Over 17 years ago, a young man came to my prayer and study office after Bible Study and told me, in tears almost, that a friend was in the hospital. When he told me who he was, I was almost in tears too. He was diagnosed with AIDS a while back but he told very few people. It was only until he was on his deathbed that the reality of his passing came.
Back in the early 80’s and in the 90’s, we all knew that it was an automatic death sentence. Today, more people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, worldwide. There is no question that HIV/AIDS is a pandemic. However, through a reduced combination of medicine, HIV/AIDS patients are able to live longer than in the past. But the stigmatization and the shame of this disease is ever present.
We all know that HIV/AIDS predominantly affects the homosexual community. We all know that the “collateral damage” of babies born from HIV mothers, heterosexual women practicing extremely risky sex, patients receiving contaminated blood transfusions, accidental needle pricks of drug users, and other unfortunate incidences, raises the stakes of collateral damage.
This is not about arguments of judgment concerning the pandemic of our times. It is very easy for me to resume the soapbox and preach to the choir but it’s not about that.
After my wife and I left our second home church to resume Prevailing Word Ministries, my pastor called me to discuss the issue at hand. At that point, we knew what needed to be done.
Minister the healing grace of Jesus.
Up until that point, my wife and several of our believing friends ministered in various places and hospitals in the NYC area. Brookdale, Kings County, and Brooklyn Hospital. The sick and shut in our first home church would be in these hospitals and we decided to go throughout the floors to pray for folk to get healed. We’ve seen the Lord heal people of minor things in these hospitals. The people in these hospitals were already on the mend and were receiving medicine for whatever it was that they had.
However, there is nothing wrong with seeking the Lord to heal them any way. The following week, at King’s County Hospital, the beds that they were in were either empty or a different patient would occupy them. Without skipping a beat, we would pray for them too. Some refused prayer and others received prayer. However, there would be one patient that would remain. She would breathe with her mouth wide open and would be unresponsive. Years later, we still didn’t know why she didn’t respond to our prayers.
The one thing that we know is that regardless, humans are not responsible for the outcome, much less, have the power to alter the course and destiny of whether a person gets healed or not. We are just to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit to minister God’s healing power and leave the results up to the Lord.
Too often, we take too much upon ourselves to try to make God heal or declare that He is not God when a person doesn’t get healed. The last thing you want to do is accuse God of something that sometimes humans may be responsible for. Sometimes people want to die and not receive deliverance. Other times, people desire to be healed, get prayed for, receive medicine, and still leave the earth. Other times, the Lord heals them, with or without medicine.
The healing power of God is a great mystery and it is not our job to be accusing God of not doing what He said He would do in His Word. We do not have the entire picture when it comes to the will of people and what sick people want. It is true that no sick person wants to stay sick. Sick people want to be made well. Otherwise, there is no use for a hospital or the healing power of God for that matter.
In one case, a youth pastor friend of mine and I went to a hospital to minister to a terminally ill cancer patient. Almost the entire church was in prayer for her. She had stomach cancer. The power of “concerted intercessory prayer” or the “prayer of agreement” is one of the best ways for believers to join their faith in the Word of God and watch God do some of the most miraculous things we’ve ever witnessed.
As we were in the hospital praying for this lady, we laid hands upon her and anointed her with oil.
Over time, the manifestation of answered prayer came to pass. She was healed of stomach cancer. There was another lady in the same room with cancer and she died.
The lady that we prayed for, her name was Mrs. Walker.
She lived, if I remember correctly, over ten years after that healing. Full of life. The rest of her days, she was able to enjoy life in the Lord. Yes, her stomach was removed, and surgery played a role in her healing but God still gets the glory and the credit. Eventually, she went home to be with the Lord, but not because of a relapse.
To my knowledge, she died cancer free.
Any way, getting back to the story. I was asked to go to the hospital and minister to him. If you ever been to a hospital where they care for AIDS patients, it’s like walking into a death camp. We had to wear masks because at this stage of the AIDS in him, his immune system was severely compromised, he lost a considerable amount of weight, and death was imminent.
To my knowledge, when the immune system is compromised, any germs could kill.
He laid in bed looking like a corpse. He told me that he had already made out his home going wishes in a letter and went over a little bit of what he wanted in the service with a friend. After going over his final requests, the person with his letter left the room.
I could have cried right there but it wasn’t the time to cry.
I looked at this individual and I received a phone call from my former pastor of my second home church. We knew what had to be done. After receiving that phone call, I looked at him and the Scripture the Lord brought to my remembrance was Psalm 118:17.
“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Verse 18 was interesting. “The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.”
