I was part of a team of 25 laymen who accompanied Randy Clark on a 10-day tour of two cities in Germany. Randy is an evangelist with an emphasis on prayer for healing. See here for an article with link to YouTube video showing Randy praying for a nearly-deaf boy in Brazil who then becomes able to hear. For the morning/afternoon/evening meetings on this tour, typically Randy or his associate Tom Jones would preach a message for an hour or so, pray for the people from the platform, and then we, the team, would line up across the front and offer to pray for anyone who wanted to come up to us.
I did not see any particular spectacular miracle like a new limb sprouting. However, over the whole trip a total of something like two hundred people (my rough estimate) reported near-total relief of whatever pains or disabilities they were having. Whatever the organic basis of their maladies, for those folks this was significant healing. I do not have a satisfying understanding regarding what gets healed and what doesn’t.
Here are some of my journaled observations (edited):
First week was in Berlin, at an evangelical church called Gemeinde auf dem Weg (“Church on the Way”). The local pastor is Wolfhard Margies. You can find a few YouTube videos of him preaching in German. Beautiful, smart, loving man.
Sunday night: My typical experience praying for people so far is approximately this: out of 5 folks I pray for, 2 experience nothing (which is still a little awkward to end; I encourage them to come back again…), 2 experience significant inner healing or spiritual encounter and maybe a little physical relief, and 1 find full or nearly full relief of pain or other symptoms. I have learned by now not to put much energy into dissecting why some don’t get healed. I empathize for them, but even the best healing ministers don’t have the answers to “why not…” either.
This morning, a woman came for prayer with chronic back and other pain. As we prayed , she felt warmth and felt a little better. That seemed promising, so I prayed a couple more times, total 5-7 minutes. By the end, she felt 100% better and went away happy. A young man came for prayer for allergies and stress. I spoke words of encouragement over him, including release from fear that he had made mistakes in his life. His face lit up, since he had in fact had those worries (about choices of where to live and work). By the end his face had changed from anxious to glowing. He felt great peace and presence of God.
Monday afternoon I prayed for a short, stout old Russian (I think) woman who had pain in her heart and back and legs. She started swaying as I prayed, and in the end her heart pain was gone.
Our second week was in the city of Speyer in the west of Germany, on the Rhine. On Thursday (May 2) night Randy began teaching for the formal healing school series at the Speyer church. He taught there is a difference between what God can potentially do and what He chooses to actually do. God is omnipotent and omnipresent, so He doesn’t need angels or humans to get things done. However God has chosen to work through angels and humans. This includes using our prayers of faith as a means to accomplish healing. We need to learn the way God actually works, rather than philosophizing on how we think things should be.
At the end of the Thursday night meeting were prayers and words of knowledge. About 70 people got healed just from the words of knowledge, prior to having individual prayers. I prayed with teammate Jac, for a girl with pain in her left neck and shoulder – – and the pain went away. Then I prayed along with Grace for a woman who had pain in her hands. Her pain level started at seven on a scale of 0 to 10, and went to two and then with more prayer went to zero. Other team members continued to report various healings, typically disappearance of pains.
Friday afternoon Randy spoke on “God Can Use Little Ole Me.” This was kind of a short shortened version of his “Agony of Defeat” talk. Randy noted that most Christians, even those with the theology of healing, do not actually pray for the sick much, because they have gotten discouraged. It is very painful to pray for people and have them not get healed, so Christians just back off, lower their expectations, and stop doing it.
Ready told about the time years earlier when healing pioneer John Wimber let Randy “shadow” him, to try to learn about John’s healing ministry by observation. The two men had gone to a Methodist church in the southern United States. On one night every person got healed. The next night not a single person John prayed for got healed.
When Randy went to ask John a question at the end of that night, John interrupted him, saying, “I’ll tell you what you’re going to ask me. You want to know why last night everybody got healed, and tonight nothing happened.” When Randy nodded, John continued, “You still don’t get it, do you, Randy? I had no more faith last night than tonight. I have no more sin in my life tonight than last night. Last night I stuck out my fat hand and said ‘Come Holy Spirit’ and blessed when I saw. That night everybody got healed. And I did not go to bed thinking I was somebody. Today I did the same thing and no one got healed, and I will not go to bed thinking that I am a failure.”
When the church prays and fasts for months and still the loved one dies, it is a shock. People then face a choice. Will they give it up? Most do. Or they can decide to fight harder for healing, pressing in even closer to God.
Saturday afternoon Tom Jones talked about keeping a positive attitude. He said there are two kinds of people: those who focus on the possibilities like Joshua and Caleb, and those who focus on the problems. If you focus on problems your destiny gets blurry. To make an impact you have to focus on possibilities, not the problems. There will always be problems and challenges. The enemy does not want you to live out your destiny, so he will challenge it.
Start now, in your own city or Sunday school. Enjoy the process. If you stay faithful, what God has spoken over to your life will come to pass. Maybe 20 times a day you need to listen to the voice that says you can, not the voice that says you cannot.
At a local shop I bought some Mon Cheri liquor-filled chocolates and Guylian extra dark Belgian chocolates to take home. Both have exceeded expectations, and (while they last) serve as an ongoing reminder of the refinements of European culture.
A bonus for our trip was touring the impressive old (built 1030-1061 A.D.) romanesque basilica in Speyer. This was about 200 years before they figured out how to do the light, airy gothic architecture. It is mind-blowing to think each stone block here was shaped and positioned by hand.