The female pastor walked to the pulpit and began her eulogy for my friend Brad. I have no idea what she said because the Lord chose that moment to speak to me.
I felt Him whisper to my heart:
“My church is a bunch of nice losers. They lay their hands on the sick and pray for them, but when they die, they aren’t mad at all. They don’t check themselves out to see what happened or what they may have done wrong with their prayers and actions. They accept defeats and don’t think any more about them.
“Now, Major League baseball teams are all filled with good players. Each player has to be one of the best in the world to make it to the Major Leagues. Losing teams have good players on their rosters, too. But after a while, losing teams’ players don’t mind losing because after all, they still receive their Major League paychecks and bonuses.
“But winning Major League baseball teams are different. They hate losing and will do anything and whatever it takes to win. They hate losing.
“I want My church to hate losing!”
This time the grief, which hit me, measured a ten on the Richter Scale. (Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who)
These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” (Mark 16:17-18)
I have prayed for numerous sick people in the last few years. What have been the results? Many have died and others have continued on in their ailments. I’m not exactly a ringing endorsement for the truths of Mark 16:18.
Finally, I am fed up and angry about my efforts!
You see, I mirrored what the Church as a whole has been doing. Like them, I’ve gone through all of the traditional motions. Anointing the sick with oil. Laying hands on them. And tossing prayers out there for their healing. Maybe even fasting a little. But I failed to ask myself some tough questions: why are the sick still dying after my prayers? Why are they still ailing and crippled? What am I doing wrong?
I have become like the losing Major League baseball teams. I didn’t hate losing…until now.
Recently, I sought the Lord on what I was doing wrong.
The Lord showed me that my healing efforts were centered on the hope that one of my gifts – gift of healing, gift of faith or the gift of working of miracles – would show up and the sick person would be healed right then and there on the spot.
Yes, I have seen healing miracles through these gifts over the years, but to be honest, these gifts have not been consistently working through me in the last few years. And from my observations, these gifts haven’t been working that well in the Church as a whole.
You see, the Church and I have been guilty of trying to walk in the gifts used by Kathryn Kuhlman, Oral Roberts, William Branham, Jack Coe, Paul Cain, A. A. Allen and others during the healing revival of the 1940s and 1950s. But the problem is that healing revival is over and the next healing revival has not arrived here as yet. We are living in the in-between time period.
So, what changes am I planning on doing in the future?
But Jesus turned around and when He saw her, He said, “Be of good cheer, your faith has made you well…(Matthew 9:22)
Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way, your faith has made you well… (Mark 10:52)
And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:19)
This man was listening to Paul as he spoke. Paul looked at him intently and saw that he had faith to be made well (Acts 14:9 NASB)
I plan on giving a short teaching to each person that I pray for. Something like this:
“Listen, I am going to anoint you with oil and lay my hands on you according to James 5:14- 15 which states that my prayer of faith will heal you. Do you believe that? If you are instantly healed, we will both rejoice.
“But if you aren’t instantly healed, do not despair because instant healing is not always the Lord’s way. Instead, it will probably be through your faith. My anointing you with oil and praying a prayer of faith will be your point of contact to activate your faith in the Lord for your healing. Our belief is that the Lord will eventually say to you, ‘Your faith has made you well.’
“Do you believe that?”
Healing by faith works. We need to learn how to walk in it and also teach people how to receive their healing through faith.