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