Pierce and his colleagues choose their semantics carefully. They do not say a person may not be healed after prayer. Instead, they talk as if the healing has already occurred, even if the physical manifestation of it is absent.
For some this is an exercise of faith in the finished work of the cross. For others it is a clever blend of presumption and denial. For the Goodenbergers and many unnamed others, the Healing Rooms is a last resort for physical, spiritual or emotional healing.
Pierce queries: "If you were sick, why would you go to the hospital and get cut on and get sewed up and get a bill when you could go to the Healing Rooms and be prayed for by the healing technicians and get healed for nothing?"
This matter-of-fact approach to healing is what makes the Healing Rooms special. There is no pretense here. There is only the hopeful expectation that God is and has made provision for healing.
Permeating the ministry is a selfless attitude, an overflow from Pierce himself. He is so passionate about what he believes God wants to do in His people that he often dabs the tears from his eyes while he shares about God's goodness. His heart of mercy for the sick is deeply personal--born from great personal sacrifice and sorrow after he and his wife, Michelle, lost a son to muscular dystrophy.
He would be the first to say that what God is doing through the Healing Rooms is not about Cal Pierce but about God Himself. Pierce is humble, to the extent that it's easy to mistake him for being passive.
"We are in trouble when we think we are anything," he says, shaking his head.
Sensitive as well about being labeled a huckster, he goes overboard to prove the opposite. A cylindrical oatmeal box with the words "Healing Rooms Seed" sits atop the reception desk for those who want to donate.
Jim Goll, the founder of Ministry to the Nations in Nashville, Tennessee, says: "Why is God using this team so wonderfully? Because they don't take any glory for themselves. They are a bunch of desperate nobodies."
Adds Pierce: "God is just looking for ordinary people doing extraordinary things."
Better Than Retirement
Cal and Michelle Pierce were just those kind of ordinary people when God called them to reopen the "healing wells" that were "dug" by John G. Lake's ministry and had been closed for more than seven decades.
Cal, 56, is a businessman, not an evangelist. He and Michelle were thinking about how to spend their retirement when God's call came. Cal was coasting through life, simply looking forward to trips in his motor home after his successful career as a real-estate developer.
Although he had served as an elder and board member at Bethel Assembly of God in Redding, California, he notes: "I was a bored board member. I carried my Bible and dressed the right way, but I was in a dry and thirsty land."
Once when he heard that God was moving in some strange ways in the community--with people falling down at church meetings--he told Michelle: "Those are the meetings we aren't going to."
Then a new pastor--Bill Johnson--showed up at Bethel Assembly. Johnson had been praying for revival for 14 years and wanted it to ignite at Bethel. He sent out a letter requiring all church leaders to attend an evening meeting. Pierce knew there was no way he could avoid it, but he didn't want to go.
The meeting was conducted like any other until Johnson raised his hands and said, "Come, Holy Spirit." That is about all Pierce says he remembers after "the lights went out," as he calls it. It took two men to pull him off the floor after he had been overcome by the power of God.
For the next year and a half he devoured everything he could get his hands on about healing, revival and historic moves of God. He also discovered a newfound love for being in the house of the Lord. Every time the doors were opened, Pierce was the first one in.
As he puts it: "My program was over. My RV plans were done."
In 1997, he says, he felt a strong leading from God to travel north from his Northern California home. Although he had never been to Washington state, he stopped in Spokane and soon discovered it had been home to John G. Lake's Healing Rooms ministry. Pierce visited Lake's grave site a few miles away in Riverside Cemetery.
"I prayed that God would bring up the healing anointing, like he did with Elisha. It wasn't about me; it was about what God wanted to do," he says.
Pierce is quick to point out that in his unusual prayer he was seeking after God, not man. He says he felt God say to him about supernatural healing: "It wasn't John G. Lake; it was Me. And I am still here."