TALK GIVEN AT OFFICER’S COUNCILS
1. There is a sense in which all of us in our pastoral ministry,
seek to exercise a ministry of healing - whether it be spiritual, emotional
2. If God can perform the miracle of regeneration in someone's life,
then why not the much lesser miracle of physical healing?
3. In Scripture, we read of countless miracles of healing, and
unfortunately there are those within the Christian denominations, who
seem to treat it as a sort of commercial, an advertisement for Jesus,
but that somehow, He, and His disciples, are somehow DIFFERENT TODAY!
Yet we read in Hebrews 13:8, that He is "...the same yesterday,
today and forever." His power has in no way diminished!
4. General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, certainly
never believed that it had..........
He says, speaking of the Apostles,
"They had the gifts of healing; that is they cured the sick
.... without the use of ordinary means........ There is not a
word in the Bible which proves that we may not have them at
this present time, and there is nothing in experience to show
that they should not be as useful today as in any previous
period of the Church's history.....Far be it from me to say
one word that would stay the longing of any heart for the
extraordinary gifts already mentioned. I long for them
myself. I believe in their necessity, and I believe they are
already amongst us."
(Published in a War Cry of November 21st 1914)
5. I don't need to tell you that witchcraft and Satanism are increasing
at a phenomenal rate today; and apart from the obvious slant within
these movements towards the lower nature, and various kinds of sexual
perversion, a big part of the attraction, is the obsession within the
mind of the world, to see the supernatural in operation - and the devil
makes sure it IS SEEN: as the Bible puts it "Lying signs and
wonders!" It serves us well to remember, that for every blessing or
gift, the devil has a counterfeit.
Often today, our FAITH has become a matter of DISCUSSION, REASON, AND
COMPROMISE - and clearly for the most part, the world is not
6. The Scripture tells us clearly that the Lord felt it necessary to
work with the early disciples and produce signs which followed the
preaching of the Word AS A CONFIRMATION of it's truth.
I FEEL WE NEED THAT CONFIRMATION JUST AS MUCH TODAY!
How often do we take someone's hand, perhaps in hospital, as we pray
with and for them! In a sense this is a form of the laying on of hands!
I don't believe for one moment that this is a deviation from our
calling, but rather an extension to our pastoral caring ministry.
7. Commissioner Flora Larsson, who for many, many years operated a
ministry of healing, prepared an excellent series of Bible studies
about this very important subject, and in fact would go even
further than many of us would, by suggesting that our members
should be taught to MINISTER TO ONE ANOTHER IN THIS WAY!
8. I have found down through the years that the ministry has taken many
forms, and indeed so often has yielded many different kinds of
(often unexpected) results.
I was called out in the early hours of the morning, to a young couple,
whose marriage was breaking up - The husband was standing there, with
his suitcase, ready to walk out the door! I took both their hands
and prayed, and as I did so, Bobby who was not a Christian, felt a
strange peace fill him, and it was through this experience that he
eventually came to the Lord. He didn't leave, and the marriage was re-
Alex, the son of our pianist, was a young man, whose wedding service I
had taken. Alex took ill very suddenly, and was rushed into hospital
with severe headaches! Meningitis was suspected, but when a lumber
puncture and other tests were done, he was found to have severe
brain haemorrhaging, from a burst blood vessel.
His condition was too advanced to operate, and when I reached the
hospital, I found a family in a state of collapse, having been told,
firstly that there was no hope at all, and that he was not expected to
last out the night!
The hospital advised the family because of their condition to go home,
as with Alex was in a coma, there was no point in staying! I offered to
stay the night, and to let them know, if there was a change in his
Nurses had been coming along, I think it was every hour or so, to
stick pins in Alex's feet, to see if there was any reaction, which
During the night, I felt I should pray and lay hands on Alex, which I
did, and something very strange happened, he became conscious, and said
a few words to me, before drifting back to sleep. When the nurses
returned, I said what had happened, and they gave me one of those
looks, that said "Oh yes, you've fallen asleep and had a dream." But
when they pricked him with the pins, for the first time, they got a
When the family returned next morning, they found Alex, sitting up, and
conversing freely. The hospital were totally at a loss to understand
what had happened to this dying young man, and immediately wheeled him
down for another brain scan, to see what was going on!
All they could say was that much of the damage seemed to have repaired
itself, and they suggested that for safety they would like to do an
operation, to make sure that the offending blood vessel was permanently
sealed. They said that because of the extent of the brain damage, that
there would inevitably be some paralysis down one side of his body, and
that the family should be prepared as it may be quite severe.
