Healing Line

Healing Line

Remarkable Healing of a Muslim

by Francis MacNutt
Jul/Aug 2003

In these days where we hear so much about conflict threatened between Christian and Muslim peoples, I thought you might like to hear about one happy experience that took place about 30 years ago. This extraordinary event involved a woman I had known for a long time. We went to the same high school. She was born Protestant, but she had become a Mohammedan and a Sufi, which is a group within the Muslim world who are serious about interior prayer. When I would return to St. Louis, we would have coffee and talk. I was always trying to reconnect her to Christianity. I gave her books by Teresa of Avila and other great spiritual authors to read. She was never too impressed, although she liked Thomas Aquinas. She became curator at a celebrated art museum, but then she decided she wanted to deal more directly with people, so she went to work at a center for disturbed adolescents. At that point, I started telling her about inner healing. She was interested but skeptical. She said if it were really all that valuable, the scientific world would have heard of it by now.

A few years later I was taking a plane out of Boston, where she was then living, so I called and asked if she would like to get together. She said she would be happy to, but that she had broken her leg and was confined to a wheelchair. I said I could take a taxi and stop on the way to the airport - which I did. We had only about an hour to talk. All the time I was thinking to myself, there she is sitting in a wheelchair; should I offer to pray with her or not? Finally, it was time to go and she rolled away in her wheel chair to phone a cab. I was asking in prayer, "Lord, should I suggest praying or not?" It seemed I should.

When she came back, I said, "You don't have to do this, of course, but I'd feel terrible if I didn't at least offer to pray for your broken leg."

She said, "You know, Francis, that is not my real problem." (By this time, she had left the Sufis.) "My leg is not my real problem," she added. "I really want to know God. I'm really searching, and I'd appreciate prayer for that." Since that truly was a much better reason to pray, I went over to her and put my hand on her head and prayed for that. I asked if it was all right to pray in tongues, because this was one of those cases where I didn't know exactly how best to pray. She said that would be fine.

I started praying for her in tongues. After about thirty seconds, she pulled my hand away and said, "My God, Francis, what are you doing?" That confused me, because she had given me permission to pray. I said, "I don't know, what am I doing?" And she said, "You really don't know, do you?" And I said, "No." And she said, "My God, that's amazing." I said, "What's amazing?" And she said, "You 're praying the Shahada." And I said, "What's that?" She said, "You don't know, do you? That's the traditional prayer we all learn, just as you learn the Lord's Prayer. It's our basic prayer." She then told me that I was praying it in Arabic. Naturally, I was very surprised. Then the cab driver was at the door - just at the worst time. I had to go to the airport. As I was going to the door, she said something else was happening. She said something was being rearranged in her body and in her leg. She said she thought she could walk. And she got out of her wheelchair and walked me to the door. She was totally healed of her broken leg.

When I got home, I wanted to find out what the Shahada was, so I called her on the phone. Later, she wrote me a letter with the Arabic on one side and the English translation on the other. It is very much like the basic Hebrew prayer, "The Lord our God is the one true God. Holy is his name." I left out - and this is interesting - "and Mohammed is his prophet" and went on down to the next line, which was about the compassion of God. It was extraordinary, a great story of God's own working out of reconciliation.


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


Baptism of the Holy Spirit: A Survey

by Francis MacNutt
Jul/Aug 2003

As a follow-up to the last newsletter on our need for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Tommy Tyson's testimony, here's a startling survey on the actual results of praying for the release of the Spirit. The Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut got responses from 100 people who had taken the Life of the Spirit Seminar and then prayed; these respondents had spent an average of ten years in charismatic renewal and parishioners in 15 different churches.


Among their findings:  
1) Time spent in daily prayer:  
Before
20% had no time
65% spent no time
15% no response
After
0% spend no time
90% spend 30 minutes to 2 hours
10% no response
2) Time spent in daily reading the Bible:  
Before
75 % spent no time
25% spent an average of 30 minutes
After
15% spend no time
85% spend an average of 30 minutes
3) Receiving Communion:  
Before
30% did not receive
70% received weekly
After
4% do not receive
96% receive weekly
4) Time spent daily reading spiritual books:  
Before
70% spent no time
30% spent 5 minutes to 1 hour
After
19% spend no time
81% spend 15 minutes to 2 hours

When asked if the Fruits of the Spirit changed after the release of the Spirit 30% said they increased moderately, 60% said they increased significantly (10% reported no change).

When asked about their Faith, 23% said that it increased moderately, 75% that it increased significantly (only 2% said that it stayed the same).

When asked if the release of the Spirit inspired them to be more active in their parish's spiritual or social ministries, 82% said yes.

(This survey was prepared by the Charismatic Renewal Office of Hartford in January, 2002. For more information email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (860) 243-8234.)


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


A Life Changing Experience

by the Rev'd David L. Barr
Jul/Aug 2003

Attending the Christian Healing Ministries' School of Healing Prayer was a life changing experience for me. I wanted to learn how to organize and train members of my congregation for a Sunday morning Altar Ministry. Little did I know that I was being called to the School for my own healing.

