In yesterday’s post, we said authority increases when God gives assignments. They become a “sphere” in which we are given a “measure” of authority. With increased responsibility comes increased authority. These assignments can be long-term, such as a calling, or short-term, as the following.
In the mid-80s, I was given a daunting assignment by Holy Spirit to pray for a humanly impossible situation. I knew the person I was going to pray for was very ill. What I didn’t know was that she was comatose with a tracheostomy in her throat, a feeding tube in her stomach, and had been in that condition for almost two years. Seeing her for the first time was a mind-numbing shock.
I had made prayer an important priority in my life for the previous six years, had studied the subject extensively, and had just begun teaching my first series on intercessory prayer. I had been blessed to have read numerous good books on the subject, spent hundreds of hours studying Scripture, and been given what I believed was insight and revelation. Much of what ended up in my first book, Intercessory Prayer, I was teaching in this mini-course.
The comatose young lady’s sister was attending this class. I taught the material with great passion and conviction, which was inspiring and encouraging her. After one particular class, she approached me and said, “I think you REALLY believe what you are teaching.”
“Yes, I do,” I replied.
“Well, I have a sister who is very sick and has been for almost two years. She’s so ill she just sleeps most of the time. I’m wondering if you would be willing to go pray for her.”
She had not given me the whole story out of fear that I wouldn’t go. Diane (not her real name) had contracted viral encephalitis, which attacked her brain. The doctors gave her no hope for recovery or of living. “And if she did miraculously regain consciousness,” they said, “she would likely be in a persistent vegetative state because of the extensive brain damage. Every part of her brain is covered with infection.” Again, I knew none of this.
Diane was in a nursing home in a nearby town, making it a little more challenging, but I said I would be glad to go pray for her. (A 20-year-old “sick” girl in a nursing home, should have been a hint that this situation was worse than I had been told!) Though I did not know it at the time, this was the beginning of a prayer assignment lasting more than a year.
When I arrived at her room expecting to find a “very sick” girl, I found a hopeless, unresponsive, drooling, comatose young girl, fed through a tube and breathing through a hole in her throat. The shock was huge, to say the least. I laid my hand on her forehead and prayed over her for an hour or so, asking God to give her a miracle. It did not happen. I left that day deeply moved, not only for her physically, but she was not a believer.
Normally, when one who isn’t a family member or pastor of someone they agree to pray for, it is a one-time occurrence. They obey the Scriptures, pray in faith, and leave the results to God. At times, the miracle occurs; often, it does not. However, in this situation, deep compassion gripped my heart for this young girl. I felt as though Holy Spirit might want me to go again and pray for her. I sought the Lord about this, asking if He was, indeed, wanting me to do so. His response was a bit unexpected.
“Yes. I am assigning you the responsibility to intercede for her until she is healed. Not just in your daily prayers, from a distance. Go every week and pray over her, applying the principles I’ve been teaching you.” Holy Spirit wanted not only to heal her, but to teach and train me. It was time to DO what I KNEW. So this would not be an instant miracle through the laying on of hands, but healing “birthed” through intercession.
I went at least once a week and prayed an hour or so for Diane - for more than a year. I prayed EVERY verse I knew regarding healing, MANY times. I read Scripture over her often. I worshipped over her. I prayed much in my prayer language over her. I took friends with me 2-3 times in order to agree in prayer with me. I implemented everything I had learned and taught regarding intercession. But I saw no change.
Each time I went, I was tempted to quit. Staring at her lifeless form was gut-wrenching and intimidating. People thought I was crazy, and the nursing home staff treated me with complete cynicism. As far as I knew, only Ceci and Diane’s sister believed in what I was doing. I asked God the same question each time, “Did You send me to this girl, assigning me this responsibility?”
I knew that if He had truly sent me, if this was indeed His assignment for me, I was moving in Christ’s authority and representing Him - re-presenting Him and His victory at Calvary. After several months of going, praying, spending many hours speaking God’s promises over Diane, praying in the Spirit over her, worshiping over her, and hearing Holy Spirit say, “Yes, I sent you. Don’t quit,” something began to change. Not in Diane - but in me.
All the hours of praying Scriptures, of speaking and hearing the Word of God, was increasing my faith - 30, 60, 100-fold (Matthew 13:23). Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing the Word of God. As my faith grew, I became bolder in my decrees. I didn’t know if Diane could hear me - some people in a coma can - but in case she could, I spoke often to her. (It turned out she was not able to hear.) I told her often she was being healed…that Jesus loved her and wanted to heal and save her…that He sent me to her for this purpose. I told her that when she woke up, she would be normal, that her brain would be undamaged. I decreed all of this in Jesus’ name. And my faith continued to grow.
After more than a year of this, Diane took a turn for the worse. An infection elsewhere in her body had occurred, and they moved her to a hospital for treatment. After administering more tests, the doctors determined her condition had grown worse and informed her family that she would probably die soon. They should all go see her.
Diane’s sister relayed this information to me. “You should go see her,” she told me. And I did.
On this Wednesday afternoon, I spoke to Diane, as usual. Leaning over her, close to her ear, with tears streaming down my face, I said, “This nightmare is almost over. Nothing can keep us from receiving our miracle. Nothing! You will live and not die. And you will have a new brain.”
The memory is forever imprinted on my mind. As I exited the hospital, still weeping, I was declaring to myself again and again, “Nothing can keep us from receiving our miracle. Nothing!”
Three days later, while alone in her hospital room, Jesus walked in and woke Diane from her 3-year sleep, with a full restoration of her brain. News about the miracle spread, even to other nations. The nursing home where she had stayed received inquiries from Europe wanting to know about her incredible recovery. Every hour and every tear I had invested became worth the wait when I saw Diane awake and heard her speak the words, “Praise the Lord.”
We have authority from Christ to lay hands on sick people and ask for their healing. There may be reasons we aren’t aware of, at times, that keep the healing from occurring, but we should always ask! However, if God assigns you to pray for a situation, never quit until you see the answer! With His assignment comes increased authority.
Pray with me:
Father, we are Christ’s body - His hands, feet, and mouth - on earth; the Head wills, the body fulfills. As You sent Jesus, He sent us, calling us His Ekklesia and granting us the authority to operate in His name. Awaken Your people to this authority. Reveal to Your family that they have the right and responsibility to
re-present Christ on earth.
We are His voice of truth, His trumpet for the Gospel. Bring new boldness to the church. Miracles are in our hands, deliverances are in our mouths, words of knowledge and prophecies are in our spirits waiting for their time, and a river of living water is in our wombs. The transformation of individuals and nations awaits this revelation in the church. Again we ask, awaken us!!!
And please heal our land. We boldly announce that this has begun. Desperation is growing, hearts are awakening, and minds are changing! The complete insanity of woke-ism, globalism, socialism, secularism, and other extremes is being acknowledged. The search for answers beyond human ability has begun - the search for Jesus has begun, though many do not yet know what they’re searching for. But the Jesus search will become the Jesus reveal, the Jesus find, and another Jesus movement. This is happening, is coming, AND WILL NOT BE STOPPED!
We decree that a Third Great Awakening is our assignment, birthing this Third Great Awakening is our measure of authority, and The Third Great Awakening will now go to another level.
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Intercessory Prayer (and published by Baker books).
Click on the link below to watch the full video.