A Healing Place

by Jim Francis
Apr/May 2008

The Capital Campaign Committee has been meeting regularly for over a year developing the funding plan for the new ministry center. The ministry center has become necessary to meet the overwhelming demand by those seeking healing and training to be prayer ministers. Our vision is that the new ministry center will enable us to satisfy this demand more completely and efficiently by holding many more conferences and healing sessions where our ministry team can teach and bring healing to more people in an environment conducive to healing.

Last year the committee successfully completed the funding for the land with contributions of over $2 million from the Board of Directors. This led to the purchase of over 60 acres of beautiful land fronting on a tributary of the St. Johns River in Northwest Jacksonville. This land was available for a reasonable price because it was not readily developable, since it had a large amount of wetlands and the river is not practically accessible. The land makes for a perfect ministry center because of our desire to leave it mostly undeveloped.

The Capital Campaign Committee engaged Panas, Linzy and Partners to assess the feasibility of raising an additional $23 million to pay for improvements to the land and to provide for an endowment of $5 million for maintenance and operations. The improvements will include an office and bookstore building, a chapel, an auditorium and prayer cottages surrounded by ancient oaks and beautiful natural foliage.

revised land

Panas, Linzy has met with several constituents of CHM and there are plans to have meetings with additional constituents to assess the feasibility of the capital campaign. Based on the information gathered so far, the conclusion is that a significant amount of the funding will be available from the persons who have participated in the study already. We hope that upon the completion of the study, which we expect later this year, that the complete campaign will be feasible in a single phase. The alternative to a single phase development will be a multi-phased development which will occur over a few years.

The Committee has also been searching for a development director who will assist the Committee in completing the capital campaign and providing for a more structured development plan than we have employed in the past. We appreciate your continued prayers and support.

Jim Francis is a member of the Board of Directors of Christian Healing Ministries, Inc., as well as the Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee. Apr/May 2008 Issue

A Beautiful Duet

by Linda Strickland
Apr/May 2008

I once heard a story about the great concert pianist Paderewski. One evening a mother took her young son, who had just begun piano lessons, to hear this master play. The stage was set simply, with a spotlight highlighting the beautiful grand piano and bench. The mother and her young son found their seats and were anxiously waiting for the concert to begin. As they waited, the mother became engaged in conversation with the person seated next to her and did not realize that her son had gotten out of his seat. Just as she noticed his absence, “Chopsticks” filled the air of the great hall.

Horrified, the mother saw her missing young son on the stage, in the spotlight, seated at the grand piano, smiling as he picked out the tune. “Get him out of there!” came voices from the crowd.

“No!” cried a European accent from the wings, and the great Paderewski strode on stage. “Boy, keep going and I’ll help you,” he said. As he sat down on the bench next to the little boy, he began adding fabulous improvisations – chords, patterns, runs and additional melodies – as the two of them captivated the audience with “Variations of Chopsticks”!

I love to share this story with the students at our School of Healing Prayer®. It is a great example of how, as prayer ministers, our (Chopstick) prayers are small and pathetic on their own, but when the Holy Spirit is invited to come and “sit down beside us,” together we make a beautiful duet.

All through history there have been many great “duets.” There were Lewis and Clark, Rogers and Hammerstein, Abbott and Costello, George and Gracie, Sonny and Cher, Fred and Ethel…well, you get the picture. Jesus demonstrated the value of partnership, as well, when he sent his disciples out into the world two by two (Mark 6:7). He knew they would need each other. He knew what they would face, and that “two would be better than one.”

King Solomon wrote about this in the book of Ecclesiastes (4:9-12) when he said, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three is not quickly broken!”

My husband and I have claimed this particular passage as our life verse for our marriage. We have found that “two are better than one,” but “a cord of three” is even better. Two people make a marriage – but inviting the Holy Spirit to be the third strand of the cord is what makes it work. We’ve tried it both ways, and as the old saying goes – the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

For most people, life is made up of many seasons and changes. One season may find you with people in your life that you can truly call partners – people who make harmony with you in the duet of life. At other times you may experience a season of living and working solo, but for each of us, as believers and followers of Christ, we always have a partner: The Holy Spirit. He is the constant living and active presence of Jesus in our lives.

I pray that whether you are singing life in duet or solo, you will always invite the Holy Spirit to come and “sit down beside you” in everything that you do. And in the words of Paderewski, you will hear the Holy Spirit say, “Keep going and I’ll help you.”

Now that’s a beautiful duet!

Linda Strickland Linda Strickland is the Associate Director of Ministry and Assistant to Judith MacNutt. Apr/May 2008 Issue

Healing is Not Meant for Entertainment

by Mary Kleist
Apr/May 2008

Francis often teaches that some of the deepest healing God does for people is often overlooked, because it is not dramatic enough to captivate an audience. Mary Wittke, one of the attendees of our latest School of Healing Prayer® Level II (February 18-22), testifies to the great freedom God brought to her through healing that, to those on the outside, may not sound captivating:

I do not have a prayer ministry (with others), but work as a hospice chaplain. My hope in coming to Level II (after Emerging Leaders in October) was to begin to learn enough to know whether I could (possibly) begin a ministry in Salt Lake City (conducting training there). I did not get this—I got so much more. I discovered that I need a lot more healing and prayer before the Lord will use me in this area (training).

