“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, NLT).
“It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God. . . . Those who have faith in this divine Attendant [the Holy Spirit] will develop. They will be gifted with power to clothe the message of truth with a sacred beauty” (Ellen White, Gospel Workers, pp. 96, 97).
The phone rang in my office in Albany, Oregon. “Is this the pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church?” a female voice asked. “Yes, it is,” I replied. “You must come to the hospital at once. We have a patient here who is having severe heart arrhythmias. We’re afraid she may die, but she won’t let us do anything until the pastor from the Adventist Church prays for her. She keeps insisting that if the pastor from the Adventist Church prays for her, she will be healed. Please come quickly!”
While driving to the hospital, I prayed, “Lord, I’m a little worried about this visit. The lady keeps telling everyone that if the pastor from the Adventist Church prays for her, she will get well. You and I both know that You don’t always choose to heal someone. What will those nurses and doctors say if You don’t heal this lady?” It seemed as if the Lord responded by saying, “What are you fussing about?” “I’m worried Your reputation,” I said. “Now, let Me get this straight,” the Lord seemed to say. “You’re worried about My reputation?” “OK,” I continued, “I realize that sounds pretty silly, but what will the people say—what will the lady say—if You don’t heal her?” The Lord said to my heart, “It is your responsibility to be obedient. It is My responsibility to take care of My reputation.” “You are right,” I said. “I will trust You to do what You know is best.”
At the hospital I met four nurses outside the patient’s room. “Are you the Adventist pastor?” one nurse asked. “Hurry up and get in there and pray so we can do something!” I already knew from the name the nurse had given me that this patient wasn’t a member of my church or another nearby church. I wondered why she insisted on being prayed for by an Adventist pastor, but this was no time to start a conversation. Her heart monitor showed an erratic heartbeat. I knew she was in trouble. I walked to her bedside and took her right hand in mine. She turned slightly, opened her eyes, and asked, “Are you the Adventist pastor?” “Yes,” I said. “If you will pray for me, I know I will be healed,” she said.
This was not a time for a sermon or Bible study on prayer for the sick. I simply asked, “Sister, are you willing to let Jesus decide what happens here today?” “Oh, yes, pastor,” she said, “but I know that if you pray for me, I will be healed!” So I closed my eyes and asked the Lord in heaven to show His power and mercy for this lady. I asked Him to glorify His name before the nurses and doctors in the hospital, and that this lady’s healing might be a witness for many people. I asked the Lord to heal her if it was His will, if it could bring glory to His name, and if it was for her best good. I finished my prayer in Jesus’ name and said “Amen.” Opening my eyes, I looked at the heart monitor, and it showed a perfect rhythm! The lady grasped my hand with vigor and said, “I feel good. I am healed! I knew if the Adventist pastor prayed for me I would get well!”
I remembered how Jesus handled experiences like this in His life, so I said, “Sister, your faith has made you well!” I gave thanks to God and walked out of the room. The nurse said, “May we go in now?” I said, “Yes, but I don’t think she needs you anymore.” Their eyes widened considerably, and they dashed into the room. I can’t tell you what happened after that because I left. I didn’t want the nurses or the lady looking to me as though I had healed her. It was the gift of healing bestowed by the Holy Spirit for that lady at that moment.
Bible Texts to Pray About
I Need a Miracle; Something Beautiful; You Are the Finger of God; Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Hymn #100); Fire of God, Thou Sacred Flame (Hymn #263); O for That Flame of Living Fire (Hymn #264); Oceans.