Healing Line

Healing Line

From Francis

by Francis MacNutt
December 1989

For years now I've been curious about how different people hear the Lord. Through the "word of knowledge," for instance — a kind of gift of diagnosis — the Spirit helps us know what to pray for. This gift is very helpful — and sometimes necessary — in any ministry of healing.I have talked to many people about how they hear the Lord and have come to recognize the wide variety of ways in which the Lord speaks to people.

And now comes a fascinating book probing the experiences of 1890 people who attended a John Wimber conference in England (1986): Healing: Fiction, Fantasy, or Fact by Dr. David Lewis (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1989). There are many important findings described in this book, but just in this one area of "word of knowledge" Lewis gives us fascinating statistics. First of all 582 people report sharing "word of knowledge" during the conference, while 422 people received prayer as a result of "word of knowledge." I think this indicates that God wishes to gift many more people than we might imagine. Such gifts of the Spirit are meant to be common and ordinary — not rare!

Lewis also summarizes the different ways in which people received the word of knowledge:

Strong intuition – 440
Pain in part of the body – 57
Spontaneous utterance – 97
Mental picture – 175
Seeing words written – 38
Other – 63

Fr. Ralph DiOrio in his books describes how he receives guidance by feeling pain in various parts of his body, and many of my friends see pictures. But intuition does seem to be the most common way that guidance comes; it certainly is the way it comes to me.

Two things I would like to share for your reflection:

     — Most of my own training have involved a suppression, a distrust of intuition as a channel of truth. Impressions and "hunches" were regarded as subjective — as the way illogical and emotional people responded; only objective, verifiable truth could be trusted. As a result, a big section of my life went into denying the intuitive, creative part of myself, which now seems to be my real gift. Because I distrusted my intuitions, they almost dried up. I mention all this only because I think that most men in our society suffer from the same problem: we need to begin to listen to these inspirations — at first faint, then growing stronger with time; we need to open the gates to hearing God, which have so long been shut.

     — When I receive and impression it comes as a "good idea" that pops into my mind. For instance, the first time I ever thought of singing in tongues for the healing of a large group, the idea came in the middle of a talk I was giving on inner healing for Full Gospel Businessmen. But if I were pinned down and asked, "Are you sure this is God's idea and not just your won?", I'd have to say, "I'm not really sure. I think it's from God, but I might be wrong." Yet, when I follow the inspiration, it seems to work out.

Is it that way with you, too?

A very Merry Christmas to you!
Francis & Judith
Rachel & David

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. December 1989 Issue