Healing Line

Healing Line

Our Journey to Scotland

by Francis MacNutt
Jan/Feb 2004

There is so much news to report about our trip to Edinburgh. It will be easy to start but hard to finish. We can tell you remarkable, dramatic stories about the healings (and deliverances, too) that took place, but the most significant thing of all was simply that we were invited there by the leadership of the Presbyterian Church ("The Church of Scotland," as it is known there). This invitation was seen as so important that a friend, Rev. Bob Whitaker, one of the pioneers in the Presbyterian charismatic renewal way back in the '60s, thought the event was so remarkable that he phoned from California to see if it was really true. When he found that it was, he mobilized about 100 friends to pray for the conference's success.

One of the unusual features of the invitation comes from the fact that John Calvin was a "Cessationist," who believed that the charisms of the Spirit were for the early Church but were unnecessary in later centuries. He wrote that healing was a papist superstition, and he had some justification for this, since what was still flourishing in his day were shrines filled with relics that attracted large numbers of pilgrims — and to the Protestants, the whole practice of relic veneration seemed like a big money–making scheme.

The topic the Presbyterians chose was "Spiritual Healing" and the conference (held at Heriot–Watt University) was addressed to clergy. Rooms were limited to 150 participants and when those filled up, another 60 participants were added on a daytime basis. For two days (November 16–17) we spoke and prayed and the receptiveness of the ministers and other leaders was extraordinary. We gave a talk on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and when we prayed on the first evening for anyone who desired to receive the empowering of the Spirit, nearly everyone who had not received it before came forward, and there were many extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit. On the second night we prayed for healing and deliverance and several dramatic examples — even of deliverance — occurred on the platform. One distinguished looking elderly woman was propelled right across the platform, going backwards on feet moving faster than any human being could seemingly propel them. Judith describes it as if she were attached to a bungee cord that propelled her across the platform upon rapidly moving feet.

Such spectacular incidents, of course, are not what the conference was really all about. Our real hope was that people's lives would be transformed through God's love and power!

An evening later we held a healing service in St. Cuthbert's Presbyterian Church in the heart of Edinburgh. About 400 came and, again, all kinds of healings and deliverances took place, some going on until 2:30 a.m.

From our perspective, one of the happiest outcomes of the Scotland trip was that members of our Board of Directors (Thad and Virginia McNulty, Taylor and Kathi Smith, and Lee Ann Rummell) not only came with us (but joined with the ministry teams from Scotland) and were actively involved in praying with all the people who came forward. This was fairly new to them, and the trip home was filled with the same happy excitement that the disciples displayed after they found out that healing and deliverance were real and actually can transform peoples' lives (Luke 10: 17–24).

The last thing we did in Edinburgh was to meet with the Panel on Deliverance appointed by the Church of Scotland to investigate the entire issue of exorcism. We found that the Presbyterians had been meeting and discussing healing for many years and had even published an excellent booklet in 1995, Health and Healing (St. Andrew Press).

The twelve–person panel, represented all points of view, including those who do not believe that demons exist. The topic of deliverance, therefore, is a controversial topic which is made harder to discuss because of scoffing articles, such as one in the Sunday Times which read: "The Church of Scotland plans a move into the exorcism racket to comfort frothing loons whose maladies cannot be diagnosed by medical science" (9/3/03). Taking their work seriously, the Panel sent out a survey to 1,159 clergy and some 426 responded. It is encouraging to know that, to the question, "Do you believe that supernatural forces of evil exist today?" more than two–thirds answered yes, while only 15.6% said no, and another 12.8% were unsure.

As to whether they had ever been approached by someone who believed that they were affected by a demonic entity, 64.5% said yes. Much of this had to do with places where strange manifestations seemed to take place, and most of the clergy indicated that they would appreciate learning how to deal with people or places that had been affected. Most of the clergy had a minimum of experience in these matters, but showed an interest in learning more about what to do when confronted by these problems. Only a minority shut out the possibility of a real personal, demonic evil but they were strong in their opposition to approving a rite of exorcism.

Our hope is that we might be invited to do a longer follow–up: for instance a five–day "Emerging Leaders Workshop" to build on the short two–day conference we had Francis and Judith in November. Already three of the Church of Scotland's panel on deliverance are planning to come to Jacksonville in early 2004 to join us in one of our Emerging Leaders workshops.

At any rate we are encouraged by what has already happened. Just this morning I received a letter from a panel member who wrote that the conference was "not only the best conference which we have yet held, but has also reached more priests, ministers and members of Christian denominations stretching from Geneva to the USA and from Shetland to the south coast of England."