The healing I received was increased patience…really! Francis said receiving healing like this is not exciting to people on the outside. Oh, but on the inside, it surely is exciting! I pray so often for the face of Jesus to shine through me. I feel as though things that prevented people from seeing Him in me lifted this week. I feel the answer to my prayers for the Fruits of the Spirit to ripen in me has come. I have more joy, too! I’m willing to wait for increase.

How did this happen? Numerous inner vows and word curses I had made on myself were revealed, renounced, and the effects lifted in prayer. The Holy Spirit revealed sexual sin I had committed and led me to break, in prayer, any bonds or soul ties with partners. Though I had done this before, I did it at a deeper level this time—another layer. I am free and the blockages in my marriage and in my relationship with God have lifted, for I confessed those to others and to God and the shame of all this sin is healed, too.

My ability to rest in Him has grown. I have greater peace and freedom from worry. I have given my burdens to the Lord. All the sorrow I have carried for the dying people to whom I minister is loosed. My load is lighter, for His burden is light and His yoke is easy. The concern for their salvation (I minister to so many who don’t seem to know God) is loosed.

God has increased the love in my heart this week, dissipating the sizing up and judging I’ve habitually done. He’s given me a passion to know and feel his love. He’s changed my prayers to prayers for His love to bubble up and overflow. It’s not just words, but a deep longing. From knowing His love, He increases my ability to love others and myself.

Oh, the exciting Fruits of the Spirit! That’s what I got at Level II. That’s what I’ll continue to pray for! Hooray!

Apr/May 2008 Issue

Bringing the Obstacles to Healing into the Light

by Francis MacNutt
Apr/May 2008

Something that really excites me is that there are vitally important frontiers in healing that are still to be explored. We are called to be pioneers in areas that meet the deepest needs of the human race. Whenever the Holy Spirit is most intimately present at one of our conferences, the very leaders who have come to learn to pray for others find that they themselves have unhealed areas of their lives that surface with many tears. Sometimes deliverance from evil spirits also takes place. These are the deep spiritual needs that remain unmet in our ordinary Sunday services and liturgies. Healing services are simply not able to meet most of the deepest needs for healing that we have.

As it developed in the Pentecostal churches, the main way that healing was expressed was in dramatic healing services that featured a celebrity healer. These were marvelous testimonies to God’s love and power to heal, but, as in all things human, there were weaknesses. As I have seen them (and led them), I see the following normal imperfections that need to be addressed:

1)  Healing services tend to be large, so there is not time enough to minister to individuals whose ailments require more attention; we see great unmet need for counseling and soaking prayer. Prayer in these services has to be quick and results instant. Only a minority of the people who attend actually end up healed. Millions of Christians suffer from Alzheimer’s, for example, and yet when have you personally seen it healed at a large healing service?

2)  The basic rule of theatre is that you cannot bore an audience or you lose their attention. Therefore, the healing minister must be dramatic. Yet most of the major healings that I witness are deep and interior. They are hidden until later. Even when a tumor disappears, which is truly dramatic, it may take ten minutes.

3)  There is a temptation for the leader to hype the situation – to exaggerate, to be unreal. John Wimber was very sensitive in combating this human tendency whenever he could. Historically, this desire to show results has led to the fall of many healing evangelists. Take, for example, the most celebrated healer of all during the glory days of the 1950s – William Branham. Among other remarkable gifts, he was able “to read your mail” – even to knowing your name. He was famous for his gifts, but what does the healer do at the times when the gifting is not present? (See the life of Kathryn Kuhlmann, Daughter of Destiny by Jamie Buckingham.) At any rate, when other healing evangelists also appeared and became popular, they were all competing, in a sense, to draw the crowds necessary to support the ministry. To stand out again from the crowd, Branham began to prophesy that God would do more dramatic things than ever before in his ministry. When it was not clear what these supernatural gifts might be, Branham began to come out with dramatic prophecies (that did not come true), such as the sliding of the California coast into the Pacific Ocean. These discrepancies do not always bother gullible believers, but educated Christians soon made the term “faith healer” a term of derision. We have had to deal with this bad reputation all during our ministry.

4)  Greed. If the healing evangelist is serious in his study of Jesus’ life, he or she must eventually come to terms with Jesus’ strict warnings not to make money off the healing ministry. Far from heeding these warnings, some healing evangelists preach a wealth gospel that assumes that the preacher’s followers will enjoy financial wealth. Especially among many young people, this creates cynicism, rather than faith, about healing prayer.

These are, as I see them, the major obstacles to restoring Jesus’ healing ministry to the Church. We need to see these obstacles clearly so that we can effectively overcome them. These problems seem shameful, but all the more reason why we need to bring them into the light, confront them directly, and restore the reputation of being someone who is glad to be seen as a Christian minister of healing prayer.

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Apr/May 2008 Issue