Miracle Healing in the Church.
Spiritual healing events that absolutely can
be experienced or witnessed there.
Why, how, what and where?
Please quickly read the article, “Experiencing the Holy Spirit” that introduces this subsection, “Gifts of the Spirit” on the website.
Another article, “Is this ‘Holy Spirit’ stuff real?” explains how each of us can analyse the outcomes of so-called gifts and assess their genuineness.
Now, this particular article offers details about ‘miracle healing in the Church’.
I have no doubt that all this ‘Holy Spirit’ stuff looks – to anyone who has had no contact with this area of the Christian Church – like it came from planet Mars! But it actually began in the first century AD, as documented in the Bible, and it is now happening again.
And I admit it still amazes me. This whole website has been developed by an analytical minded person – a now retired, experienced, qualified and senior auditor – over a period of many years. I must add that it all ‘came to pass’ with the help of a supporting team of qualified (mostly clergy) advisors. It has been designed to guide ‘thinking people’ in their journeys of faith. For the who’s, how’s and why’s of this website please click here.
Miracle healing in the church certainly can, at times, be witnessed in services within the Pentecostal/ Charismatic ‘movement’. Baptised Christians, in the movement, who have been given this ‘gift’ by the Holy Spirit may also perform these miracles outside the confines of their churches. That is if they are involved in ministry that operates that way.
2. THE ‘WHAT’ AND ‘WHEN’ OF HEALING
Miracle healing can occur in many forms, all the way from emotional strengthening, through an acceleration of normal physical healing functions in the body, to complete AND miraculous physical changes.
In effect, the Holy Spirit actually performs the act of healing as he sees fit, through a gifted healer. It is not up to the healer to choose the degree of healing that will happen. The healer is, in effect, a ‘channel’ of the Spirit’s power.
Major physical defects, illnesses etc CAN disappear in ‘the blink of an eye’. On the other hand, nothing outwardly ‘obvious’ to the observer may occur. A gift of emotional strength (ability to cope) for example won’t be noticeable to those people watching. And experienced, ‘gifted’ healers never know what will flow from any act of their healing, before putting their gift to work. They know it is entirely up to the Spirit, as to what will actually happen. In fact most gifts of the Spirit work like that.
2.1 Serious example of healing
Now I know you the reader may have trouble believing any of this stuff is even possible. Trust me, I’ve ‘been there’! I was once a very serious atheist. Please read on though.
Local clergy and lay ministers, in our church at the time, had ‘laid hands’ on my wife after she had suffered a stroke. But there had been no noticeable effect at that time. That is before she did actually receive a genuine ‘miracle healing’. YES … it became clear later that the Lord had his OWN plan! The actual ‘miracle’ itself occurred at a well attended church ‘healing service’ as I have described more fully in the article, “Is this Holy Spirit stuff real?”.
Prior to the ‘healing service’, she doubted anything would happen. It was of course the Spirit’s ‘call’ as to what did happen and when. And with regards to my wife, I am referring to a full recovery from that stroke. She had in fact suffered for a lengthy period from partial paralysis, damaged sight in one eye and some blood circulation issues. In the moment of that healing all the symptoms were just wiped away. Decades later, they have not returned.
Just being there to witness the event was ‘mind boggling’ as far as I was concerned. I can only try to imagine the sense of relief and amazement my wife experienced as a result. Yes, she knew just how special her treatment from the Lord actually had been.
2.2 Subtle example of healing
As I have already indicated, nothing is certain to us before these events unfold. I will again say that some level of healing usually occurs when healers ‘lay on hands’, ‘anoint with oil’ etc.
And as an example of a less impressive healing, I received an anointing with oil from a member of the clergy. It occurred after I was first diagnosed with a life threatening cancer. I did not expect any special sensation at that time. That is I didn’t even know that he was a member of the ‘movement’. Yet I felt a unique ‘infilling’ actually flooding my ‘inner being’ to a state of overflowing. The strength of the experience led me to hope at the time that I had been cured, but it was not so, at least not at that stage anyway.
The event was, obvious to me now, empowered by the Spirit. It did not save me from the surgery I eventually received, or the following drawn out treatment over many, many months. What came out of it at the time, was a real sense of personal strength to cope with it all. And, of course, I am obviously still here to write these words eighteen years later.
3. THE ‘HOW’ AND ‘WHY’ OF HEALING
When the miraculous does happen, however, can it be put down to some unknown law of physics? I really don’t believe so. It is also obvious that particular people in the Church have the ‘gift’ of healing (i.e. those who can indeed pass on the Spirit’s power in this way). I write that because they are always the ‘common denominators’ in such events. Also I have noted that gifted healers known to me certainly did not have their ability before being anointed/ filled/ touched by the Spirit.
