I went to an amazing Global Awakening prayer conference at the end of February. I and others laid hands on a woman and prayed for her back, injured in an accident. She pitched forward suddenly from the waist and then straightened. She had felt the vertebrae in her back realigning, she said. She could bend and twist without pain now. So cool. And I was right there! Thank you, God!

The people sitting near me prayed for healing for a variety of ailments I have. I am now healed of celiac disease, and of my allergy to jewelry, but not of my scoliosis. This was the pattern of what I saw happening around me: some healed, some not. Why not all? “It’s mysterious,” said Randy Clark, the evangelist who led the conference. “The Kingdom of Heaven is here, and it’s not yet. Some are healed, some are not. We just don’t understand.”

Healings, by the way, seem much more likely in the third world. Randy takes groups to India, Brazil, Thailand, and lots of places like that and sees wave after wave of miracles happening. Deaf hear, lame walk, blind see. Those types of healings are less prevalent in the U.S. Even at this conference, where the Holy Spirit moved mightily, the blind woman present was not healed, nor was the young man with cerebral palsy.

Now, at my own Presbyterian church we pray for healing after service once a month in a small group that includes elders. We have seen some healings and answers to prayer, but progress seems slow.

What’s the difference between us and the third world?

It may be that the scientific rationalism underpinning our culture hinders the Holy Spirit somehow. The “cessationist” theology that most protestants grew up with teaches that miracles were only for the first century, and now they have ceased. Does what we expect factor into the mix somehow? Can we quench the Holy Spirit?

If you want to see testimony of miracles related to Randy Clark’s ministry, check his video page. It’s very cool.

Short Story by Phyllis Wheeler

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