Healing Line

Healing Line

Being Baptized in the Holy Spirit

by Francis MacNutt
May/Jun 2003

When we talk about praying for healing, we also need to go back and speak about the power that enables us to pray for healing. This is the power that came upon the early church on Pentecost. Those 120 in the upper room were already Christian and were indwelt by the Holy Spirit — Peter with the Apostles and Disciples — but Jesus had still told them to wait in Jerusalem until they were filled with power by the Holy Spirit. So it's important for us, too, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, as they were in the early church. If you are not sure that you have had your experience of Pentecost (it happened to me in 1967 in Maryville, Tennessee), I encourage you to read the Gospel of John 14–17 and the second chapter of Acts, and then read one of Dennis Bennett's books (see our book section).

In the last Healing Line I celebrated the life and death of our friend Tommy Tyson, so I thought you might like to hear how the Spirit came upon Tommy. At the time he was a young Methodist pastor and it was very early in the charismatic renewal in the early 1950's, when he didn't know any other pastors with whom he could talk. So here's the story about how Tommy took that then risky step. (It's an excerpt from a talk he gave in 1968 to a group of Roman Catholic priests.):

How I was Baptized in the Spirit
by Rev. Tommy Tyson

Every time I would question Rufus Moseley about this special presence of Jesus, he would talk about the baptism with the Holy Spirit as a means of coming into union with Jesus. God began creating a great hunger in my heart. I did not know, however, how to go about preparing myself for this baptism by the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, the Lord slipped in on me.

It happened in the men's Bible class at the church I pastored. The lesson that day was on Pentecost (in the Second Chapter of Acts). The teacher didn't know any more about it experientially than I did. When he finished with the lesson, he turned to me and said, "Pastor, do you have something you'd like to add to this lesson?" I thought to myself, "I have something I'd like to say, but I'd better not let them know it." I wanted to get up and tell these men how desperately I'd been seeking for the experience that the lesson dealt with. But, when this idea came to my mind, I thought I'd best not speak it, because, if these men, who made up the official body of the church, discovered how inadequate I was, they would lose their respect for me. Then I would no longer have a ministry!

But then, this question came to my mind very forcibly: "Do you want a ministry of your own making, or do you want to be filled with the Spirit of God?" Impulsively, I came up to the lectern and gripped it. It was the most difficult step I have ever had to take: I was willing to make a fool of myself in the eyes of those who had accepted me as their pastor. They loved me very much, and I loved them, so I felt I was sacrificing the most precious thing God had ever given me, and that was the pastorate of this church. In fact, it was so difficult, it has made every other step since then relatively easy.

Nevertheless, I told these men how empty I was, how much I really desired and needed what that lesson had dealt with.

While I was making a real mess of the whole explanation, God came to my rescue. While I stood before these men, telling them about my need and desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit, God began to fill me. I didn't know what was happening. It was as if wave on wave of power that I had never thought possible began to wash through my heart and mind – my inner being. The first thing of which I became conscious was that I was no longer nearly so concerned about what these men might think about me as I was of a desire to bless them.

This breaking of my fear of public opinion was my first awareness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This whole experience came to a· climax one evening in the parsonage as I was sharing what had happened to me with my friend Wayne McClain. As we shared together — again, without my knowing what really took place or how it happened suddenly, from within, without any kind of outward manifestation, there came a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself – from within me. And, in that moment, the Scripture came to my mind and flowed through my lips, "God has made Him to be unto me wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption."

I realized that life is a Person, and His Name is Jesus; that wisdom is a Person and His Name is Jesus; that sanctification is not just gritting your teeth and trying to do it, but it's a person, and His Name is Jesus.

As I understand it, this is what is happening to me in my own life: Jesus being revealed from within

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. May/Jun 2003 Issue

A Prayer for Peace

by The Rev. Nigel Mumford
May/Jun 2003

Lord, you said to your apostles, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives, do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. "Help me heed those words and fully hear them as I seek peace in my life and pray for peace in t he world. / look for a state of calm and quiet in my mind, in my soul and in my body. I pray for an absence of war and strife in this world. May your perfect peace fall on me and on this wonderful earth that you gave us. Lord, I humbly ask for the gift of peace that passes all understanding. Help me not to try to reason the mystery of peace but to accept the gift. you have given us. Help me to adopt an attitude of gratitude and receive, with thanks, peace perfect peace.

