Healing Line

Healing Line

We Are Just Beginning

by Francis MacNutt
May/June 2010

Last week at Regent’s University, I was asked about the future of the Charismatic Renewal. On one level you can say that it has leveled off and the 1977 Kansas City Conference with 50,000 singing and shouting Christians has not been equaled since. But we are just beginning to plumb the depths of our deepest needs for the power of the Holy Spirit.

On a simple level, things are much better than they were 50 years ago. When I began praying for the sick there were not many priests and ministers praying to heal the sick, but now it hardly attracts attention because it’s so common. This commonality is also seen on the level of healing services, where the healing evangelist preaches and prays for a large crowd and some are marvelously healed. We have come to expect the moving testimonies of those who were healed.

But what is still left to come in the future — and this is what excites me — is that we are learning to pray for the deeper problems that cause so many people to suffer. Here, I believe, is where we are going to learn some amazing things!

Just take some examples: The veterans — men and women — who are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Here we are talking about more than a million vets. Simply coming back and resting for a while doesn’t heal their wounds. Our friend, Rev. Nigel Mumford is a veteran of English military who saw fellow soldiers killed and personally experienced healing for PTSD. He is now planning “Welcome Home” programs for wounded vets and is in touch with the Pentagon and UK military leaders for prospects on future programs. This is a huge need and requires experience and time that most healing ministries simply do not have. For instance, Judith and I spent an entire weekend ministering to a Vietnam vet who hadn’t been able to sleep in a bed for 20 years, but after prayer was able to sleep through the night for the first time in 20 years. And there are millions more who need prayer because human sources of healing are good as far as they go, but they don’t reach down into the very depths of the souls of vets who have been wounded or have seen friends die.

We are still learning how to do this. And that’s just one area where we are still learning. For example, the number one preventable cause of sickness is smoking. Prayer can be a source of healing for addictions such as smoking. Judith herself was healed of an addiction to smoking cigarettes 40 years ago after three days of prayer. But how many churches know about praying to cure addictions such as drinking and smoking? (We believe in all the ways people are freed, such as the AA twelve–step program and believe that healing usually requires a combination of prayer and human resources.)

How about autism? We are still learning about what causes it. Does prayer help to heal it? What can we learn?

Above all, with so many marriages — including marriages of well–known Christian leaders — suffering brokenness, what can be done in healing prayer to restore Christian marriages?

And so many Christians, including ministers and priests, are addicted to pornography. We know by experience that much of it can be healed through prayer and sometimes through deliverance from spirits of lust. But where is this done or taught?

In other words, we see an enormous need for teaching and time–consuming prayer in our churches. What we are doing in healing services is a step forward from 50 years ago. I am a witness to this. But compared to the vast need for in–depth prayer that we as individuals, as churches, and as a nation experience — we are just beginning!

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. May/Jun 2010

My Angel Story

by Linda Strickland
May/June 2010

It was May 10, 2006, and I had been working for Christian Healing Ministries for 8 months. We were in the middle of an Emerging Leaders in Healing Conference, at a downtown hotel in Jacksonville, and I was feeling a little weary. I was still getting used to what it meant to work for this powerful ministry, and all that it involved. Although I was physically tired, I was nevertheless on a spiritual high from witnessing the amazing things I had seen during my recent travels with the MacNutts.

In my short time with CHM I had seen cataracts disappear from a dear woman’s eyes, a person get out of a wheelchair and walk, and the withered arm of a man perfectly restored. In addition, I was seeing people’s lives transformed by God through inner healing and deliverance prayer, and to top it off I had personally witnessed the “Glory of God” appear on someone’s face in the form of gold dust. To say that I was hungry to see more is an understatement.

During the weeks that preceded the Emerging Leaders Conference, I had been asking God to “Open my eyes, Open my eyes.” Although I had witnessed truly wonderful things in the natural, I was now passionate to see the super–natural!

On the morning that the Lord finally “Opened my eyes” I was a complete mess! I was feeling extraordinarily exhausted after a sleepless night, all due to the fact that my husband, Gene, and I had a big misunderstanding the night before.

I had arrived home from the conference late, and had in my hands a video of a healing service where supernatural manifestations had been captured on camera. Someone from the conference had loaned it to me and I couldn’t wait to see it. So, although the hour was late, I asked Gene if he wanted to watch it with me. We hadn’t seen each other all day, so he agreed.

