I had lots of prophetic words spoken over me about my spiritual gift in healing. Sometimes I would feel a burning sensation on my hand and I took it as a sign that somebody needed a healing prayer. I’d pray and ask God who it may be. I loved praying for people. It was always exciting to see God’s healing power used in my hands. I was on the prayer team at the church I attended, so I got to pray for and see lots of people healed. It was magical.
My father oversaw a skatepark that one of the churches youth pastor started. The skatepark was opened two nights out of the week in the church parking lot. About 200 skaters on average would show up each night. This was a great place to see God’s healing power as there were lots of kids with injuries needing prayer. There were countless times I’d pray for a kid who claimed to have a fractured finger or sprained ankle and were healed within minutes after putting my hand on the injured limb and call down the power of God.
Being one who use to heal people with the power of God, how can I turn around after seeing the miraculous and become an atheist? There were a few circumstances I put myself through that made me question everything I have done and seen.
I use to love spending afternoons on the weekend driving around my hometown asking God for direction to find someone specific on the streets who may need a divine encounter. One Saturday afternoon I was with a friend who also loved jumping out of the boat to pray for people. We spent about 30 mins in the morning praying for direction. I thought I felt God direct us to a small town outside our hometown, so we got in my truck and drove about 35 mins to this town. We parked in the downtown area and started walking and asking God who it was we needed to pray for.
We saw a woman in a wheelchair crossing a street. I knew for sure it must be her. We ran after her, calling to her. She stopped, confused why we were chasing her. I explained what we were doing and asked if we could pray for her. She said it would be ok. My friend started the prayer, thanking God for the moment and thanking God for His love for her. I told her I believed God could heal her and she wouldn’t need her wheelchair any longer. I’ve seen lots of fractured fingers healed and sprained ankles healed by my own hands and have heard a million second hand stories of tumors falling off of people after prayer and paraplegics walking out of wheelchairs at churches, so I believed this would be a great opportunity to see God heal somebody in a wheelchair on the streets, change a life, plus have a great testimony. I asked her if she believed God could heal her and she hesitantly said “yes”. I knew she was nervous but I was too enthusiastic and I believed it was what Jesus would have done. So on that hot Saturday afternoon on the middle of a sidewalk in a small California town, I prayed for her and commanded all of her body to be healed in the name of Jesus, on Earth as it is in Heaven. I really felt she was being healed and it was now her turn to step out of the comfort zone and walk. I asked her if she was ready to walk and she declined. I could see in her face I made her very uncomfortable and I felt awful about it, but I tried to tell myself it was what Jesus would have done and God was proud I jumped out of the boat to do His work, even if nothing happened. But I still wondered why God didn’t heal her right there and right then. We watched her wheel herself down the street away from us as we hoped she would be healed one day.
Another weird situation during my faith healing years, it was just after midnight when a friend of mine called saying he was heading to the hospital across the street from my apartment to pray for an elderly man in a coma. Excited by the chance to maybe see a Lazarus healing from God with my own hands I walked across the street and met up with my friend in front of the hospital. We walked into the emergency room, into the ICU and found his room and snuck in. The old man was in his 80s. He was alone, hooked up to tubes, a breathing machine and whatever else can keep an unconscious person alive. We stood over his bed and began praying in his dark hospital room.
We prayed and prayed, I wasn’t totally expecting him to wake up from his coma and get out of his bed. I thought it would be great if he did and I believed it could happen, but it wasn’t expected. We were in his room for about 30 mins praying over his poor old and almost lifeless body and prophesying how great it would be that his family would spend more years with this old man. We felt God say it wasn’t his time to die and even well into his 80s he still had years left in him. We didn’t see him wake up that night.
A few days later I saw my friend and ask him about the old man. He told me he the next day he the old man had woken up and argued with the nurses. I was stoked! I couldn’t believe our prayers worked. Even if he didn’t wake up in front of us that night, it was still unbelievable that he actually woke up from his coma the next day and was aware enough to argue with the nurses. I went to my home group that night and gave the testimony.
Later that week I found out the old man actually never woke up from the coma and ended up dying a couple days after we prayed for him. I felt like I was lied to and felt crushed by it. The testimony I gave to the home group happened to be recorded and played for the church congregation later that same week. People cheered and told me how awesome it was that our prayers were answered and felt encouraged to pray for their loved ones. I felt awful and was too embarrassed and overwealmed by their excitement to tell all of them I was lied to. This got me questioning everything. Every testimony I heard from then on was now under my microscope.
I started reading up on the placebo effect, the power of suggestion and other weird psychological happenings that helped explain away all the healings I did in at the skatepark and on the streets. The fractures were probably never there, the sprained ankles were probably not as bad as it seemed and just went away with a little dopamine and endorphine power. Some people even told me later that after I prayed they still felt pain, but they just didn’t want to hurt my feelings or they only told me they were healed so I would stop praying for them.
Every big miracle testimony I questioned I found to be exaggerated or lies. I heard second hand testimonies that got bigger and more extraordinary as the story was passed on.
I never saw anyone with real miraculous healings. The old man at my church who was severely crippled by a car accident when he was younger didn’t have one inch of healing even after all the prayer he went up for at church. None of the major prayer warriors could heal him. None of the major prophets who visited the church that told him he would be healed completely could never do it. I watched this old man crying for healing numerous times. It only broke my heart. And those I prayed for who had terminal cancer never lived to tell of a healing. I can’t believe in the miraculous healing of God after that.