Willie sat in the invalid tent waiting with many others there who could not physically stand in line to receive prayer for healing. He was 6 years old. Willie had been diagnosed with Perthes disease, which resulted in one leg becoming more than two inches shorter than the other. There was no cure for his condition at that time. He was a cripple and would have to walk with crutches all of his life.
But an evangelist who preached the gospel and prayed for the sick to be healed was coming to a nearby town. Willie's parents decided to attend the Oral Roberts crusade and take their crippled son to receive prayer for his healing. His mother tells what happened that day:
Oral Roberts had prayed for everyone, it seemed, and had unwittingly passed by my little boy. Most of the people had already left. Some had been healed instantly and were still crying, laughing and praising God ... Suddenly, I heard a voice weary with exhaustion but full of compassion say: "Son, what are you doing here?"
"I'm waiting for Oral Roberts."
"What do you want with him?"
"I'm supposed to be healed tonight."
"Son, I'm Oral Roberts."
"Well, I'm supposed to be healed tonight."
Then Brother Roberts looked down at Willie with a sort of tired smile and said, "Do you believe that Jesus can heal you?"
"Uh huh," Willie responded.
Brother Roberts touched Willie's head and said simply, "Be healed in the name of Jesus." And he left the room. In that instant, our miracle happened. Willie took off his shoe, threw his crutches aside and yelled, "Mom, I'm healed! I'm going to walk!" Instead, he ran ... and without the slightest limp. Both legs were the same length. We just laughed and cried, hugging everybody and praising the Lord.
Oral Roberts did not know about Willie's miracle until 18 months later. Willie received his healing miracle in 1951 during a healing crusade in Roanoke, Virginia. Twenty-four years later, the staff of Oral Roberts' ministry contacted Willie's family to inquire about his health. He was working for a paint company in his city and was still a living, breathing, walking testimony to the miracle-working power of God.
God's revelation of His desire to heal people's bodies did not begin with Jesus' ministry. The Old Testament is filled with examples of people who received healing from God. For example, King Hezekiah became deathly ill and received a word of the Lord from the prophet Isaiah that he was going to die of his illness. The king cried out to God to heal him, and God heard his cry and granted his request. After he was restored to health, King Hezekiah wrote this poetic praise:
"What shall I say? For He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it. I shall wander about all my years in the bitterness of my soul. O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit; O restore me to health and make me live! ... The Lord shall surely save me; therefore, we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the house of the Lord" (Isa. 38:15-16, 20).
The psalmist also acknowledged the healing power of God and praised Him for healing his body: "I will extol You, O Lord, for You have drawn me up, and have not caused my foes to rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to You, and You healed me. O Lord, You have brought up my soul from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit" (Ps. 30:1-3).
The Scriptures teach that physical healing is God's will and that sickness is an oppression of the devil. The promise of God to Israel to keep them from the diseases of Egypt is still relevant to believers today. When Jesus walked on the earth, He demonstrated the Father's desire for people to walk in healing and health. And He sent out His disciples with these instructions: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give" (Matt 10:8).
This article is an excerpt from God's Healing Words: Your Pocket Guide of Scriptures and Prayers for Health, Healing and Recovery. Copyright 2011 by Siloam.
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