A powerful stirring began to grow in Pierce to reopen Lake's Healing Rooms, but he wasn't sure how he would do it. After he completed a lengthy fast, Pierce received what he believed was a strong message from God: "There is a time to pray and a time to move. Now is the time to move!" On July 22, 1999, after an intense season of intercessory prayer the original Healing Rooms were reopened.
Likening it to the way Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug during the lifetime of Abraham (see Gen. 26:18), Pierce says: "If you redig a well, you have to go back to the original well site."
Similarly, this is what pastors Jerry and Mary Breeden have done. They too believe God has instructed them to redig the wells of Lake's healing ministry, so they have purchased the former Spokane home of John G. Lake. Today it serves as both a residence and a "healing home."
They provide healing prayer by appointment, in contrast to the Healing Rooms' walk-in policy. Jerry Breeden, 50, an associate pastor at Spokane's Harvest Christian Fellowship, says God has called him to help expand divine healing in the local church, open healing rooms worldwide and launch a divine healing institute.
"Our vision is to bring the issue of divine healing back to local churches and train up people for ministry," Breeden says. The outside observer might see little difference between the Breedens' and the Pierces' ministries, but Breeden views them as part of "different streams."
Can All Be Healed?
Although the Healing Rooms is all about supernatural ministry, the steps by which it arrives at that end are mostly temporal in nature. Training, for example, is seen by Pierce and his ministry colleagues as an important ingredient in the kind of prayer that brings healing. Group training is scheduled every two months, and intercessors are taught about the blockages people have to healing, anointing and the authority of the believer.
The Healing Rooms works closely with churches, but Pierce believes the nondenominational nature of the ministry is a distinct advantage. He is convinced that every church should have a healing room.
"Our prayer is that churches will put us out of business," he says.
While most regional pastors are thrilled with what is happening at the Healing Rooms, some offer words of caution. Ken Lawrence, a charismatic pastor at the River of Life fellowship in nearby Sandpoint, Idaho, believes wholeheartedly in power evangelism and is careful to acknowledge what God is doing through the Healing Rooms. Still, he says: "We must be careful not to live in the past. We need to move forward, not look back."
John McKelvey, publisher of the Inland Northwest Christian News, believes God is still in the healing business and that the full gamut of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is at work today. Yet, he says, there is some trepidation among a few evangelicals who are maintaining a wait-and-see attitude.
Randy Beal, senior pastor of First Assembly of God in Spokane, says there isn't "a more genuine man in town than Cal Pierce," but adds: "My only concern is in the inheritance philosophy of healing--that if you are not healed it's your own fault."
Beal's ministry staff has been to the Healing Rooms, and they have few qualms about encouraging others to go for prayer. "When people of faith get together to pray for miracles, great things can happen," Beal says.
These guarded concerns point to the tricky nature of healing ministry. Most charismatics and Pentecostals recognize that not everyone is healed all of the time. Most of them understand that 2 Corinthians 12:9--when God spoke to the apostle Paul and said, "'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness'" (NKJV)--underscores the reality that God manages to use us in spite of our weaknesses, our insecurities, our inabilities to speak well and even our physical limitations.
Still, Pierce believes Christians need not be "going into battle on crutches. [If you are sick] take your healing and begin to confess it."
He believes the worst way for people to try to determine if they are well is by looking to their bodies for confirmation. Faith for healing, he says, does not come from what we see. "God is not trying to decide if He wants to heal the sick. He has already done it. All you have to do is receive it, and it's yours."
But the line between faith and presumption is a tenuous one. For those who do not see immediate results--and some clearly don't--the weight of guilt can be a heavy burden to bear.
In the meantime, Pierce and his Healing Rooms associates are busy doing the work they believe God has called them to. Sadly, they say, healing has become more of a sign to Christians than to unbelievers that God is real. It should be the other way around, they say.
Healing is available, Pierce says, to those who will reach out to God for it--like the woman in Matthew 9:20-22 who had been bleeding for 12 years and reached out to touch Jesus so she could be made well.
Says Pierce: "If you want a move of God, then you have to start moving yourself. To get healed is easy--God does the work. All we have to do is receive it." *
Don S. Otis is the author of Staying Fit After Forty (Shaw), Teach Your Children Well (Revell), and Trickle-Down Morality (Chosen). He and his wife, Susan, live in Sandpoint, Idaho, with their three teenage boys.
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