Healing Line

Healing Line

The Joy of Being in Healing Ministry

by Francis MacNutt
Mar/Apr 2010

I remember once when I was in Australia, after I had led a glorious retreat for 220 priests, I went walking through the streets of Sydney. As I was going along, I had a sense of what wonderful people were walking down the streets.

About that same time, an evangelist whom I knew and respected gave some talks in Australia. After he finished, he ended up in his room, crying over the sense of sin welling up from those same streets of Sydney. When I heard about that, I thought, “What’s this? Should I be laughing or crying?”

It came to me that we were both right! I could weep for the sins of Sydney every day and all day, and it would not be nearly enough. Or I could rejoice and celebrate all day about the goodness that was in the people – and that would not be enough. As I see it, there is a grace in seeing the evil that’s there, and there’s a grace in the seeing the goodness that’s there. Being human, I need a balance: I need to cry with those who cry, pray for deliverance everyday, and I also need to be at peace and rest. I need to laugh more than I do and be able to see and enjoy the delightful side of life.

I believe those of us who pray for healing are, or should be, the most joyful people alive. We see so much sickness changed by healing prayer and so much demonic oppression transformed into freedom. But we need to make a choice in where we put our focus.

The healing/deliverance ministry deals with the most painful and worst aspects of human experience. If you pray for inner healing in any kind of depth, you hear tragic stories. What lies beneath the surface are so often tears of sadness caused by the abandonment of children, cruel words, and harsh judgments that most people haven’t heard about. The wounded and broken person trusts you in sharing his or her story. You then can ask Jesus to reach into those painful memories and transform the pain. And when that happens, we all rejoice.

When you hear about so much human tragedy, you can easily become weighed down. If you spend most of your day praying for deliverance from evil spirits, you yourself can actually become oppressed by what evil spirits have done to hurt innocents. You either feel like weeping or you get angry. Especially, when you learn about how relatively common such evil as satanic ritual abuse is, you may come to contemplate at night on the hideous images of what you have heard during the day.

This is when you have to make something of a choice, because you are also seeing the oppressed go free, and the sick become whole and well.

We rejoice with those who rejoice, as well as weep with those who weep. The blind see and the deaf hear. I could spend all day fighting evil, but more and more I see the wisdom in Paul’s advice. “Fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure, everything that we love and honor and everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise.” (Phil. 4:8)

In the healing ministry we can choose to concentrate on the freedom and life and health that Jesus brings, rather than the enormous forces of evil that occupy the news channels. Without in any way denying the evil, I do not want to concentrate on attacking the evils in this world, but I want to see the beauty that is in this world - in nature, but primarily in loving people that I meet every day and that I have the privilege of ministering with.

It is helpful to try to concentrate on all these positive, beautiful parts of our lives, and to celebrate what God is doing in our lives, especially at the end of the day. When we get older it’s supposed to become harder to sleep. But I find it easy to fall asleep, without tossing and turning with worry, because in the evenings, I try not to think of things that could weigh on me  -  things like work and problems and evil.

I think it’s very instructive to see in the famous Parable of the Sower (Mt. 13: 4-9), the problem with the seed that falls among the weeds is that the seed is choked by the “worries” of this world (Mt. 13:22). At times, I have even felt that I was being virtuous in worrying about things. Worry shows that I am really concerned about things that really need to be changed. But this was not Jesus’ attitude. When the storm came up on the lake, Jesus was asleep in the bow; and when his disciples woke him up, he blamed them, actually, because they did not have enough faith to let him take his rest. That always touched me.

Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and Jesus wants you to rest from the cares of the world so that you can concentrate on healing work and transformation.

“Celebrate God all day, everyday. I mean revel in him! Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying pray…petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers. Letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Jesus Christ displaces worry in the center of your life” (Phil. 4:6-7, The Message).

Then we can rest and be thankful for each day we are able to be faithful servants.
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Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Magazine Issue

Issue Order:
201002_01


Satisfaction Guaranteed

by Linda Strickland
Mar/Apr 2010

I recently had a conversation with a young man who was upset over the sudden breakup he had just experienced with his girlfriend. She had given him an ultimatum: she wanted a marriage proposal, or it was over. The tears in his eyes told me what he had chosen.