3.1 The obvious cause behind the event
I can also positively say that when genuine miracle healing happens, it is not a ‘mind over matter’ thing occurring within the affected person. When healing does result from the so-called ‘placebo effect’ then the health of the person, who thought they had been healed, will eventually ‘regress’ or return to its original state. That will normally happen within days, or maybe weeks, after the event. The health issue will return. I am totally confident from what I have witnessed that genuine ‘miracle healing’, when it does occur, comes from a source other than from those of us on the receiving end. My wife’s healing was absolute evidence of that fact. Of course, I am meaning that it HAD to be God at work.
However, no one can ever know which people will actually receive a seriously miraculous healing at these ministries. But God, in the ‘person‘ of the Holy Spirit, clearly knows ‘why’ he heals as he does, in each circumstance. And I shall try to explain under the following subheadings …
3.2 Big miracle equalled headlines
Obviously, in relation to the ‘full blown’ miracle healing of my wife, the Spirit did it to firstly ‘maximise’ the effect on people at that church and the local community. It was a full church, as I have already explained. And many of those attending were probably not practising Christians. Many of them would have been there in search of evidence of God. He delivered it!
The story of events actually made it into the local newspaper, reaching out into the wider community. Of course I also often make use of the story in my own lay ministries, including this website. I consider that the Lord makes his ‘reality’; his ‘presence’ known to people through these events: drawing them towards the loving relationship that he wants to share with each and everyone of us!
And if we do accept that relationship, which benefits from his ongoing ‘grace‘, then more than likely our lives are positively changed. Yes, faithful practising Christians are much more likely to have ‘purposeful and contented lives‘ as a result of that ongoing ‘relationship with God’.
When we are personally involved with these spiritual events, as highlighted above in my wife’s example, then it certainly ‘rattles our cage’. Something like that takes your level of belief in God, and yes your personal relationship with him, to a height that would have been unimaginable beforehand. And this is just one example of my experiences with the Spirit related to my time in the ‘movement’. Many more experiences are documented within other articles under the subheading “Gifts of the Spirit” (that also contains this article) under the “God in church” website section. Please see the Menu Bar above.
3.3 Lesser healings for smaller audiences
When I was a member of the Charismatic movement, I guess it was practical for God to give me a healing gift at the time I was ‘anointed’ by the Spirit. He would have known that I was to become a member of a hospital-visiting lay ministry, and I could use the gift there for him. It was to be used on a smaller scale, for building the faith and belief of patients in that hospital, than the big example above.
First example of my own gift
So, as one example, when performing that ministry role for my church in a hospital, I laid hands on a Christian woman who was an inpatient. It was actually the very first time that the Spirit worked through me to deliver a miracle healing.
Shortly after meeting her there in a ward, she began to have a violent ‘full-body seizure’. It was caused by earlier brain surgery. She had a look of deep fear and confusion on her face, there before me, as her body locked up and shook violently. Really, without a thought, I raised my hand over her and requested that the Holy Spirit act in the situation. And somehow, I did so with complete trust in his ability. I simply said aloud, “Come Holy Spirit.” The seizure ‘stopped’ completely and immediately as a result. I mean I hardly got the words out of my mouth.
And I then continued my ministry with that patient. Praying with her etc. Clearly to me at the time, God wanted to build up the patient’s faith and belief for a reason known to him. She was totally amazed by the event, at the time, let me tell you! I don’t doubt for a moment that she would have told others (family etc) about it.
Second example of my own gift
On another occasion during that lay ministry of mine, I called on the Spirit to again heal a Christian woman in the same hospital. I knew she was, like me, a lay minister but from a distant parish and a member of the ‘movement’. But she did not know me. She had been admitted to hospital as a result of a ‘heart attack’.
After my healing ministry to her, she let me know that she had enjoyed an ‘ecstatic’ experience from the Spirit. That is as he spiritually touched her, as a result of my request to him for healing. She further described that she recognised a ‘palpable’ healing sensation (she could feel it) around her heart as I ‘laid hands’ on her.
No doubt the lay minister would have told her fellow worshippers, at the church she attended, about her experience in hospital. Yes, she would have made sure that the event was faith-building for her church. Note that the lay minister’s powerful and ecstatic spiritual experience again occurred spontaneously. Trust me here: emotions, hysteria etc played no part in the event. It just happened, there and then, totally unexpected by her. This very issue – how these experiences often occur without any expectation on our part as anointed Christians – is also discussed in that previously mentioned article, “Is this Holy Spirit stuff real?”
Miracle healing truly can be amazing stuff. This is particularly so when physical changes occur through this gift to someone you know closely, or you experience them yourself.
I do not think that any other gift of the Spirit can be as belief-building. I mean you can literally see the result of the Holy Spirit, at work, right in front of you. Or you experience it for yourself. And trust me again, I DO know how hard this may be for you to even accept as a possibility. But just try to imagine what it is like to be a ‘channel’ for this healing gift. And watch the effect of that gift on a stranger, right in front of you!
No doubt though, the other available gifts, when manifested before you or delivered to you, will also seriously and positively affect your faith journey.
Now let us continue to the next article, “Prophecy”.