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Jan?Feb 2004 Issue

New Year's Resolution

by Judith MacNutt
Jan/Feb 2004

Filled with great hope, many of us return each January to the ritual of making New Year's resolutions: lose weight, stop smoking, exercise more, stop getting angry and losing control, be a little kinder, be a better person, etc. There's something about a brand new year that fills us with hope that this year will be different — successful. A giant amnesia overtakes us, and for a few hopeful days we forget the failed resolutions of our past. As we slip back into failure again, we border on discouragement: "Why can't I change?"

What many struggling Christians don't realize is that they are dealing with a shattered will. Traumatic childhood events have a shattering effect on the will. Once the will has been damaged by sin or trauma, the individual no longer has the strength or ability to lead a disciplined, healthy, Christ–centered life. When you can't. stop yourself from making self–destructive choices, it's a sign that the will has been weakened. When this occurs, we rely on our own strength to change. This almost always leads to failure and for some, depression or despair. Many popular teachings emphasize "my ability" to change — to do it in my own strength.

Discipline is necessary in our daily life, but what happens when the larger moral issues are out of control, weakened by sin or trauma? What if l keep falling into the same old pits: adultery, promiscuity, addictions, greed, abuse, etc.? This is when I need to turn to God, who has the power to bring about the change our hearts cry out for. Only God's power through the work of the Holy Spirit, can heal our memories, forgive sin, and restore the shattered soul. Jesus brings His fire to heal us to live in freedom! Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

I want to tell you a personal story. I had asthma when I was growing up. Then, when I was 16, I started smoking. Of course, I did everything to hide it: I ate onions before I went home at night, or I chewed gum, or sprayed perfume. I did all the things teenagers do to hide their smoking.

My mother hated smoking. She hated alcohol, too, but she especially hated cigarettes, and most especially because I had asthma.

A few years later, when I was in my early 20s, a man came over from Israel. I had lived in Israel, and a friend of mine sent him over. The man's name was Ralph. I picked him up at the Lexington, KY, airport, which was two hours away from my hometown. I didn't know this man, but he was planning on staying at my home for a few days. After we got into my car, I started to light a cigarette. Out of courtesy, I said, "You don't mind ifl smoke, do you?" He said, "Yes, I do." I almost threw him out of the car. But he was the friend of a friend, so I thought, "I'll just wait 'til I get home."

On the way home, Ralph began to tell me about how the power of God could free me from my addiction to smoking. And I thought, "M–m–m. Yes, yes." Now, as a serious addiction, nicotine is right up there with crack. As a matter of fact, it is actually more difficult to quit smoking, but I didn't really want to quit, anyway. I liked to smoke. I thought it made me look cool — like an adult.

Ralph said to me, "I'll tell you what. I'll make a deal with you." (He was going to be in our home for three days.) "Every time you want a cigarette, come and talk to me, and I will pray for you." I said, "Okay." We had two bedrooms in the back of my home next to the kitchen, and he was staying in the other bedroom. So this one time, when I wanted a cigarette, I went into his room where I found him reading the Bible. I said, "Ralph, I want a cigarette."

The minute I spoke to him, he dropped to the floor on his knees — just dropped straight to the floor — threw his arms straight up to the heavens and started shouting, "Lord, deliver her! Free her! Free my sister!" I didn't know what to do. I had never seen anyone pray like that. I thought he was going to say a sweet little prayer to encourage me.

Finally, I left the room after about ten minutes, because he just went on and on — he was in there forever — and I walked into the kitchen. Well, my mother was dying laughing. She was dying laughing. She said, "M–m–m. God sent someone." After that, I was afraid to tell Ralph in public when I wanted a cigarette. Once, when I was at a friend's house, I told him I wanted a cigarette. He dropped to the floor, and all my friends (they were dentists and doctors) looked at me and said, "What is he doing?" I said, "He's praying for me to quit smoking."

You can imagine how I just couldn't wait for him to leave. I really wanted a cigarette, and I hadn't had one for three days, but I thought, "I can survive one more day and humor him."

After his visit was over, I drove Ralph back to the airport, put him on the plane and was glad to see him fly back to Israel. Then I ran back into the airport lobby, put my money in the machine and bought a pack of cigarettes (because, in addition to everything else, he had stomped on all of my cigarettes and shredded them).

I didn't even wait until I got out of the lobby. I lit one — but it tasted awful. I can't tell you how bad it tasted. It was as if I had never smoked. Everything in me — my taste buds, my lungs — rejected it. I looked up at that plane. The sad thing was, I couldn't even be thankful at that point, because all my friends smoked, and now I was going to look uncool.

When I got home, my mom said, "It didn't taste good, did it?" She knew.

