Healing Line

Healing Line

Thoughts From Francis

by Francis MacNutt
April 1992

Dear Friends,

Instead of sharing a teaching in this news–letter, we would like to tell you about an unusual spiritual adventure that happened recently. Wonderful spiritual experiences happen all the time, but usually we don't have the time to set them down, and, in time, we sometimes forget. But some are too good to allow to disappear. So, here goes!

The story we specially want to share with you comes from our most recent conference, sponsored by the Fishnet group in New Jersey (Fishnet is a marvelous group of Christians from all churches — including many clergy who have set up chapters now in more than 30 cities in the NE.). Under the direction of Fr. Rick Constantinos and his wife Pat, with Christ church of Stanhope, NJ, the NJ Fishnet gathered 540 people in a hotel(which mercifully we will not name) for a conference on "Healing in the Family." (The other speakers were our dear friends Tommy Tyson and Don Williams, pastor of the LaJolla Vineyard.)

Before the conference began, the most constant prophetic word had been that something new was in store for us, but it wasn't at all clear what that new thing might be. We got an inkling though, when we arrived at the hotel on Thursday and were told that the hotel was going to break their contract on Saturday night (when we usually have our big healing session) by renting the conference hall to the local Republicans for a dinner dance. As a consolation they offered to bus us to another hotel. (We turned that down, as not being conducive to a healing service with an indefinite closing time.)

Clearly, it was time for us to trust "that God works with those who love him... and turns everything to their good" (Rom.8.28). Our first decision was to hold our healing session on Saturday afternoon in the conference hall (while we still had it), following a talk by Judith on the need for the healing of women in our society and in the church (2 to 5pm). That afternoon we must have prayed for 400 people, and many were healed.

Now, changing a healing service from the evening to the afternoon is not a monumental change — but, that night! We decided to take the hotel up on one of their offers: to hold our meeting in the Atrium (translate this as "the hotel lobby." where cocktails are usually served to weary travelers). And so, on Saturday night, more that 500 people gathered in the large lobby to praise the Lord.

To suit the unusual situation I changed my preaching topic to "Blessed are the poor" (Lk 6:20) with a particular reference to the homeless in our country today (part of the need for healing of our society on the larger scale) — not that we were suffering poverty in that magnificent hotel lobby in any way comparable to what was going on in NYC not so far away.

Meantime, behind me, separated by a glass partition, Tommy Tyson could be seen renewing the baptism of about 30 people in the hotel swimming pool. My preaching was to be followed by praying for the 70 people that were still in line when we had to finish our healing service and get out of the ballroom at 5 that afternoon. But instead, there were twice that number (there always are!) and we prayed until around 11 that evening. The unintended consequence was that dozens of people were resting in the Spirit while waiters and curious dinner dancers walked past fifty feet away. There were also a few noisy manifestations of evil spirits departing (again, without our intending to get involved in that ministry). It was just that there was an extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit present to heal and free people. As you can see, it was all very unusual — not the kind of witness we would ever have planned, but there we were, without other choices (except to virtually shut down the conference Saturday night).

Yet , it all seemed to work out wonderfully well. Truly there was something new and unexpected at this conference! One happy effect was that one young man, part of a larger group outside the conference, just walking by, became curious + met a young man who was part of our conference who witnessed to him. The result: the young man committed his life to Jesus Christ, was baptized in the Holy Spirit and ended the evening by praying in tongues!

Truly, all things work together unto good.

Francis & Judith
Rachel & David

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. April 1992 Issue