Maurice describes his experience of Christian healing from a back drop of paramilitarism in Belfast, attempted murder, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism and serious complications, six months in an intensive care unit, and serious sepsis.
Vernon and Marilyn Toogood describe Vernon’s healing from terminal leukaemia, healing which was unexpected in medical terms. Marilyn prayed psalm 128 that Vernon would know the love of his children’s children.
As a Christian, I had never really known about, or been involved in healing services. My mother-in-law has been involved in healing services for many years, and I truly was slightly afraid of this subject. It is easy to put some things to the back of your mind or brush them under the carpet, however after 1 September 2009 life became quite complicated. I had cancer in my brain and have had eight surgical procedures. While I am very fortunate to have support from a wonderful family and friends, I realised at the start that ultimately, this was between me and the Lord; and he has been everything to me. My first healing experience was before my first surgery, when my Church Minister prayed with the Laying on of Hands. This gave me something that could not come any other way. It gave me peace, and I knew then that everything would be OK. When I got out of hospital, I started going to Healing Services in a few different churches. In the services, some churches had specific time for prayer requests afterwards; some had more modern praise; some less Laying on of Hands, but I found that the Church’s Ministry of Healing at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast was perfect for me. There was the choice to receive intimate prayer, during a time of traditional peaceful praise, along with Laying on of Hands, which brought me closer to the Lord. Not only have these healing services given me an inner peace, it is not all about me! Other people need healing, and for family members and friends who cannot attend for whatever reason, I now am able to have powerful prayer brought to them. And as for my cancer? I have now had two scans where there is no sign of cancer! My experience with these healing services has brought me to a peace in life that I want to shout about. I thank the Lord every day, and thank the team at St Anne’s Cathedral for bringing me close to him.
My Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The medical staff found a 2½ inch tumour and prescribed a summer of radiotherapy and simultaneous oral chemotherapy. They informed us that his treatment was intended to reduce the tumour and would be followed by surgery to remove it. My Dad is a Christian and immediately following diagnosis, our church rallied around and began to pray for him. I started going to the healing service at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, every Friday lunchtime to pray for my Dad’s healing. My Dad’s prayer was that with God’s help, the surgeon would cure him. My prayer was that God himself would destroy the tumour and amaze the doctors! Last week Dad went into hospital for the operation. His surgeon was unable to find the tumour – only scar tissue where it had been! Unfortunately the operation had to proceed to remove the area where the tumour had been, in case any cancer cells remained. We visited Dad in recovery soon after his operation and he informed us that he felt God with him throughout the whole procedure. Thanks to the prayers of so many believers, my Dad has felt that peace which cannot be understood. He is the worst nail biter I have ever encountered (when feeling nervous or stressed) and incredibly he has had to cut his nails now for the first time in his life! Dad got out of hospital a week early, and is now recovering at home. He is awaiting the results of the pathologist’s report to see if the cancer had spread into the lymph glands. All early indications were that is had not. As for me, I know it has not, as I have complete faith that God has answered our prayers and healed him.