I haven't smoked one cigarette since that day. The amazing thing to me is that I know God can free those who really get serious with Him. I've gotten numerous letters from people who have been freed from smoking through one prayer. And I've gotten letters from others who have said, "You have prayed for me now for five years in a row, and I am still smoking." Now, what's the difference? Is there something within us that blocks our healing? Is there a need for more inner healing? I think we tend to look at some healings as being really hard for God because they are hard for us. They are not hard for God; He created us, and He can handle our problems.

So, if you have trouble keeping your New Year's resolutions, pray for God's help. Pray yourself or, better yet, tell your married partner or a friend and ask them to pray that God would help free you and transform your broken will and wounded desires.

Francis MacNutt Judith MacNutt is author, teacher, conference speaker and co–founder of CHM. Jan?Feb 2004 Issue

Does Jesus Baptize us with Fire?

by Francis MacNutt
Jan/Feb 2004

In all four Gospels John the Baptist cries out, prophesying that the one who is to follow him will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. This is the Baptist's main prophecy about what Jesus will do in our lives. And then Matthew and Luke also quote John as saying that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. What in the world does that really mean? With fire?

I would like to share with you my guess. See what you think.

First of all, I would like to take you back to a talk I heard one priest give to a group of about 100 priests in which he challenged them by saying, "I don't care how you define this Baptism of the Spirit; all I want is to ask: 'Has what happened to Peter at Pentecost happened to you? Before Pentecost the disciples were already followers of Jesus. They accepted the Resurrection. Yes. But something hadn't yet happened to them which only happened at Pentecost."'

I would like to add what should be obvious: Pentecost wasn't something the disciples did. The Pentecost experience was something God did for them. All they did was to pray and wait. It was a great gift: the Promise ("I am sending on you what the Father has promised." Luke 24:49.)

In the past 35 years I have prayed for many Christians to receive the Baptism of the Spirit and seen their lives truly transformed. At our recent conference in Scotland, one priest came up to tell me and shared that, way back in 1975, I had prayed for him in Dublin, Ireland, for the Baptism of the Spirit and his life has never been the same since then.

So, coming back to our question, what does it mean to add "and with fire"?

The last few months have given us some clues. For instance, we prayed for an Episcopal deacon and afterwards, with eyes glistening with tears, she said, "I have been ordained for seven years, so why didn't someone ever tell me about this?" And then five members of our board have recently prayed for the empowering of the Spirit and were so fired up that they decided to come to Scotland, at their own expense, to help us pray with their fellow Presbyterians there. Far from merely being sympathetic observers, they enthusiastically entered in, and prayed for healing and deliverance. One night two of them, so on fire that they ignored their jet lag, prayed with a woman until 2:30 a.m. And then this week (two weeks later) they received a letter from her saying that her life was transformed.

And then there is the story of Fr. David Barr, the husband of our receptionist, Patsy, who received prayer last year for the empowering of the Spirit — many years after ordination — and whose transformation he described in our newsletter (July/August, 2003).

Now, all of these were wonderful, church–going Christians, before all this happened. Their transformations were along the line of Peter — true believers who were set on fire by the Holy Spirit.

Where is the fire in our churches? How can we help this happen to all those good Christians we see out there in our dutiful but sleepy congregations? When will the pastors start to preach about the Baptism of the Spirit? And pray for it?

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Jan?Feb 2004 Issue

Praise the Lord and Give Thanks

See what He has done ...
Jan/Feb 2004

From a letter received by the MacNutts:

"I want to thank you for your ministry's having changed my life. My name is Lisa Aguero. I started coming to your facility in June 2003, because I had been bulimic for 22 years .... I began with your tapes on bulimia and other eating disorders, and was so touched and changed by those tapes that I knew I had to learn more.

"I came to Christian Healing Ministries with some anxiety and hope. In the past I had sought traditional therapy, but being the wife of a prominent Orthopedic surgeon in our small home town, was just placated, given medication, and told to decrease stress in my life. I was raised in an abusive, alcoholic, born–out–of–wedlock family, but was of the firm belief that I could get up, over it, and on with it. I came to your facility and met with prayer ministers Earling and Frieda, and was "cut free ", resulting in significant changes in my life. I was free from my bulimia for 140 days; the changes in me were miraculous. I scheduled three days of prayer for inner healing, but, as time passed, talked myself out of it. About two weeks before I came to CHM, I began to binge and purge again and was spiraling out of control. I decided to give prayer for inner healing a try. For three days I cried, prayed, and was so deeply healed I cannot express my gratitude .... God, my prayer counselors (David and Jean) and I worked through Theophostic healing and prayed for the release of the Holy Spirit and inner healing. I will never be the same."