You can tell how severe it was, when I tell you, that within two weeks,
Alex was back driving his milk truck, and living a normal life!
[C] Our son Phillip, was admitted to hospital for tests, because of
acute recurring diarrhoea. We realised that the prognosis could be
For those who don't know, Phillip, has Down's Syndrome, and
is naturally limited in his understanding.
Eventually x-rays showed a growth on the colon, and they decided to
either take away the growth, or take a tissue sample for tests.
But many people were praying, and the result was, that when they came
to do it, they couldn't find any growth. Phillip has been keeping fine
since then, and we give the praise to God!
Whether Phillip was healed through the laying on of hands, or through
the prayers of God's people collectively, is not important - GOD DID
GOD CAN AND DOES HEAL TODAY! That is probably a statement with which
none of us would disagree, and I don't believe we can afford to limit
Him in the method He chooses for any given occasion.
But something that we must always bear in mind is that WE CANNOT
MANIPULATE GOD OR MAKE HIS DECISIONS FOR HIM, FRUSTRATING AND
MYSTIFYING THOUGH IT MAY BE ON OCCASIONS.
IF SOMEONE FOR SOME REASON DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE HEALED, WE MUST NOT
ENDEAVOUR TO PROPORTION BLAME, ESPECIALLY IN THE DIRECTION OF THE
PERSON WHO IS ILL. MAYBE AT TIMES THE BLAME (IF THERE BE ANY) SHOULD BE
DIRECTED TOWARDS THE PREACHER, OR WHOEVER IS MINISTERING, FOR LACK OF
FAITH, OR LACK OF HOLINESS!
I am not saying for one moment that everyone should receive immediate
miraculous healing the moment prayer is offered, because quite
obviously, that doesn't happen.
We also sometimes forget, that the ultimate healing, is to be taken
from this world of sin and sickness, to a place where no wheelchairs
are needed, the blind will see, and the deaf hear - where there is no
need for hospitals or morgues, for illness and death are forever past,
and our youth will be renewed. Hallelujah!!
I was asked to go and pray with a very fine Christian lady. She felt
greatly eased, and asked if I would pray with her every day until she
was healed. She was dying of cancer, but felt that my ministry was
Although I was faithful in doing this for about three months, and there
were times when the power of God almost felt like a thunderbolt flowing
through me; at others as though my hands were on fire, she still
died of her cancer! She was one of the most godly women I have ever met
and had wonderfully strong faith. She was well known, and people
throughout the world were praying for her!
In life as a whole, we are at times at a loss to understand why things
happen. Perhaps in the ministry of healing, we are at times at a loss
to know WHY THINGS DON'T HAPPEN!
However, there is always some kind of genuine work done in that persons
life - perhaps a relief of pain - or a peace and acceptance filling
their life, or perhaps a controlling of their condition.
Chrissie, when we entered a new appointment, was already in hospital,
about to undergo a serious operation for cancer.
When I went to see her, immediately prior to the operation she was very
worried, very up-tight and upset. I prayed with her, and she
testified later, that at that moment, a peace swept over her, and she
was able to truly 'rest in the Lord', and entrust everything into His
care - and went into the operation with complete peace of mind and
confidence in the Lord! She was NOT healed of the cancer (which
eventually took her life), but certainly at that time experienced
the touch of the Lord on her soul.
Some Christians seem to think that because we belong to the Lord, we
should somehow escape physical ailments, or that we should be able to
dispel them, almost with a flick of the wrist.
Scripturally that is not true. Think of Job with his boils, and a
host of other ailments or the Apostle Paul with his THORN IN THE FLESH!
Unlike some people, who believe that this was speaking of his wife,
(tongue in cheek) I believe that it was a physical ailment. He
didn't understand why he still had it, after praying for
deliverance! This man who was so greatly used of God in the
deliverance of others. Remember after his shipwreck........
He was not delivered from the ailment, but he was delivered from
the inability to cope. Sometimes people are not actually healed, but
they are helped through the ministry, to find courage, peace,
understanding, and grace to cope.
The Officer or Pastor, operating a ministry of divine healing is not
some sort of new phenomenon - rather I would see it as a return to
some of the forgotten ministry of past years.
I in no way view myself as specially gifted in some way, because I have
sought for many years to exercise this ministry. Rather I would see it
as part and parcel of my pastoral caring ministry to the people in my
charge: simply another facet of the complete package of our ministry.
Although it is a SUPERNATURAL ministry in no mistake, I believe that
for the Christian, especially the Christian minister, it should be the
most NATURAL thing in the world!