Healing Line

Healing Line

Some Observations on Resting in the Spirit

by Francis MacNutt
Apr 1990

One of the many recent blessings is that I have signed a contract with Chosen Books to write a book on "resting in the spirit" (but it has to be finished by April 20!). Over the past 20 years I have noticed many things about "resting" that i am eager to share. Following are a few of these reflections on how long it lasts and how often it occurs.

Resting in the Spirit seems to occur in our ministry (we can't speak for others) just about every time we pray in a healing service for ten or more people when they are standing. It's not something that we do; we trust that it's something that God is doing (although several recent books, like Cardinal Suenens' Resting in the Spirit question whether or not much of it is a merely psychological phenomenon).

One fascination thing is that it varies in frequency. Several months ago I prayed for several hundred people and only about one in ten rested. At other times almost nine out of ten rest. What does this mean? It might mean that the first group was resistant; or, it could be that, because they were unfamiliar with the phenomenon, the Lord was protecting us from unnecessary criticism; or, on the other hand, it could mean that the group was more spiritually mature (as people grow accustomed to the power of the Spirit, their bodies react less) — or, then again, it may be that I needed to be more spiritually prepared for the healing service. One thing: we are tempted to judge others — and the Lord tells us not to! The best thing we can do is to go on about our praying without trying to judge, except insofar as it will help us minister better. If we suspect, for instance, that we haven't prepared ourselves sufficiently ("this kind can only be driven out by prayer and fasting" — Jesus), then we need to prepare better the next time.

How long does this state of resting last? Several times I have seen it last for about 6 hours. At the other end of the spectrum are those who fall, without much really happening inside them. For most people at our services the resting takes at least a few minutes, and occasionally (one out of a hundred) some one rests half an hour or more. When a person does rest for a longer period of time it usually means that something deep is going on inside of them and that they are receiving a wonderful healing or blessing.

Francis & Judith
Rachel & David

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Apr 1990 Issue