As we continued to talk he confessed that, although he loved this young woman very much, marriage scared him to death. He had grown up watching his parents’ marriage die a long and painful death which finally ended in divorce, and he was terrified of the same thing happening to him. Trembling, he said, “I told my girlfriend that before I could marry her I would need a guarantee that this wouldn’t happen to us.”

Unfortunately for him, there are no guarantees in marriage. At least that’s what I thought.

Then one day in my car, listening to a broadcast of Family Life Today, Pastor Will Davis, Jr. (author of Pray Big for Your Marriage) said something that changed my thinking. He said, “1% of marriages fail where the couple prays together. That means that 99% make it!

I don’t know about you, but in a world where the divorce rate is getting close to 60% (including Christian marriages), this really excites me. Can you imagine having a 99% guarantee that your marriage will not fail?

Although many people might scoff at this amazing statistic, my experience tells me that it is true.

I have been married for 35 years, but 10 years into our marriage my husband and I separated for 5 years. The difference between the first 15 years and the last 20 years has been having God in the center of our marriage.

I remember right after my husband and I reconciled, I bought a couples’ devotional book for him as a gift. That book lay on our coffee table for about a year before we actually picked it up and started using it. But once we started, we couldn’t stop.

 Every morning we would read the short devotion, talk about it some, and then pray together. It’s hard to explain, but the effect it was having on our relationship was nothing short of astonishing.

To tell you the truth, I couldn’t figure out if he was changing, or if I was changing, but I knew for sure that our marriage was changing. And it was good change…really good.

After a while we both began to notice that life was different - and not in a good way - if we missed a day. We would even joke about it, telling our friends that if we missed our devotion and prayer together that we would end up in a fuss that day. The not so funny thing was….it was true.

In the home I grew up in there was a plaque on the wall that read, “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together.” I always thought it was a silly little rhyme, and actually hated it when my dad would call us all into the living room for family prayer time. After all, as a teenager I had much more important things going on in my life, and I considered it to be a big waste of time. I guess my dad knew something I didn’t, and I’m sorry that it took me so many years to learn it.

It’s now been many years since my husband and I started praying together, and the devotional book we used to get started, Moments Together for Couples (by Dennis and Barbara Rainey), looks pretty ratty, with tattered edges and a broken spine. But I don’t want a fresh copy. That book is very special to us, and the condition of it represents the battle we have been in as we have fought for our marriage.

Today, more than ever, we are in a fight for the family. I believe that satan has a special assignment against families, and with the high divorce rate, he seems to be winning. Sadly, as Christians, we are not doing much better than the rest of the world, and here’s the reason why. Statistics show that less than 3% of Christian couples pray together.

And that needs to change.

So…..for all of you couples, I have a challenge for you.

Agree with your spouse that you will pray together, every day, for the next 30 days.

It will change your life – guaranteed!

Tips on praying together:

Tip #1

What my husband and I do is pray (out loud) together for our family and friends and whatever else we have on our heart, remembering to give thanks for all of the many blessings in our life. Then we pray specifically for each other. Whether it takes 5 minutes or an hour, it doesn’t matter….just do it!

Tip #2

Using a devotional book designed for couples is a great way to get started. I usually read the short devotional out loud and then we talk about it. My husband then starts the prayer time and I join in as I feel led.

Tip #3

Francis and Judith like to take turns laying their head in the other’s lap while praying for each other.
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Linda Strickland Linda Strickland is CHM's Associate Director of Ministry and Assistant to Judith MacNutt. Magazine Issue

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201002_02


A Healing Place

by Michael Simon
Mar/Apr 2010

Many people don’t realize that there is a famous healing place that God has continued to use long after the visionary founder was no longer involved. This is a unique concept in an era when ministry depends so heavily on a “star system” or one person’s name recognition and ministry. The founder was Bernadette and the place is Lourdes in France. Considering Lourdes as a model of success and the many “stars” whose ministry came to an end when they left, Francis and Judith MacNutt along with the boards and leadership of Christian Healing Ministries know the coming International Center for Healing will continue to bless people for many years to come.