As we watched this amazing video I innocently commented to Gene, “Wouldn’t you love to see that?” Now what I didn’t know, and what I hadn’t bothered to ask about, was what kind of day my sweet husband had experienced. As a priest, he had counseled two couples that day who were struggling, and their marriages were in serious trouble. He was drained and very discouraged about what he had heard. So his response to me was very unexpected and abrupt as he almost shouted, “I’ll tell you what I want to see! I want to see husbands step up to the plate and be the head of their homes! I want to see husbands and wives fighting for their marriages and protecting their families, that’s what I want to see!”

I sat in shock, having no idea what he had been through that day. I was so confused, and while I was still trying to figure out what his tirade had to do with the video we were watching, I mistakenly asked, “Well, can’t I have both?”

Wrong question! We went to bed that night with our backs to each other, each mad about the insensitivity of the other.

I left very early the next morning to drive back to the hotel, before Gene was even awake. While driving I cried out to the Lord begging His forgiveness, questioning if I was wrong in asking to see more. After all, if my husband, who is usually very encouraging in these things, couldn’t understand, then maybe I was on the wrong track. I didn’t get an answer, and by the time I arrived at the conference I was feeling confused, exhausted, and very sad — a complete mess.

It was up to me to greet all of the people attending the conference, so the actress in me came out as I walked into the hotel with a big smile on my face. No one would have ever known anything was wrong, but all through the first session I sat in the back of the room, my mind reeling, still trying to figure out what had happened in my house the night before. After the coffee break I ushered everyone back into the meeting room where Judith was next on the program.

Once again, I sat myself down in the back of the room and settled in for the teaching. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with alarm as I watched Judith drink her entire glass of water in the first fifteen minutes of her talk. Although I did not know Judith then as well as I know her now, one thing I knew for sure was, she did not normally drink that much water while she was teaching. Then she started biting her lip…the way she does when her mouth is dry. She was even acting nervous, which was completely uncharacteristic of her.

I sat there for a few minutes debating on what to do. What was wrong with her? Should I take her more water? As I was trying to figure out what to do, something behind her caught my eye. It was like a long flicker of light. I had decided that my tiredness was finally taking its toll when suddenly there it was again, only bigger…and it was moving!

The only way I can explain it is that it looked like there was an invisible curtain and something was walking out from behind it. And then suddenly there were three of them, big, bright and beautiful. They were at least 12 feet tall and one stood on either side of Judith with the third one right behind her. There were no wings, no arms, legs or even faces, but I instantly knew what they were. Amazed, I watched as they moved around her as if ministering to her. Although I could not see their faces, much less their eyes, I knew that one of them was looking right at me, and I heard in my head, “Don’t worry, we’ve got this covered.”

Sitting right beside me was the chairman of CHM’s Board of Directors. She casually leaned over, and in a whisper asked me, “What do you see?” To which I replied, “Angels!” She responded with, “Well, that makes sense.” I looked at her, and while trying to keep my composure said, “What do you mean, that makes sense??” And just as if this happened every day of the week she calmly said, “I have been sensing that there is someone in this room who is praying against Judith, so for the Lord to send angels makes perfect sense.”

Yes it did make perfect sense…but the fact that I was seeing them did not! I was completely overwhelmed, but in a good way as I instantly knew why. The Lord was answering my heart’s cry to Him, as I had been so worried that I was wrong to ask to see. Everything in me jumped for joy as I felt His love and approval wash over me. The whole experience lasted about five minutes, but they were five life changing minutes, to say the least!

As we broke for lunch I listened to a message on my phone from my beautiful husband who had called to apologize. We decided to meet for dinner and I could hardly wait to see him. Through tears, we shared with each other all that each of us was going through, and he marveled with me at what the Lord had allowed me to see.

It’s been almost 4 years now, and since then I have only seen small flickers of light and sensed their presence, but I know they are there…these magnificent, holy angels.

Someone recently asked me what I thought about the fact that I have not seen angels again like I did that day. And to be honest, I’m not sure, but I have three possible explanations.

The first is, I have not been hounding the Lord to see them like I was then. I was constantly asking him to “Open my eyes, Open my eyes.” I was so eager to see that I wouldn’t stop asking, so He finally obliged.

I also believe I was allowed to see what I saw because it was part of the preparation for my job here at Christian Healing Ministries. Since that time, Judith and I have been in many situations where I might be tempted to doubt that angels are with us. But because of that experience, I have no concerns. I know they are there!

And the final one is that I believe that the Lord was showing me that it was alright to ask to see into the spiritual realm. I was going through a time of self–doubt, and He not only lovingly gave me His approval, He then rewarded me — just as you would expect a loving Father to do.

