a surgical operation. Jayaraj insisted that he be prayed for, saying that would heal him. So he prayed for the man and sent him away. After a month, when he happened to pass that way, Ayyah learned that the tumour was cured without an operation and the eye was normal again.
At one time a college student came rushing into the prayer hall at Nagercoil where Ayyah was praying, shouting, "Snake bite, snake bite!" He fell right down in the midst of those assembled. Placing his hands on the bite, Ayyah prayed, asking God to heal him. After a few moments the boy got up healed.
Ayyah clearly confessed that he was not a born preacher. In his college days, when he was asked to be in a debate, it was a complete failure. He said he studied for a week, memorizing all of the ideas of the subject in a book by an author, Bacon. When his turn to speak came he says he could only tell, "Bacon says, Bacon says..." While speaking, he started to tremble as he had forgot all his memorizing. As a result he was jeered off the stage and asked to take his seat. He never takes any glory for preaching the powerful messages that keep his audience in quiet attention for hours on end. He clearly tells that it is only through God's power and not any of his own ability. In fact he has said, like in the debate days, when he could only copy what Bacon said he is still only copying His messages. His work is only to copy God's message and tell what 'God says,' not any of his own ideas.
PROMISES TO GOD MUST BE KEPT
Once the Lawries promised God that they would not talk anymore about a sister-in-law. She constantly was an irritation to them because she was repeatedly causing them trouble. It was the reason for much dissension within the family, making life bitter for everyone. In self-assumed penance, they promised God that they would no longer talk about her. They slipped one day in observing this promise as they were riding in a taxi. By mistake they began to talk about her. As a consequence, their son Devadayavu was thrown out of the moving car by a mysterious hand, which opened the door and pushed him out. He was picked up cold and lifeless. After sometime his life came back but the skull had fractured and he was bleeding heavily from a gash in the head. That night Ayyah was to preach in a church at Nagercoil, and as they entered the town people had already started to gather. With full faith in God's power of healing, they did not take their son to any doctor but instead they took him to the meeting. While Ayyah was preaching, he could see his son's face brightening up. Then at the end of the meeting, during the healing prayer, Devadayavu could stand up. When the meeting was over he came running to his father saying, "Daddy, I saw Jesus touching me and I am completely healed." There was not even the trace of a wound. This four years old youngster spoke in a number of meetings, giving this great testimony.
HIS BROKEN LEG HEALED
One day Ayyah and his son Devadayavu were riding a scooter along the highway. They were in haste as there was an important meeting the next day. As they rode along speeding fast, a girl carrying a big bundle of hay suddenly stumbled and dropped her load in front of the scooter. Ayyah applied the brake and they were both thrown out. Ayyah sustained a fracture of his leg but they managed to reach home. People had started gathering for a meeting to be held the next day. Everyone was anxious about Ayyah. After his bone was set, he asked them to allow him to sleep for a couple of hours. He prayed, "Lord, tomorrow there's a big meeting and my leg is fractured, you can heal me." After two hours rest, he got up completely healed.
A GREAT VICTORY
An open-air meeting was arranged in the little town of Pudukottai, near Tiruchirapalli. Many people, both Christians and non-Christians, came to be healed physically as well as spiritually. To divert the people, especially the non-Christians, away from this meeting, some of the local religious leaders arranged with a circus company to pitch their tent close to where the meeting was to take place. The circus did attract many people away, so that there was a feeling in Ayyah's camp that the meetings would be a failure. They gathered together and prayed that God should make the meetings a success. That night a terrific cyclone came up, ripping the circus tent and all the canvases to shreds. The damage was so great that the circus-company was put out of commission for more than a month. The meeting was a great success.
CURES THAT BAFFLED MEDICAL SCIENCE
The amazing healings that took place in Ayyah's ministry baffled doctors and scientists. Dr. K. N. Rabindranath, M.B., B.S., Raphael Hospital Kakinada, India, wrote:
"During the 10 days ministry of Brother Lawrie, the blind gained sight, the lame walked, tumours disappeared... No medical explanations can be given, for these cures were nothing but miracles. There are instances that are beyond the conception of common sense. A Miss Alexander of Madras came to Brother Lawrie. Her right leg was shorter by 3 inches than her left leg. Without even a hesitation, Brother Lawrie held the shorter leg in his hand, pulled it as he prayed in the name of Jesus and corrected this infirmity. This is not an individual case on record. A Hindu girl, Miss S. Subbulakshmi, Perambur, who had this same deformity with the imbalance of 3 inches in her legs, was also corrected by Brother Lawrie with the power of prayer."