The new center will allow even greater exposure across different age groups and cultures. CHM will be able to provide training and ministry through the internet using the technology that is now available. Web streaming, web classes, live meetings, and more will increase our capacity and expand the ministry, allowing us to touch people across the globe. We will have greater accommodations for those who are able to be on campus during teaching and ministry, as well as a serene landscape for them to enjoy and commune with God.

Our friends who have received training in healing prayer from Christian Healing Ministries or who have received prayer, have frequently expressed a strong desire to pass it on to their children and grandchildren. This can be done and is being done. As an encouragement to parents, grandparents, and the younger generation, I would like to share excerpts from a dialog with Josh who recently attended the School of Healing Prayer® Level I with his wife Anna. Josh and Anna are in their late 20’s and live in South Carolina.

Q: Who introduced you to healing prayer?

Josh: My mother. She has been following the MacNutts for over 20 years and has been ministering healing prayer for about just as long.

Q: What was life like before?

Josh: As a kid my brother and I lost my Dad when I was about 3 years old. My grandmother helped raise me, and my mom later remarried my current dad. My step-dad and I never got along much until, probably, just this past year or so. I am very grateful for him these days, but there were some rough years for sure. Early in my life, I remember having anger and rage problems, depression, and I was always getting into trouble. As I grew up, it increased into some serious drug and alcohol problems. I was actually told by my professional soccer coach that it would be a good idea for me to go to rehab. I was at my end and didn’t really want to live.

Q: How did healing prayer help?

Josh: I must say I was influenced quite a bit through my mother and spiritual mothers that had either prayed for me or done healing prayer sessions with me. They always seemed to just “love on” me no matter what. They asked if they could pray for me one day and I thought, “What do I have to lose?”

If it was not for these women doing so much healing prayer and bringing inner healing, deliverance, and an infilling of Jesus’ love into my life, I don’t know how I would function or if I would be alive to this day. It was through these first hand experiences - the love from my mother and these women - that won me over. The love they showed me made me want to always be around them; I knew they had something I didn’t have - peace, joy, and hope.

Q: What would you tell a peer who isn’t sure about healing prayer?

Josh: I would encourage everyone with a Christian background or not to learn about healing prayer. I have a close group of 25 friends that are Christians. Over half of them have had drug or alcohol problems, and four of them have left the gay lifestyle. Some have had depression and suicide problems. Many have experienced the loss of a parent, divorce, or abandonment. The thing is, these are Christians, not my non-Christian friends. Many of these friends grew up or went to church as kids or even had a dramatic salvation experience. This unfortunately is my generation for the most part. It seems pretty dysfunctional even though we live a regular modern day life as musicians, artists, teachers, businessmen, athletes, and so on. Healing prayer is not to make you feel ashamed, but to bring healing life, joy, peace, strength, freedom, and the love of Jesus into areas of your life that don’t have it. Healing prayer has also helped my marriage immensely.

Q: Who encouraged you to come to the CHM School of Healing Prayer®?

Josh: I don’t know if I was ever really told, “Josh, I think you should go to this…” I do know some people who went and were greatly blessed and thankful. However, if it were anybody that did, it would be my mother.

Q: What would you say to parents who are considering encouraging their children to come?

Josh: I would say go for it! Do it with grace and love. You don’t have to say, “This is what you need.” I found out how awesome it was and I wanted my friends to experience it too. Get them a book, if they read, or tell them what it is. A lot of young people have never heard of inner healing or they have a false perception of it. Just explain how awesome the freedom is that you can have and feel. It’s real.

Q: What did you get out of the School of Healing Prayer® Level I?

Josh: My wife and I came home on the same page for the direction of our lives. This is a miracle in many ways. We have been married for just over two years, and have a baby on the way. We both felt our view of God and the blessing of healing prayer truly was all about love and that love was the key to bringing transformation, and in getting rid of the false-self or the life that just is not authentically you (who we are). I would say I received great insight, understanding, and good biblical teaching on how to authentically be who I truly am. I left feeling more freedom. I am better equipped to be a much greater blessing to my wife, new baby, family, and community around me. Yes, we are both coming back.
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Michael Simon Michael Simon is the Director of Development for CHM. Magazine Issue

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201002_02


Grace Abounds

by Leslie Royalty
Mar/Apr 2010

Just last week we held our 3rd Internship program in conjunction with The Journey to Healing Retreat. For those who may not know, I would like to share an insider’s point of view of what the Internship and Journey to Healing Retreat are really like. Through reading the following first-hand testimonies of participants, I hope you are blessed by a glimpse of what goes on and the powerful grace of Jesus!

