A Story of Miraculous Healing3
The following story of a miraculous healing in our church is taken from the Conclusion to my book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan). I assure you it is not a fable or fabrication. These are real people, not unlike you and me. The names of the people involved have been altered. They have given me permission to tell the story of what happened. Continue reading . . .
The following story of a miraculous healing in our church is taken from the Conclusion to my book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan). I assure you it is not a fable or fabrication. These are real people, not unlike you and me. The names of the people involved have been altered. They have given me permission to tell the story of what happened.
My sermon series on the book of James was coming to a close. We had finally arrived in chapter five when I decided to devote four messages to James 5:13-18, the famous passage on praying for the sick to be healed. After each of the four messages, I invited anyone in the congregation who had a physical affliction of any sort to stand. Patience is essential in such matters, so I waited silently for people to respond. First one stood, then another, so that after about two to three minutes there were upwards of 50 who were requesting prayer. This happened much the same way after each of these four concluding sermons. There are numerous stories of miraculous healing and prophetic words that ministered powerfully to those asking for prayer, but here I mention only one. Aside from my having changed the names of those involved, the following is their testimony in their own words.
“My wife, Julie, and I have been attending Bridgeway for the past several years. I am an ER doctor and Julie is a stay-at-home mother of four children, ages 3-7. Julie has been suffering with severe back pain for the past several years. Her back has hurt her to some degree essentially every day, with intermittent periods of worsening severity for a week or two at a time.
She had an MRI of her lumbar spine (low back) in 2012 that showed an annular disk tear at L5-S1. This means that the disk between those vertebrae has leaked fluid into an area that causes pain. She went through a course of physical therapy and then home exercises that produced some short term improvement but certainly not resolution.
Lately, her back pain has been increasing in severity. Over the last several years, this has caused lifestyle limitations, and it certainly has put a damper on her general well-being. Some days, her back pain was very problematic. She was taking over-the-counter medication on an almost daily basis to treat her back pain, and when severe, had to take prescription medication. I, too, was growing frustrated on her behalf that such a healthy young woman (whom I love deeply) was experiencing such debilitating pain, and I was overall unable to help her to a great degree.
Two Sundays ago in church, Sam had a call to prayer for healing. I was sitting next to Julie and felt compelled to pray for her. I prayed very specifically for the healing of the annular disk tear in her lower back, and as I prayed, I felt a powerful warmth and sense of confidence that her back was going to be healed. I prayed that she would be healed of her back pain and that she would no longer suffer. She also has had frequent migraine headaches for most of her life. Several years ago we went through a medical evaluation and course of treatment that produced some degree of improvement but, again, no resolution.
As we were finishing our prayer, another couple came to pray with us as well. Julie came to me later that week and told me that since we prayed for her back, she has had NO LOWER BACK PAIN for the first time in years! Also, she has not had any headaches! I was overjoyed to hear of the Lord’s healing touch on my wife! After years of doing everything that I could to help her medically with her headaches and back pain (short of back surgery), specific prayer is the only thing that has provided complete relief. This is incredibly encouraging to me as a physician that oftentimes sees the limitations of modern day medicine. I am so grateful to God for his love, his concern with the seemingly minute details of our lives, and his omnipotence. I am especially grateful that my wife finally has relief from physical ailments that have been plaguing her for years! God is Good!”
I wish I could tell you that everyone for whom we pray at Bridgeway is healed in this manner, but I can’t. However, many are. But even if they were not, we remain committed to obeying the command of Scripture as found in James 5:16 – “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” What’s important for all of us to remember is that loving, Christ-exalting, Bible-honoring ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit and his gifts, absent manipulation and devoid of hype, is possible today. My prayer is that this book has made a small contribution to describing how it might be done.