A Touch from God

by: Rev. Jamie Bagley (Carll's Corner Community Fellowship)

One day Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth. This healing took place on the Sabbath, which really angered religious leaders who already opposed Jesus. When they questioned the man who was healed about what took place, he replied (John 9:25), "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see! "

In the Spring of this year a revival broke out in Lakeland, Florida. It’s being called a ‘Healing Revival’ because many people who attend are reporting healing from various problems. This revival has been web cast nightly since shortly after its inception and has also been aired on cable TV channels, such as GOD TV. There has also been a great deal of media coverage. Besides the Florida media, many of the prime time news programs have reported the events.

While most of the media has reported objectively on the revival, it has received criticism from some religious leaders’ across the country. The revival doesn’t fit the traditional Church experiences and the initial leader of these healing services, Todd Bently, doesn’t look much like a traditional Christian leader. He looks like a part of the Florida biker crowd and sports tattoos all over his body. He also doesn’t often act, talk, or pray like a traditional church leader.

The healings began when Bently, from Canada, was invited to speak to a congregation in Lakeland. At the first worship service Bently began to prayed for sick people to be healed, following Biblical guidelines. That’s when the healings began to happen. People soon began to testify of how God moved during these times of prayer and healed them. Night after night people reconvened for worship and prayer. People began to come from all over the country, then from other countries. It’s been going on for about five months.

I went to Lakeland and attended these services in late June. A few weeks earlier I had received a note from a friend who told me that he had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer; he was told he had two months to live. I contacted the friend, told him about what was happening in Lakeland and asked if I could take him there for healing prayer. My friend wanted to go, so we went. What we found when we arrived was a bit overwhelming. There were about 7,000 people at each of the services we attended, most seeming as desperate as my friend for a touch from God. The worship was whole-hearted and passionate. The prayer times were intense. Each night’s session went four to five hours as we worshipped and prayed for healing needs.

While the primary purpose for my trip was to take my desperate friend, I also made a request and received prayer in Lakeland. I had been suffering for two years from a chronic reflux condition which developed as a result of a disease I contracted while doing mission work in South Asia in January of 2006. My condition left me in significant discomfort, reliant on daily medication and a special diet. However, after returning from Lakeland I realized that I didn’t need my medication any more and that I have no more of the symptoms. I can also report that my friend who attended with me is doing well… even a month after he was supposed to die. He has shown no signs of deterioration.

Like the man healed by Jesus, I don’t understand it all and I’m not sure what critics are looking to hear. All I know is that I was sick and I have been healed. Thank you LORD!

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