Setting the Stage for Miracles
Prayer for healing and the return of prodigals was the focus of the Aug. 5 evening General Council service.God’s presence was palpable, evident, and all-encompassing during the Thursday evening General Council service in Orlando as testimonies flowed and God made himself known in miraculous ways.
Yet, if not for General Superintendent Doug Clay’s obedience and sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit, this night may never have happened. While listening to the song Won’t Stop Now, God impressed upon him a portion of the lyrics — “Your presence is an open door.”
“I felt the Lord quicken my heart and [He] said to me, ‘Doug Clay, if you’ll set the stage for my presence, I will set open doors for miracles for your ministers to walk through,’” Clay said.
So, Clay scrapped the plans for the original GC21 Thursday evening service to open the door for God to meet prayer needs and miracles, focusing on three specific things: physical healings, overcoming the weight of some of the negative unexpected things that have come into lives and ministries, and prodigal children.
As Clay expressed his faith in the power of God’s Word and in the blood of Jesus, he quoted several Scriptures that tell of Christ’s healing power.
AG General Secretary Donna Barrett began the evening of inspiration and prayer by interviewing evangelists Tim and Rochelle Enloe.
The Enloes, who have witnessed countless healings as the Holy Spirit has worked through their ministry, began by sharing about the effectiveness of those who’ve never prayed for others before and of the prayers of children. Tim Enloe told about how some Royal Rangers surrounded a grandmother, praying for her. At the end of the service, she raised her hand — she had a testimony.
Tim recalled her saying, “I just think it’s remarkable. These boys gathered around and prayed . . . I’m 82 years old and I was born blind in both eyes, and I can see!”
Noting how God can use anyone, Tim said, “The beauty of Pentecost is everybody gets in on it — our sons and our daughters, our young and our old . . . His anointing is available to us as we bring ourselves before Him.”
Barrett then turned to Rochelle, who despite witnessing God miraculously heal countless people, has an ongoing physical infirmity. Barrett asked her about those who pray for healing but don’t see it happen right away.
“I have struggled with multiple sclerosis for close to 25 years,” Rochelle stated. “We do see miracles in our conferences weekly. Every service we see miracles of healing, and many of those happen to people with MS.”
She said as they turned to God, God laid it on their hearts that healing miracles are not always instantaneous, a lot of times they are processes. Using the biblical example of God providing manna to meet the Israelites' daily need of food while in the wilderness, Rochelle compared that to how God gives her a daily “manna miracle.” According to medical tests, she shouldn’t be able to do such things as walking, picking things up with her hands, or even swallowing.
“He has and is performing a miracle for me each day as I get up and go about,” she says.
Confirming that healing is a part of the history of the AG, Rochelle urged leaders to pass on the faith that God has performed miracles and He still does today.
“Jesus always does the heavy lifting [when it comes to miracles],” Tim explained. “His is the Kingdom, and power, and the glory and our position is to just to obey Him . . . make your request known to God and allow the Lord come and do what He wants to do.”
Barrett then called the AG general presbyters forward to pray for people who want to be healed. As long lines formed, Barrett encouraged those not coming forward to prayer for those coming forward for healing and led in prayer.
Pastor Nicole Heidt knows about deep pain and the weight of loss, and as Assistant General Superintendent Rick DuBose interviewed her, she shared a testimony of ministry through brokenness.
Nichole shared how five years ago, she had to believe God to take her through a difficult time. While she and her husband were pastoring a church, he started to complain about a pain in his back. The pain persisted and after three days they went to the ER. They were shocked to learn that the pain was actually a heart attack.
Her husband was life-flighted to a Salt Lake City hospital. When Nicole arrived, doctors at first eased her fears, believing all would be well after they inserted a device to keep her husband’s heart pumping correctly.
But something went terribly wrong. Instead of walking out of the hospital holding her husband’s hand, she was holding a bag of his possessions.
She recalls how in that moment she told God that this was something He had to take her through as this wasn’t something that could be fixed in a moment.
“There’s times in life, in ministry, where even though we’re broken, I think we show Jesus,” she said. “. . . we want to insulate ourselves, we want to isolate ourselves in those moments of brokenness, but it’s a time that we can show people Jesus in the brokenness.”
When DuBose asked how she responded, Nicole admitted she didn’t even know if she still had a place to live or a job any longer as they had lived in the parsonage and she was the church secretary, but she trusted in God.
“I love the Scripture that talks about how He takes our ashes and brings beauty out of them (Isaiah 61:3),” she said. “I think some of us hold onto our ashes and think God, what can You do with this?”