Linda Strickland Linda Strickland is CHM's Associate Director of Ministry and Assistant to Judith MacNutt. May/Jun 2010

A Healing Place

by Michael Simon
May/June 2010

How would you feel if you found out that you could have kept your foot but the doctor amputated it because he didn’t know about an available technique? That almost happened to the daughter of a woman I met. The only reason they didn’t amputate was that someone else introduced her to a little known treatment that would bring healing through closed loop chemotherapy. She kept her foot. Who knows how many limbs and lives could have been saved if only that treatment had better visibility and access. If it isn’t visible it’s very hard to access.

Greater numbers of Christians are coming forward to make sure that others don’t miss out on God’s life saving and life changing healings due to lack of visibility and access. They know that in a time when people think if you can’t see it then it doesn’t exist — a testament to the reality that God still heals is desperately needed. The more visible and accessible, the greater the chance that people will come and find healing. This is why the time to build Christian Healing Ministries' new International Center for Healing is now.

The center will offer much greater capacity, providing an exponential increase in the number of scheduled prayer appointments than the current CHM campus allows. The grounds will be designed for walking, sitting, and reflecting. The chapel will offer a place of solace and peace for experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit. The training center will create the flexibility to offer multiple levels of schools simultaneously. The new center design will foster greater presence on the internet through streaming classes and conferences and web ministry. Visitors will have many options for receiving healing prayer or learning healing prayer. Greater access and greater visibility means far more healing and far fewer “if only’s.”

Jesus is the ultimate example of visibility and accessibility. In fact, the New Living Translation of the Bible (Col 1:15) says about Jesus that “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.” It is Jesus’ healing message that is so desperately needed today; healing us not only spiritually, but physically, and emotionally as well. Join us. Working together we can make the reality that Jesus continues to heal both visible and accessible.

Michael Simon Michael Simon is the Director of Development for CHM. May/Jun 2010

The Best Way to Learn is to Receive

by Leslie Royalty
May/June 2010

Many people say the best way to learn a particular trade or skill is through personal hands–on experience. I completely agree. In fact, in the realm of healing prayer, I would take it one step further to say that the best way to learn is to receive! At least in my own experience, the more I receive prayer, the more I learn directly what it’s like to be on the receiving end. Not to mention the definite bonus of receiving more healing myself. Then as a prayer minister, I am more able to turn around and relate to others as they go through healing prayer and apply similar principles I have experienced. Specifically, I would like to share a story from my own healing process in order to highlight a few helpful principles for prayer ministers and recipients alike to keep in mind. May you also be encouraged by yet another testimony of Jesus’ healing.

Until about 3 years ago, fear had been a constant presence in my life. Fear of the dark, fear of evil, fear of being attacked in some way, just a generalized, pervasive fear. I had felt this way for as long as I can remember, so it took me a while to realize that this kind of fear was not normal. However, I gradually began to recognize that it was exaggerated and irrational, beyond the appropriate response warranted by circumstances. Particularly as I became more deeply involved in prayer ministry, the fear surfaced in the form of a strong fear of the demonic. All of this fear could at times literally be paralyzing. So in all of my brilliance, I decided I probably needed prayer.

The problem was that as the daughter of a psychologist and as someone who was involved in healing prayer, I had a pretty decent knowledge of root issues that can typically cause fear and I had already racked my brain to determine where this could be coming from. I had no clue. I had no conscious memory of anything that could have caused such significant fear.

At the time, I was going through some prayer ministry training during which we would practice in small groups. As we often remind students during our Schools of Healing Prayer®, though we may be practicing, the Holy Spirit isn’t. Thank God! We prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to completely direct the time and reveal anything that He wanted to heal. In prayer, they prompted me to allow myself to feel the familiar feelings of fear and to ask God to bring any associated memory to my mind. No memory surfaced, but the feelings did, especially as I remembered a recurring dream I’ve had most of my life. Since dreams can be a great place for real emotions to surface as our subconscious is so open, we went with that. In the dream, it was always dark, I was alone, and I had a strong sense of something trying to get and hurt me, at which point I would reach to switch on a light and the lights wouldn’t come on. They were somehow burned out or the power was out, and I would be seized with panic and terror, feeling completely paralyzed and helpless. As I described the dream, the emotions were surfacing very strongly and I just let them come, waiting on Jesus to lead further. But still no linked, real–life memory came to mind.