More reports from our mailbox and, by email, from our prayer line:

"I am so excited about the MacNutts' visit to Vail, Colorado this month. Francis prayed over my head. Twenty years ago, I had meningitis. As a result of the brain damage, I had not been able to retain numbers (several digits in a row) and, because of the chemistry changes, had had to be on anti–depressants. Now I'm taking no anti–depressants, and I feel great and think clearly. And I remember numbers. It is such a wonderful healing to have the fogginess in my head gone. Praise God."

''At your visit to Vail, my sister's torn arches (for three years in severe pain) were healed. And I had been on anti–depressants since 1984. Since the conference in Vail, I have had no symptoms and have stopped taking medication for the problems that resulted from the case of meningitis 19 years ago. Blessed weekend."

"Tell Francis that Mary Ann has had some bone 'remodeling' (the doctor's term) around the osteonecrosis in her tibia bone. The doctor was very surprised. We told him about the soaking prayer. Mary Ann is pain free and we are praying for 'remodeling' to continue."

"I had a 3–day healing prayer session in 1999 at CHM. I also want to thank you for your books, tapes, and website. You have taught me how to pray, and my relationship with God has gone from one of less trust to more and more trust each day. He does change things and I bless him for it. My compulsive eating has improved, 111y outlook on life and my future has improved, and /no longer seek affirmation through sexual relationships. Praise God for his faithfulness, and thank you all for your hard work. My life has really changed."

"Thank you so much for praying for me. The Lord has answered my prayers. On October 14th the Lord healed me of severe depression that I had carried around for years. Praise God. Now, every morning when I awaken there is no pain. I am so amazed at God's mercy and love. He is so wonderful. He also gave me a new job. To God be all the glory and praise."

"My life is at peace after being under a horrible attack that lasted from October 2002 until July 2003. Thank you for your prayers."

"Healthy newborn, Samuel Kim — another Praying–for–Your–Unborn–Child success. To God be the glory."

"Joy, 17 years old, is our adopted daughter from Honduras .... She has had depression problems which may be generational or related to the adoption. Twice during the last year, I have asked for prayer for her inner and spiritual healing .... We now see her responding to the Holy Spirit's working and are very thankful. We praise God for what He has done these past few months, and thank her intercessors from CHM."

"I've been trying to survive on little to nothing each month. Bless God,for he has provided in the least likely of ways to sustain me .... Your prayers have lifted me up and far beyond my expectations of blessings. I have more faith and obedience to our Father God, more than ever. Thank you for your continuing prayers."

"Our two boys continue to be healed from allergies and asthma. We are praising God for His mercy and how He will bring them to full recovery and ability to eat, breathe and live as God initially intended. Thanks for your prayers. Thank you for your wonderful ministry and encouragement."

"I called some weeks ago to ask you to pray for my wife Susan, and it's been a miracle. I called for healing of her heart and for relationship healing. While she was driving home from work yesterday, Jesus came to her like none other. It's just amazing, as you can imagine. Thank you so m"uch. God bless."

"God certainly has moved mountains and worked miracles in me and my home, and I would just like to thank you. Thank you for your ministry, for your sincere love of God and people, and for sharing it with all of us. I will continue to utilize and support your facility and to seek and praise God, and would just like to thank you again for being a significant part of my journey."

Praise Reports from Days of Healing Prayer and Two Days of Intensive Prayer:

"After intercessory prayer for depression, I've been able to throw away my sleeping pills and I'm sleeping well."

Roy Lee had a malignant, inoperable brain tumor when he attended Day of Healing Prayer and the two days of intensive prayer in March of this year. He returned to Day of Healing Prayer in October to share his good news, and left this note: "Thank you for all your prayers and healing! The neurooncologist says the area of the brain tumor is fine on the MRI. Not only have I received healing but I now hold the fastest running time for my Air Force squadron. Thank you and the Lord for my healing I and restoration to health. Roy Lee."

Barbara, who suffers severe muscle impairment as a result of Wagner's Disease, came to Day of Healing Prayer, November 3"1• She asked for prayer for lessening of pain and for greater mobility, especially in her .fingers, which she could hardly move. After the morning session, a friend took her to lunch. Barbara was thrilled that she was able to reach for a Sweet–and–Low packet, tear it open, and put it in her tea. For the remainder of the day, she also was able to stand upright when walking.

Yvonne has suffered with a familial tremor in her neck for .fifteen years. During the Day of Healing Prayer, November 3"1, the tremor stopped, remained calm the following day, and has continued to be less troublesome.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul ... who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, ho satisfies your life with good things .... (Psalm 103 :2–4)

(The Praise Reports have been edited for readability.)

Jan/Feb 2005 Issue