The internship portion involved two days of preparation with the group of interns who traveled here from all over the country. We spent time getting to know each other, ministering to each other in prayer sessions and in soaking prayer, worshipping, eating together, interceding for the upcoming Journey to Healing Retreat and listening to the Lord. Our new Prayer Ministry Support Team, comprised of five experienced prayer ministers, participated in each prayer session and offered valuable feedback to the interns. Additionally, each intern was individually commissioned through the laying on of hands, as a blessing for their ongoing ministry. These two days together provided the essential time of bonding as a team, as well as a practical preparation for the ins-and-outs of running a conference. Having bathed the subsequent Journey to Healing Retreat in much prayer, we approached the weekend expecting God to move in deep ways. As many testimonies revealed, He exceeded our expectations!

Our little group of interns expanded exponentially as the number of recipients who came to join us grew to approximately 85 people! They came from many different backgrounds and for a variety of reasons. Some came desperate for a touch from God to receive physical healing, others for emotional healing, and others for spiritual freedom and peace. Some didn’t know why they had come, and felt a bit apprehensive, not sure what to expect.

As I scanned the group the first morning, preparing for a time of worship, the Lord reminded me of my Bible reading that morning. In Luke 5, a man with leprosy approaches Jesus, begging for healing, saying “Lord, if you are willing you can make me clean.” As I read, I sensed Jesus’ heart both for the man with leprosy as well as for each person attending the retreat. In the passage Jesus reached out and touched the man, in complete disregard of all cultural and religious restrictions, and healed him while showing great love and acceptance. In the same way, I sensed Jesus reaching out to each recipient, unafraid of any brokenness, sickness or sin, as if to say with such tenderness, “You won’t make me dirty by your brokenness. I make you clean by my holiness.” One recipient told me later that the same passage had actually been the Gospel reading that morning in the Catholic liturgy! It seemed to confirm God’s desire to really get his message of love across to his children, which He continued to reveal throughout the rest of the retreat.

During the one-hour individual prayer appointments, the 8 ½ total hours of soaking prayer, the teachings, worship times, and services (including generational healing, the mother and father blessing, and the healing service) God poured out His love and grace in abundance. We heard many reports of God’s healing touch. I will let the people speak for themselves!

  • One person received “…unbelievable understanding of Jesus’ love- breadth, depth, and height.”
  • “I left feeling like a different person. It was similar to the sacrament of Reconciliation, but with women who looked at me with so much love and understanding and forgiveness. I think in the future when I think of the painful things I talked about, I will think mainly of their loving eyes.”
  • “I came seeking inner healing and received more! I am leaving with new friendships and a renewed spirit!! Surprised- no, I’m not- the Holy Spirit is amazing and never lets us down.”
  • “Before I went to my prayer team, I was having pain in both shoulders and both hips due to sickle cell anemia. My right hip hurt really badly when I walked and I couldn’t lift my shoulders beyond a certain point. My team prayed for me and after that I was able to lift my arms, and my hips also did not hurt anymore. The next day during praise and worship I lifted both arms all the way in praise of Jesus.”
  • “Amazing healing- seemed to come in waves and I think it is still coming.”
  • “I was filled to overflowing with God’s peace and love.”
  • “The bursitis in my left shoulder was really bad and now I can hardly feel it. Praise God!”
  • “I received more inner healing. Every time I receive ministry my physical and mental condition improves.”
  • “During prayer I was able to receive forgiveness and release shame and guilt, also forgiving myself.”

Overall, the time was incredibly blessed. We give praise to Jesus for His unfailing love and power to heal! May you be encouraged by these stories. Also, if you would like to participate in either the Internship or the Journey to Healing Retreat, you are welcome to contact us!
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Leslie Royalty Leslie Royalty is in charge of Prayer Minister Care at CHM. Magazine Issue

Issue Order:
201002_01