I’d heard about praying over the phone, but healing a kidney by telephone? That would take a miracle.
Where I got the idea. After I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the experience that Jesus told his followers to wait for after his Easter resurrection, I was emboldened to try almost anything. I was attending a mid-week group called “JC Power & Light,” a group of teens and twenties and a few older people. We met in Haymarket, Virginia, and were shepherded by an Episcopal priest and a Methodist minister. Our teachings were mostly warmed-over sermon tapes by Bob Mumford, Dennis Bennet, Derek Prince, and others of that ilk, early pioneers of the Jesus People Movement which made the baptism of the Holy Spirit central to their teaching. We thought that, with God’s help, we could do anything. Jesus said we could, you know, so we believed it.
Dialysis. So when my aunt phoned me that her kidneys had failed and she was on dialysis, I thought, “God can fix that!”
I had no idea how serious dialysis was. I didn’t know that people sometimes died while on dialysis. I also didn’t know that occasionally, people did stop dialysis: kidneys did recover, but it was rare.
Long distance. Another difficulty was, Aunt Mildred was in Kansas City, Missouri. I was in Manassas, Virginia. We were separated by a thousand miles. I considered the problems. I prayed a quick prayer under my breath, even as Mildred continued to tell me how difficult dialysis treatments were, and the risks.
The scripture came to me: “and all were healed.” So without further hesitation, I said, “Mildred, I want to pray for you. Right over the phone, okay?” And I started in.
The prayer. “Lord, you know the problem my Aunt Mildred is facing, the dialysis treatments, the chance of a fatal blood clot, the limitation of her liquid intake. Lord, this isn’t the way you made us to live. I pray you’ll heal her.”And then I spoke to the sickness, right over the telephone. “Kidneys, be healed! All you cells, be renewed. Be fresh and functioning just like when Mildred was a child. Be healed, in the Name of Jesus.”
I waited. After a few moments, Mildred said, “Well, thanks for trying, Elaine. It never hurts to try, I guess.” And we ended our conversation.
A week later, she called me again. “Guess what! I had my doctor’s appointment today, and he’s taking me off dialysis! My kidneys seem to be healed. In fact, he thinks they’re functioning just like new!”
Was it a miracle? Now, you may say, “yes, but we don’t know that the prayer had anything to do with that healing. We don’t know that it was a miracle.”
True. We’ll never know whether she would have been one of those rare cases that automatically go into remission. But I do know that I did pray over the phone, a thousand miles away, and within a week she was off dialysis. The timing was great. Miracle or not, she was healed. She never went back on dialysis.
It’s like the man who was healed of blindness in the New Testament, when the Pharisees were questioning him. He replied, “All I know is, I was blind and now I see.” Praise God!