Healing Line

Healing Line

Thoughts From Francis

by Francis MacNutt
January 1991

Recently we made another exciting discovery about one of the ways that the Lord heals people.

It happened in this way. A young couple from a thousand miles distance came to Jacksonville for prayer because the young wife had suffered a recurrence of cancer. Her first cancer ended in a mastectomy, but now, a year later, the dread disease had come back. Only this time it was more invasive, affecting the lungs and other parts of her body. The doctors held out little hope, although the still wanted to preform a bone marrow transplant, followed by extensive chemo. To make the situation more poignant, the couple had a four year old son. (Ordinarily we put such people in touch with someone in their part of the country, but neither we nor they knew any one within a hundred miles of them.)

When they came here, several of us gathered and spent several hours praying with the lovely young mother and her husband. When possible we like to have some external sign to check on how the sick person is responding to prayer; with her the one thing that we could check was a small tumor under her arm about the size of a pea. In two hours the tumor shrunk until, as her husband described it, it was "the size of the tip of a ball–point pen. This was the first experience of sensing that the lump that I had been touching was actually shrinking. What a moment!"

On the human level of friendship we really connected with this young couple, so it was discouraging when they phoned the following week to say that the tumor had grown back to its original size. Could they come back? So back they came. Once again we prayed — and again the tumor shrank down while we quietly praised God.

Then, a few weeks later, they phoned again with the same baffling news: the tumor had grown back! This truly was a battle, reminding us of Moses, in the battle against the Amalekites:

"Whenever Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands the Amalekites were winning. ... Aaron and Hur held his hands up ... so that his hands remained steady until sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army..." (Exodus 17:11–13)

A third and last time they returned to Jacksonville; again the tumor shrunk. After this they kept their appointment at the cancer clinic in Houston. There they received the really good news. First, the doctors told them that the tumor should have steadily grown — they saw it as 100,000 to one chance that it should have remained so small. It was easy for them to cut it out. The chest x–ray showed no trace of cancer in her lungs and her blood work showed no progression of cancer in her body.

What we learn in all this is that prayer for healing is sometimes a battle. For sometime now we have known about "soaking prayer" but this recent experience (and others like it) shows that the good effects of soaking prayer are real but may not last; the battle may go in the wrong direction if we stop praying. The forces of sickness and death are very real; until they are totally wiped out, they rise up again. We must press forward until Jesus has the total victory. Like Moses, we need to keep our hands lifted until sunset!

Love in Christ,
Francis & Judith
Rachel & David

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. January 1991 Issue