A MIRACULOUS STORY…. I was privileged to witness…Oh yes…. I remember Pastor Joe. We were associate pastors together at Calvary Temple in Denver. He was a quiet man, humble and loving. As a member of the pastoral staff, I would visit hospitalized members of the congregation in rotation with other pastors. As there were many thousands of members it was a long tumultuous task when it came my time to serve. There were 18 pastors on staff, and we went out in pairs of two….Not all the pastors visited the hospital so it was on my schedule at least once a week. I had partnered up with Pastor Joe. He had previously been a Catholic priest, before converting, and coming to work at a Protestant church. He was a good amount older than I. He had come out of the charismatic Catholic movement, and I loved to follow him along and have him teach me a lot of different things, including Latin. We would visit and pray with the members of the church in the hospital, going out two at a time, to keep each other company and to encourage one another. I loved going with Joe, as I loved to listen to him pray for the sick, there was something about the way he prayed, the strength of his faith, his deep sense of caring that made me want to develop the same in my heart. Many times as he prayed, his heart felt sincerity would move me to tears.
One day while we were visiting in a hospital, we walked by a room and Joe said, “Hold on a second, I want to go in this room and pray for this man”. I told him that the man was not on our list, and he said, yes he is, as the Spirit just instructed me to pray for him. I said OK. I followed him in as he began to speak to a man who was in a coma, and had been in a coma for many weeks. Joe spoke with him and prayed with him, and we left. Over the next couple of months I accompanied Pastor Joe, and every time we had hospital visitation, we would visit Frank, the man in the coma. Every time Joe would pray with him, even inviting him to pray the sinner’s prayer with him. I told him Joe, “Why did you keep doing that, he is in a coma, he can’t see you or hear you, you are wasting your time”. He said “I don’t pay attention to what my eyes see, or the nurses say, I pay attention to what the Spirit tells me”. He would always say to me…”So..Pay attention, listen to the fat man and learn”…LOL
On Wednesday nights we had LIFT at the church, (Lay Institute For Training) and on one Wednesday night there came a phone call to the church and one of the ushers came up to Joe, who I happened to be seated next to, and told him that there was a phone call for him from the hospital, regarding someone named Frank. As I followed Joe to the phone, I stood and listened not believing what my ears were hearing. On the other end of the phone speaking with the assistance of a nurse was Frank, the man who had been in the coma. Even though he had never seen Joe, he knew his name, knew that he was a pastor, and the hospital knew Joe by name and was able to contact him. Upon hanging the phone up, Joe turns to me and says, “Frank is awake and is asking for me by name”. Not understanding how or what I was hearing, I quickly headed with Joe to the hospital.
Upon arrival to the hospital there was Frank, his eyes wide open, alert, a huge smile on his face and full of excitement to meet Joe. There were two of us as we walked in, but his eyes immediately looked at Joe, and not at me, as if they were old friends. Joe rushed to his bedside and they embraced, weeping. As he wept, Frank said that during the time that he was in a coma that he heard every word that Pastor Joe had said, in fact they were the only words he had heard during his coma. Not only had he prayed the sinners prayer with Joe, he began quoting scriptures that he had memorized from hearing Joe speak and pray with him, over and over again. I stood there stunned, crying along with Joe and Frank. I was witnessing what was to me the greatest thing I had ever seen. It has been an event that has changed my life, and my thought process and faith when it comes to prayer and healing.
I have prayed for the sick many times since then in my life, and when I pray…In my head, quietly to the Lord I say an extra small prayer….I say,”Lord help me have the faith that Joe had, and let my heart be sensitive to your Spirit, so that I may be able to hear your instruction, see, minister to and be aware of all the Franks of this world that need You”.