Then one of the prayer ministers asked me if I was feeling anything physically. I allowed myself to be aware of my body, and gradually noticed that my eyes seemed to be instinctively wincing, as the muscles were tensing and contracting. Then as soon as I reported those sensations, a subconscious memory was simply released into my awareness. I remembered that at about the age of one I had surgery on my eyes. All of a sudden, a flood of emotion was released, as the perspective and feelings of a 1 year old all came back… the terrified confusion about being taken from my parents, strapped down against my will, and having them direct a knife toward my eyes, only to awaken to pitch black, unable to see and helpless to remove the patches due to the restraining braces on my arms. It all made so much sense! The connection between the emotions of panic, terror, fear of being attacked, fear of the dark, and helplessness that had surfaced through the dream were completely representative of the emotions from this experience. I now also understood why I previously had no recollection of this memory: it was too early for conscious recall and also had very little visual encoding since I couldn’t see for much of the experience. Yet God was able to get past both of those barriers and reveal the root memory through connecting the dream and the physical sensations in my body. No obstacles are too difficult for Jesus to get around and bring healing!

During that initial prayer session it was as though Jesus had uncovered a huge tap root that I didn’t even know existed. Over time, I went through quite a few other prayer sessions as the little fibrous roots of other related emotions and lies were unpacked and healed. Jesus always entered the memory, revealing his truth and presence through my spirit and mind’s eye, bringing comfort and peace to the little child. In that first session, I remembered lying on the surgical table petrified, when I saw the surgeon walk in. Then to my surprise, I immediately recognized those loving eyes. Jesus walked over to me and whispered, “It’s ok, Leslie. I am your surgeon.” I felt flooded with safety and security. I knew Jesus, even as a little child, and I could trust him. He wasn’t going to hurt me or let anyone else hurt me. He was there to heal me. What incredible relief and peace!

Then, in a later prayer session, Jesus came into the operating room again, and this time I saw him tear the place up, with the same kind of rage that he did when he threw over the money–changers’ tables in the temple. He wasn’t angry at the real doctors, he was unleashing his fury on the evil spirits who had taken advantage of me in my vulnerability and had entered in through that trauma. He was fighting for me and protecting me when I had felt so helpless to defend myself. When he was finished, he grabbed two little pests by the scruff of the neck, which I knew to be torment and terror, and he smiled at me and asked me what I wanted him to do with them. I told him, “I don’t care, just get rid of them!” And he did. Looking back, I now know that to be one of the most beautiful, peaceful deliverances I have ever witnessed. Then one day some time after that last prayer session, I had a moment of realization. The familiar fear was simply gone. I had never known life without that constant presence of fear and it was such a new peace. More freedom than I ever knew I could have! The only fear I experience now is the natural God–given response of fear in appropriate situations.

In summary, I would like to pass along some basic points I learned through this experience.

  • Body memories: Through this I learned that our bodies store memories, as the actual cells remember events and store emotions and trauma that though beyond conscious recall, still greatly influence our emotions, beliefs and behavior. It can be very helpful to pay attention to physical sensations, as they may be a significant key to healing.
  • Childhood perspective: don’t write memories off simply because they seem insignificant or minor to our adult minds. Children don’t have the cognitive ability or perspective to correctly interpret events. As an adult, I knew that I had gone through surgery as a child, but I did not automatically identify the trauma of the event because as an adult I know that surgery is beneficial and for my good. As a child, I didn’t have that understanding and it resulted in a completely different and warped experience.
  • The enemy doesn’t play fair: especially regarding children who are completely vulnerable and have no protective abilities or pre–established grid through which to interpret events. The enemy will try to latch on to anything and take advantage of children in their vulnerability. When praying for people, it’s helpful to keep in mind that many issues are rooted in early childhood experiences.
  • Unconscious memories: God can heal memories that we didn’t even know existed and He can bring them to the surface in many creative ways. Just invite Jesus to reveal them in whatever way He knows best and then wait to see what happens. As prayer ministers, it’s important to give Jesus space to speak and reveal. He does it so beautifully!
  • Deliverance through inner healing: Sometimes Jesus simply removes evil spirits directly or they leave automatically as the wound is healed, since they no longer have anything to hold on to. For example, when I felt those two spirits leave as Jesus ministered to me, the prayer ministers didn’t have to do a thing.
  • Dreams: pay attention to dreams, they may be significant and can contain key emotions that lead to deeper roots.
  • Jesus does it all! The prayer ministers did very little other than prompt me to go further, get in touch with the emotions and memories, and then let Him heal.

I pray that this story encourages you in any areas where you may still need healing, while offering more understanding in ministering healing to others. God bless you.

Leslie Royalty Leslie Royalty is in charge of Prayer Minister Care at CHM. May/Jun 2010