Healing Line

Healing Line

The Old "One-Two" From Jesus

by The Rev. Nigel Mumford
Nov/Dec 2007

It was a normal Wednesday: up at 4am to write, off to work at 8.30am, phone calls, prayer appointments and the usual ministry “stuff.” I had decided to have breakfast at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center before going to the Oratory of Christ the Healer. At breakfast, 26 teens and their chaperones were dining. I introduced myself, and then the leader asked me if I was free during the week to talk about the healing ministry to this Lutheran confirmation class. I had set apart that afternoon to tackle my paper work that was about two feet high and in danger of falling over! I jumped at the chance — anything to get away from that pile! We met after lunch. I introduced myself and then started a brief talk on Christ and His healing ministry, hoping that we would end with a teaching on how to pray with each other for healing. After a while, one of the teens, a sixteen year old, hiccuped in a most extraordinary way. There was an embarrassing pause before the leader told me that Rebecca had been hiccuping for the past four years — that she had painful hiccups about four to eight times an hour. He told me that she had been to several doctors, but nothing seemed to help. There was a pause… it is a pause in life that I am very familiar with. It is the “Holy Pause” — a moment where God is saying, “OK, now you pray!”

“Right, let’s pray for Rebecca.” I told the class how to lay hands on someone and said that I would lead the prayer. The rest of the class did not hold back: they were right there, in faith and a gentle holy boldness. We prayed.

I then continued my extemporaneous talk with a doubt in the back of my mind: “Oh Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief. Oh God, what if she hiccups again?” It was as if God replied, “Well, if she does, you will just have to pray again, won’t you? You remember the story of the blind man and the trees?” She did not hiccup once in the next hour and a half!

A month after this impromptu meeting I got a most wonderful email from Rebecca’s mother. It read, “Thank you for the teaching on healing with the confirmation class that my daughter attended. I thank God that she has only hiccuped four times in the past month and that was with no pain. The problem hiccups stopped immediately the moment you all prayed.” This is an email I will keep for the rest of my life. Faith in action. This taught me a lesson in faith and God was faithful for Rebecca and her family and, indeed, He opened the eyes of the 26 kids and their parents, and me. Thank you, God: I just had a faith lift!

That was the one, here comes the two! I thank Judith and Francis for asking me to join them for the Emerging Leaders in Healing conference in Traverse City, Michigan. I have just spoken to Pastor Gregory Culver from Frankfurt, Michigan (name used with permission): he came to the conference rather tired and stretched, as many pastors do, but he informed me that he is doing very well now. His life was touched by the Holy Spirit at Emerging Leaders and he has a lot to think about. He felt that he has a second calling on his ministry. Seminary was all in the mind, with doctrine and theology, but the healing ministry intrigued him. Since attending Emerging Leaders, he has witnessed a second calling on himself and on the church he is serving. “God has a sense of humor,” he told me: Formerly, his church was conflicted and at odds with one another — clearly the burden he brought to the conference. Now, his church has become a healing church. Greg said with joy, “The Holy Spirit is working this all out.”

Be well, do good works, and love one another.

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. Nov/Dec 2007 Issue