Thousands of churches from around the world were scheduled to participate in the Worldwide Day of Healing (WWDH) on Sept. 22.
"We're really excited and we're expecting tens of thousands of churches to be trained to lay hands on the sick and thousands upon thousands of healings that day," said Joan Hunter, a spokeswoman for the Worldwide Day of Healing, which is based in Houston.
Originally launched last year as the National Day of Healing for All Nations, the successful global event was spearheaded by veteran healing evangelists Charles and Frances Hunter. Joan Hunter is their daughter and founder of Joan Hunter Ministries.
Her ministry's Web site (joanhunter .org) will stream live reports throughout the three-hour Worldwide Day of Healing, which will be hosted in various locations around the globe. "This is a life-changing and church-changing event," Hunter said. "Many churches have started having their own day of healing, once a month, after we had the National Day of Healing [last year]."
The number of reports of miraculous healings and deliverances after the initial day of healing was overwhelming. Last year Hunter said a healing team of 150 people was dispatched to pray for hundreds of people in the parking lot of Dallas-based Daystar Television Network, which aired the prayer event worldwide. She said more than 500 people were reportedly healed.
"It was incredible beyond words," Hunter said. "Daystar played it in the middle of the night and hundreds [more] were healed as it played. Around 1,000 called in or e-mailed with their testimony of their healing, as a result if it re-airing."
At Marilyn Hickey Ministries in Englewood, Colo., Richard Patton, the ministry's director of healing, also reported widespread healing as a result of last year's event. "People came out of wheelchairs, backs were healed and major emotional healings took place among those who had been molested and abused. This was healing of the whole man."
Robb Thompson, pastor of Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park, Ill., reported that 139 people attending last year's day of healing were also healed of various ailments, including mental disease and chronic pain.
As a result of the thousands of healings that were reported worldwide, Charles and Frances Hunter published a 100-page book, What's New? The Historic First National Day of Healing. The book is a compilation of the many miraculous testimonies recorded after the first day of healing.
In one account, Patton describes the healing of a man who had a massive stroke one year earlier. "The right side of his body was paralyzed, and his right fist clenched tight. He came in a wheelchair. The Lord grew out his legs [and] his arms and his shoulders straightened parallel.
"His clenched hand and his body muscles on the right side loosened, he moved his hand and his arm for the first time. He walked farther today than he has in a year."
This year's Worldwide Day of Healing kicked off in June with a pastors' breakfast at pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston. Hundreds of ministers from across the U.S. attended the event, and a healing training seminar at Lakewood Church was scheduled for August.
The healing day was again to be taped at Daystar's studios, where intercessors would be stationed in the parking lot to offer prayer for healing. "We're seeing the healing power of God remain in the church for the ones that participated last year," Joan Hunter said.
In addition to churches and ministries already involved in the WWDH event, she said many more have been signing up for the prayer initiative, including churches in countries such as Austria, Liberia, Nigeria, Scotland, Ireland, England and the Philippines.
But whether it's Christians in the U.S. or in other parts of the world, according to Hunter, praying for people to be healed is every believer's responsibility. "Healing and [prayer] for the sick has been left up to the pastors and the 'Benny Hinns' [and] the 'Hunters,'" she said. "But it is for every believer. I am more of the [motivator and] activator, showing people it is their responsibility to pray for the sick. And they do get well."
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