Let your perfect peace rest on me and my house, let peace return to me, put me on the path of peace. Thank you, Lord God.

Thank you, Jesus, for your words: "Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

"Be at peace with each other." Amen.

Taken with permission from Heartfelt Prayers for Healing, by Nigel W.D. Mumford. To order a copy of this book ($15.00) write to: Oratory Press, The Oratory of the Little Way, P.O. Box 221, Gayslordsville, CT 06755 or call (860) 354–8294.
Additional information may found on the website: www.cysol.com/oratory.

Nigel Mumford The Rev. Nigel Mumford is a member of CHM’s National Advisory Board and serves as director of The Oratory of Christ the Healer, Christ the King Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, New York. May/Jun 2003 Issue

The Healing Shepherds of Madagascar

by Francis MacNutt
May/Jun 2003

I have just read a fascinating article1 about how a ministry of deliverance from evil spirits developed almost spontaneously on the Island of Madagascar. Amazingly, the focus of this ministry — called Mpiandry — parallels in many ways what we do at CHM. It's as if God is bringing out ministries all over the world which are based on the same Christian truths directed to meeting the deepest human needs.

The people who perform this deliverance ministry are 5,000 people called "shepherds" who dress in white robes. They are mostly laypeople from every occupation — men and women workers or farmers, theologians or illiterate widows — who do not charge for their prayers.

In their ancient traditional religion the people experienced the oppression of demons and dealt with these problems, as do most pre–Christian religions, through traditional healers, who are called the ombiasas. When the missionaries came they unfortunately did not bring any cure for these demonic oppressions. One large missionary outreach was the Lutheran Church which, with real foresight, were able to learn about healing from the experience of several revivals which started through laypeople having visions telling them to preach and cast out demons. There were three such major "awakenings," beginning in 1894. Each of these three revivals had its own leader and formed its own center of ministry. But they were all faithful to the Malagasy Lutheran Church. Each one of these three groups has its own discipline and yet is recognized by the Lutheran Church.

Perhaps the best–known group was founded by a widow known as Neni–lava, or "Tall Mother." Early in life she had a vision of Jesus who instructed her to teach and heal. She eventually founded a center and under her direction, this center has reached out and established "daughter" centers (at CHM we would call them "affiliates1). The main purpose of the center is to foster salvation through faith in Jesus Christ using special ministries:

  1. casting out evil spirits and
  2. praying for spiritual strengthening.

If you want to become a shepherd you have to undergo two years of study with a pastor and then you might be recognized officially in a service of consecration, held once a year. The followers of Tall Woman have an official handbook setting down strict guidelines for their ministry. Shepherds are expected to demonstrate an exemplary lifestyle and they are accountable to the local pastor.

Healing services begin with a reading of Scriptures accompanied by prayer. Then those seeking deliverance sit apart in one section. A general prayer for exorcism is then made over this group and the Shepherds then move among them looking for signs of oppression, such as convulsions or a trance–like appearance. The Shepherds concentrate their prayers on these individuals until they are freed. Some shepherds are appointed to restrain the demonically infested so they don't hurt themselves (or anyone else). When all signs of infestation cease, the second part of the service begins.

This second time is spiritual strengthening and everyone gets to take part. If you want prayer, you can kneel before a white–robed shepherd and ask for such blessings as peace, for forgiveness, or for the promise of the Holy Spirit.

The entire service may last for hours and it goes on as long as anyone desires prayer. Much of the rapid growth of the Malagasy Lutheran Church has been attributed to the wonderful work the shepherds do.

I think it is encouraging to see that the Holy Spirit is leading Christians to do the same work all over the world—in Madagascar as well as in Florida:

Training people in how to pray,
Then actually praying for the sick and,

Last of all, trying to be a force for unity within the church, rather than as a source of division, as has so often happened in the past.

1"Areopagus," Advent, 1993, pp. 24–26. "Mpiandry: The Healing Shepherds of Madagascar," by James Gonia.