Here he was. Severely chastened because of homosexuality but the word of the Lord ministered life to him.
I told him that you can’t leave. There is too much in you for you to leave. Start speaking and declaring that you shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. We spent that time doing just that. Confessing the Word of healing in that room. On the days that I would visit, I would share that same Word, over and over, and over again.
There wasn’t anything spectacular like signs and wonders, screaming and shouting, or “falling under the power” spectacle. Just the simple administration of the truth of God’s Word about healing and the Lord took care of the rest according to his faith. God is moved by faith in His Word.
Over the years, I’ve also came to realize that faith is an act. It’s not just the words and believing those words, the brother took steps of faith. He prepared himself to die, reversed course and, prepared himself to live.
And yes, there would be times of correcting him severely when I detected a relapse of faith in the Word of the Lord. Sometimes, you have to keep a person focused if they are to receive healing from the Lord.
After declaring that he should not be talking about death but declare his healing. After a few weeks of ministering that specific word of the Lord, his mindset changed from accepting death to receiving the Word of God about life.
At that time, the cocktails of medicine regiment was being formulated. A series of medicines were administered to help his immune system repair itself. Now, that’s fine, the medicine and all, but death is a mindset. I will never argue about medicine because the doctors are fighting the same diseases as preachers are.
The moment you decide you want to go, nothing can stop you. However, his mindset changed. He meditated on that Word in Psalm 118:17 and with the help of his parents and I, and a cane, he was able to walk out under his own power, propped up by the healing grace of God.
Faith is an act. He acted out his faith by taking steps he couldn’t take before because of his weakened condition. But each step of faith was a step of life in the Word of God. Watching this brother take step after step out of that hospital was like watching Peter walk on the water because the only thing that kept Peter’s feet dry was the word “Come.”
No wheel chair. Just the power of God holding him up, a cane, and his family. He walked out of the house of death into life. To this date, he is a testimony wherever he goes. It doesn’t get any better when you are at death’s door, only to not pass through because of the grace of God and faith in God’s Word.
Why don’t others get healed? Why do we see such suffering and tragedy? Every story is different. Every person is different. But God is the same. His Word is the same. We must remember that sin brought about sickness and disease.
Many have passed into eternity, but for God’s reason and glory, he is a testimony of God’s mercy and miraculous healing power. Again, medicine did play a role but God still gets the credit and glory for it.
I asked God about medicine one day and after years of being ready to receive an answer, the Lord said this.
“Healing can come from Me through the earth where medicine is extracted because the principles of healing the body in the natural may come from the healing principles in the elements I placed in the earth. Or healing can come from My hand. Both of which comes from Me. Whether I create a doctor with knowledge to minister healing or the simple laying on of hands by faith or both. All healing comes from Me.”
There are some things that the Lord will not tell you just yet because of the immaturity of the child of God. When the right time comes and you are ready for it, the answer comes. That’s part of being patient.
I’ve seen a former male prostitute who got saved, and had a powerful testimony, and was strong in prayer, and praise and worship, went home to be with the Lord. I’ve led a cousin of mine diagnosed with AIDS, to the Lord before he passed away. This cousin was the son of a long lost Aunt on my mother’s side and she, my late Aunt, asked me to come and pray for him.
After I led him in the Sinner’s Prayer, he received Jesus as Lord just a few days before he passed away.
His mother, Aunt Millie, a deaconess at a Baptist church in Long Island, went home to be with the Lord a few years after her son. Just imagine after seeing Jesus, the joyful reunion.
I’ve seen cancer patients get ministered the Word of God, fall into relapse and go home to be with the Lord. It seems I had more defeats than victories but that doesn’t change the Word of God and God’s graciousness to turn the life of a sick person around and bring life, and health to their bones. No matter which way it goes, if you are a believer in the Lord, if you have confessed your sins, and received eternal life through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, healing is still the children’s bread. And should you pass away in the Lord, your body that is planted in the ground will rise as a seed planted in the ground from corruption to incorruption. All is not lost.
If you know someone that has this, or any disease, just go to the Lord in Psalm 118:17-18, and pray this prayer of faith. God is still able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you ask of think according to the power that works in you.
Finally, God doesn’t heal so you can go back into the lifestyle. He heals so that you can be a testimony about His graciousness, His lovingkindness, and His tender-mercies was abundantly poured upon you in your darkest moment. Sin opened the door to judgment but when you turn to the Lord in godly sorrow that works repentance, this puts you squarely in the place where you become eligible for God’s miraculous healing power.
You shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord! The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.”
To listen to our groundbreaking series Secret Sexual Sins, please click this link, http//:blogtalkradio.com/prevailingword1