We began the first day with Prayer, Praise and Worship, singing hymns to guitar and electronic keyboard music, my least favorite choice of worship. Francis MacNutt delivered the first teachings: Introduction to Healing and Four Types of Healing. As a seminary student I had read his book, Healing in 1974. It was great to hear Francis' insight into the practice of healing. However I became rather uncomfortable with the emphasis he put on the subject of satanic forces of evil. I acknowledged the presence of evil in the world, but I believed evil was a result of our own disobedience to God's will, not the result of demonic control over us. I believed everything God created was good, and that Christ had overcome sin, death, and the devil to free us from the oppression of wickedness.

During the afternoon sessions of Spiritual Healing and Forgiveness there was more talk of evil power and its effect on us. I felt myself becoming defensive and began to pull into my shell to avoid this "fundamental" view of evil that I had rejected long ago. I had always been able to explain away in psychological terms any mention of Satan and his cohorts in the Bible. Then, Judith MacNutt quoted from Paul's letter to the Romans, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect." When I heard "be transformed by the renewing of your minds," I began to really listen to what Judith was saying. I recognized that I really didn't know or understand the magnitude of the impact that evil spirits had on people's lives especially Christians—and me in particular.

Later that evening, during individual group prayer sessions, I received a powerful healing that allowed me to experience a new concept of God. I felt the Father's love I had never known before. His love became real to me through tears of joy and laughter.

For homework, we were asked to fill out the occult sheet to determine the extent of our involvement with the demonic. This just about finished my desire to continue in the course. By the next morning I had almost decided not to return to the Christian Healing Ministries. I did, however, decide to go back only to hear Francis and Judith's presentation on Physical Healing and Inner Healing. I planned to arrive after the worship time.

During the session on Physical Healing, Francis spoke about the power of the Holy Spirit, and how he had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He explained his baptism experience as the opening of the gifts he had received at his baptism confirmation and ordination. We, too, would have the opportunity to receive this same anointing on Thursday morning. I liked his explanation of "being born again," and decided that I would ask for the powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit to release the fullness of His gifts. As the day progressed, I began to feel like a child on Christmas Eve anticipating opening the presents that I had received at my baptism, confirmation, and ordination but had never opened. I was excited, for no one had ever asked me if I would like to be baptized by the Holy Spirit.

During her talk on Inner Healing, Judith shared her personal account of "being saved" as a child after being threatened with the eternal fire of hell. Her story was quite similar to my own experience as an eight-year old boy. I went to Mississippi to spend the summer with my relatives who likewise threatened me with the hell fire if I didn't accept Jesus.

When I returned home and expressed the unimaginable joy I felt of having accepted Jesus as my Savior, my mother told me, "We don't do it that way in the Episcopal Church—you have already been baptized." Hurt by her attitude, I began to develop unknowingly a theological framework in which I rejected any belief in the devil for fear of being hurt again. I also rejected Jesus for allowing me to be crushed by my mother's disapproval. Fortunately, through confirmation, I did get back into a relationship with Jesus even though it was more of a slight acquaintance than a genuine intimate friendship. I came to realize during Judith's talk that I had left my self wide open to being used by the devil and to the infestation of the very evil I chose not to acknowledge.

During individual group prayer sessions that evening, I received real forgiveness and acceptance for having rejected Jesus for a time. I was also delivered from much of the unrecognized evil that had latched on to me during my life.

The next day, I would get to open my gifts in the late afternoon. For the first time, the morning worship was a joy. The MacNutts' talks on Conception to Birth and Generational Healing made the morning fly. I was filled with new insights that explained so much of my past—especially my early childhood. In the afternoon session, Introduction to Prayer Ministry, Elizabeth Coleman gave me the tools I had sought to begin a prayer ministry at my Church.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit was a blessing from Francis that was followed by Group Prayer for Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Wow! What an experience. Chairs were moved to the back of the room, the lights were dimmed, and soft music was played. Francis asked those of us who wanted to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit to come forward. He then asked those who had already received this blessing to pray with him. They began to pray softly in tongues as Francis encouraged the rest of us to "launch out" and let the Holy Spirit lead us in this new venue of prayer. As hands were laid on me and voices lifted me to the presence of the Spirit, I began to sing quietly in tongues to the most beautiful melody I had ever heard. The gifts of peace, joy, happiness, and excitement overwhelmed me and are still present in me to this day. A new relationship with Jesus and the Father had begun.

On the last day of Level I during the Prayer, Praise and Worship time, I raised my hands in praise with the others, and again I sang in tongues to the melodies that were being played. Developing Prayer Teams and Intercessory Prayer by Elizabeth Coleman further prepared me to begin a healing prayer ministry at my church.

Francis and Judith came to pray for each of us individually. As hands were placed on me and prayer in the Spirit bathed me like warm water, my arms began to feel heavy and a tingling sensation like electricity went from my shoulders to my fingertips. I became weak in the knees and fell backward into the strong arms of one of the staff who laid me gently on the floor. I was resting in the Spirit. Total peace and tranquility enveloped me for quite a while. As I got up and walked to the back of the room, I felt as if I was walking down the aisle of an airplane in motion, wobbling to and fro. What a glorious way to be sent on our way filled with the power and joy of the Holy Spirit.

The Rev'd David L. Barr is an ordained Episcopal Priest of 25 years, having served in large, medium, and small churches. He was director of development of Meshota House Episcopal Seminary and has served as Canon of Stewardship, Diocese of Florida.


Jul/Aug 2003 Issue