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. May/Jun 2003 Issue

Praise Reports

from Prisons
May/Jun 2003

Freeing a Prisoner

We want to share exciting news coming from a member of our CHM Board who has just visited her brother who is in prison. She shared with him what she has learned about healing and deliverance and he was open to asking her to pray with him. Apparently, a lot happened and he has written to her twice since then and here are some excerpts from his enthusiastic letters:

"I'm doing great after visiting with you yesterday. Thank you for praying with me; some interesting things happened... the praying had an immediate impact... I feel like I've been released from something I did not realize was there. I almost felt giddy all afternoon. Then this morning I was praying again for guidance... and what must be my spirit began praying in tongues! I couldn't believe it. As I continued praying I would get to a certain point where it would abruptly stop and then it would take over for a while ... I would just continue on like the prayer was scripted. It felt so right and natural at the time... I don't know what it all means, but I feel different . ... I would like the reading material on what your group is doing... "

From Letter #2

"I am reading the books you sent me. The first book is Deliverance from Evil Spirits. Fantastic! I have read 200 pages in two days. I now understand a lot better the prayers you said for me when you visited. I also better understand the roots of being oppressed by evil spirits and how to rid myself of them . ... I have completed a personal house cleaning. I feel rejuvenated after asking for forgiveness for every sin I can possibly remember. I have always felt that I did the things that I did not want to do and was at a total loss to explain my behavior. It gives you a sense that at some level you are insane, but now I know where all this was coming from, and I am relieved of my past in the name of Jesus Christ."

This is all very reminiscent of Paul's lament in Romans 7 that he doesn't understand his own behavior but does the very things he hates. And then he cries out to Jesus Christ to rescue him. This whole wonderful freeing process is still going on 2000 years later!

— Francis MacNutt

From an inmate at Baker Correctional Institute:

I am an inmate at Baker C.I. and I found a copy of your newsletter and what a blessing it was to me — a prayer come true. I am an ex–homosexual and have been saved by his grace. I fight with Satan everyday and God has been there for me. I want to stay free and be a witness for Christ. Satan isn't going to win over me — I read my Bible everyday and am in a Bible study... God shows me, he really loves me.

From a State Prison Chaplaincy Sevices Department:

I want to share a Spiritual Healing/Binding story with you that I was a part of this week.

On Monday, a Psychological Specialist who works here at the prison with counseling and developing treatment plans for inmates came to see me at the request of a co–worker. She stated that she might have to quit her job here because of the continuing terrible headaches that she has every time that she enters the prison. She said she really likes her job but the pain in her head was so bad that she couldn't even run a brush through her hair. She also mentioned she was afraid the Lord was punishing her for some unconfessed sin but as far as she knew, she didn't have any. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord many years ago and tries to keep Him in the driver's seat of the car of her life!

I shared with her that the Holy Spirit was telling me that this was a spiritual attack from Satan (not unconfessed sin) and that we needed to pray for healing of the physical illness that was manifesting itself in the form of debilitating headaches and pain. We had a blessed prayer time as I prayed to bind up those evil spirits from returning as well as praying for her physical healing.

She left the Chapel encouraged but still not sure what would happen the next day when she came back to work. I talked to her today and praise God, she came into the institution with no headaches and the evil, awful smell was replace with the smell of sweet roses (that no one else could smell)!

I am so thankful that the Lord led me to CHM so that I might learn and grow as I watch the Lord answer healing prayer!

Listen, Love and Pray!
Chaplain B.

Incarcerated since 1993:

I was 28 years old when my prison term began .... I received the gift of the Holy Spirit when I was 33 years old (with the evidence of speaking in tongues). What a difference it has made in my life.

I received The sword of the Spirit — the Word of God. Thank you so much . ... I know it will make a difference in my life and so many many other lives, too, that I will be praying for. I praise God even now for his goodness and for his wonderful works in Jesus' Name.

My incarceration has brought a genuine faith and confidence in God through Christ Jesus with the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. I'm expecting God to miraculously deliver me. Amen.

God bless you all continually in every way. We love you, God loves you, and we love each other.

In Christ,
Brother J.

May/Jun 2003 Issue