As she trusted God, she realized the even though her husband had died, the call of God on her life did not dissipate — that’s when God began opening unexpected doors.
“In the times I felt most broken, God was like, I’m going to show up in the most beautiful way, and He breathed on those ashes and brought new life, resurrected life.”
What God had for her was beyond her imagination. The church board contacted her, they asked her to stay. She thought they were asking her to remain serving as the secretary, but then they explained they wanted her to stay as pastor! She accepted.
“I think it helped me heal,” Nicole said. “. . . I leaned into what God had for me and I saw that in my brokenness . . . people related to that.” She also pointed out that it was in Jesus’ brokenness that the greatest miracle for mankind happened — salvation.
As she drew her testimony to a close, Nicole said that if she had chosen to isolate herself, she’s not sure where she would be today as “an isolated sheep is a vulnerable sheep.”
DuBose then spoke to those with pain in their life or ministry, noting that just as the woman broke the bottle of perfume to pour on Jesus’ feet, it was in the midst of the breaking that the good comes out.
“It’s that breaking that often literally gets us to the best part and the most valuable ministry that will ever come out of our life,” Dubose said. “. . . [but] we can’t do it alone and we can’t do it if our brothers and sisters don’t pray for us.”
As general presbyters again came forward, DuBose called those experiencing emotional pain in their lives, for whatever the reason, to come for prayer. Many responded as a sense of release and peace settled across the auditorium.
AG General Treasurer Choco De Jesús concluded the testimony interviews as he sat with Angel Colon, a prodigal son who, through the constant prayers of his mother and an answer to prayer that literally brought him to death’s door, returned to Christ.
Colon shared that for eight years he had been involved with drugs and was living the gay lifestyle. But toward the end of those years, he felt the Holy Spirit tugging at him — he wanted desperately to return to God, but he wasn’t sure how to do that.
“In April 2016, I made a prayer and I called it the dangerous prayer,” Colon said. “I said Lord, allow me to go through whatever I need to go through whatever I need to come back to You.”
On June 12, 2016, his prayer was answered. While in a gay nightclub in Orlando, shots started ringing out. Over the course of the next endless minutes, 49 people were killed and 53 injured, including Colon.
“I ended up being shot six times, broken femur, I had to learn to walk all over again,” he said.
De Jesús noted Colon had a mother who was praying for him, thanking God for praying mothers and fathers, and pointing out Acts 16, “believe in me and you and your house be saved.”
Colon then shared how God got his full attention the night of the shooting.
“I was on the ground and the shooter was on his way to shoot us on the floor,” Colon said. “He was making sure everybody was dead in that room.”
As he heard the shots getting closer and closer to him, Colon contemplated pretending he was dead.
“At the moment he got to me, there was a pause,” Colon says. “I don’t know why, nothing was happening, and I can feel his stare behind me. And at that moment I started to pray, started asking for forgiveness, I started telling the Lord I’m so sorry that I left Your side because You never left my side — You were always with me.”
During his prayer, Colon said he believes there was spiritual warfare taking place. He changed his prayer, claiming the promise of purpose the Lord had for his life — the promises He had made to his mother of something huge for his life.
“So that means,” Colon told God, “that I’m going to leave here alive and when I leave here alive, I’m going to worship You for the rest of my life, I’m going to testify of what You’re doing in my life, and that’s what’s happening here today — I’m testifying that God is real, that God does transform lives, that I am proof of that!”
De Jesús then shared that Colon is now a worship leader in a church and goes around the country sharing the gospel. He then asked Colon to address leaders, moms and dads, who have prodigals.
“The main thing is prayer,” Colon said. “I’ve seen and I’ve learned a way to pray that really does effect the child . . . a lot of us tend to idolize the sin that we see . . . we have got to start praying for our children’s hearts, because their whole heart has to be restored.”
He also advised for parents to pray for their own hearts so that they can see their child and everyone in that lifestyle through the lens of Jesus.
Speaking to leaders who have prodigal children, De Jesús urged them to speak their child’s name and begin to believe that God is going to save him or her, no matter how bad it is.
“God is still in the business of saving lives,” he said.
With that, De Jesús asked the general presbyters to come forward to pray for those who had children struggling with their sexuality, drugs, or whatever it may be. He urged those coming for prayer to say their child’s name over and over, claiming their lives for Christ, while the rest of the attendees joined in prayer for them. The altars were again flooded with people.