Prayer requests were often telegraphed to Ayyah, requesting him to pray for persons critically ill and even from great distances God healed.
HOPELESS CASES HEALED
One of the strangest cases on record is about Mr. T. Jeyavelu from Ayanavaram, Madras. This Hindu gentleman was an employee of the Southern Railways, India. While he was working in the factory, a heavy hammer accidentally fell on his head. Due to the injury, he lost his hearing and the sight of both eyes. This crippled state brought on a nervous breakdown in such a way, that he could not use either his hands or legs. He was removed from the service roster and declared, there was no possibility of recovery. After suffering under this condition for eighteen months, a member of the Salvation Army carried him to Perambur, where Ayyah was holding meetings. When Ayyah prayed for him, Mr. Jeyavelu felt the surge of energy pass through his entire body and immediately felt his senses returning. For the first time after eighteen months, he could see the faces of his wife and children. He became perfectly normal and when he went before a Medical Board, he was declared fit and thus was reinstated in his old job.
Similar was the case of an official in the Central Rice Research Institute in Orissa, North India. This youth was a wheelchair patient for 18 years. To the surprise of all, including the scientists at the Research Institute, this young man could walk unaided after a week of prayer.
SAVED FROM SURGERY
A widowed mother, who was a refugee from Burma, narrated a very touching incident. During the journey to India this woman's youngest daughter developed gangrene in her foot. The doctors decided to amputate to save her life. Although the mother agreed with the doctors, her daughter Suganthi stubbornly resisted telling, "The day my leg is cut off, I will take poison." She was taken by force to the operation theatre, but the girl's pathetic appeals touched the mother who then stopped the nurses from going any further. She took her daughter home, even though the doctors warned that the girl would not live beyond a few days. When they reached home, Suganthi found at the doorstep a copy of the 'Nambikkayin Thoothan,' a Tamil bimonthly published by Ayyah. After reading it, she placed the sheets of this journal on her gangrenous ankle and prayed with full faith. Suddenly she felt the surge of heavenly powers within her. From then on, to the amazement of the doctors of the Government Hospital in Madras, the wound started healing and new flesh covered the wounds. The grateful mother wrote to thank Ayyah. According to her letter, there were also signs of new toes growing in place of the rotten ones.
A similar case was that of one N. Thangiah. The eczema on both his legs in his younger days turned gangrenous. As a result of that he could not walk, but had to move about on his hands and knees. In this condition he was forced to beg for his sustenance. He was miraculously and completely cured when prayed for by Ayyah in the meeting at a place called Alangode.
BROTHER SAVED FROM PERMANENT BLINDNESS
Brother K. Issac was from a village near Hyderabad. He came to the Ashram as a young boy to learn about God. Brother Issac was helping in the roof repair of one of the rooms. While they were removing some roof tiles one fell on his head. Both of his eye balls roiled in the back of his head. One of the other workers was schooled in country medicine and tried to restore the eyes. Failing to help him said that he would probably be blind for the rest of his life. When this accident happened Ayyah was out of the Ashram and was not expected back until evening. For about ten hours Brother Issac was in this condition.When Ayyah returned and learned of the accident he just placed his hand on Brother Issac's head and proclaimed, "You will be okay." Immediately both eyes rolled back to the normal position. Now these many years later, Brother Issac has become a full time worker in the Banswada area and his eyesight is fine.
AYYAH RAISES HIS TRANSLATOR FROM THE DEAD
At the 1984 Camp meeting 2500 people were gathered in the Ashram. At the close of the meeting Ayyah called Brother Jothipackiam to translate for him. This brother was then 76 years old but since Ayyah was only to speak a few words he called on him. After some time, while translating Brother Jothipackiam collapsed dead. There was a great commotion as to what to do. Upon checking they .found he had no pulse or heart beat. For about ten minutes he lay there as they contemplated how to proceed. Then God spoke to Ayyah and said, "He is a man of truth, raise him up." At once Ayyah placed his hand on Brother Jothipackiam's head telling, "I command death to leave this body." Brother Jothipackiam then opened his eyes and was found to have no ill effects from this death experience.
In this chapter only a few healing incidents that occurred during Ayyah's ministry are recorded. The space of this hook is too limited to record even a fraction of the thousands of miraculous healings that were witnessed.