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Today I'm rejoicing. My friend of 20 years just called me to share a praise report. He was giving thanks to God because his terrible life-threatening kidney stones, some gigantic, were still gone. He had been plagued with this awful disease for decades. This morning as I write, he said he'd been back to his urologist to be x-rayed once again. The checkup confirmed what he already knew. He was still healed. This miracle had happened three years ago. Let me tell you about his story.

Three years ago David was desperate. He was only one day away from major abdominal surgery to remove numerous kidney stones. He suspected the disease ran in his family. His situation had become critical. His kidneys were dying. That's when David called me to ask for my prayers. His doctors had already tried lithotripsy. That treatment had failed. The stones were too big. Then they tried arthroscopic-type surgery, going in through his back. That didn't work either. It left him with a drain tube. The next step was truly dreadful - major abdominal surgery on both kidneys.

Because of our friendship, David knew I believed in divine healing. More than just believed in it, I practiced it. Offering prayers for the healing of diseases have been part of my work as a Christian all of my life. As a consequence, I've seen numerous healings, recoveries, and miracles. And to be honest, I've been disappointed. I've seen failures. Sometimes healing - or the lack thereof - is a mystery. However when you need to be healed, this subject moves from a theological debate into practical necessity. The issue is how can you obtain healing from God for yourself, not whether or not any others have been healed. It becomes personal.

With David, I couldn't get to him physically to lay my hands on him. This simple act of faith (laying on of hands in Jesus' name) is my preferred method of ministering healing. I've often seen the gifts of the Spirit come into play as well. But with David, I couldn't get to him since I was on the road travelling when he called three years ago. So I asked him if I could pray for him over the phone. It makes no difference to God as there is no distance limitation in prayer. This time, I didn't pray with my mind, but I prayed in the Spirit for him. In other words, I prayed in unknown tongues. The very next day (three years ago) David called me back to let me know what happened. While at the doctor's office for his pre-surgery final check-up, the doctor had performed one more set of x-rays. He couldn't believe what he saw. He discovered that all of David's kidney stones had vanished. Gone. Disappeared. He took David back into his office to personally look at the new x-rays. The doctor told David, "This is a miracle!" He canceled the surgery. Now, three years later, David called me to rejoice and to report he is still healed.

Every miracle of healing is an encounter with Jesus. It honors the Bible. It displays God's mercy. It confirms Jesus' authority. Healing requires faith but it is a gift. It comes by grace. Healing done in the name of Jesus is not magic nor is it mystical. It is real. It is available today. It is something Jesus commanded his followers to do for suffering people. Since Jesus hasn't changed, we can still expect to see healing occur when we pray with child-like faith.

-- Ron Wood is a retired pastor and author. Contact him at [email protected] or visit www.touchedbygrace.org or follow him on Facebook @touchedbygracenwa. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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