“Then you called out to GOD in your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. He spoke the word that healed you, that pulled you back from the brink of death. So thank GOD for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves; offer thanksgiving sacrifices, tell the world what he’s done-sing it out!” Psalm 107:19-22 (MSG)
Today we will continue in our study of church fathers who personally experienced the gift of healing.
Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202 AD) wrote about a miracle that happened in his church: a dead man came back to life!
“As the Lord raised them, and the apostles did by means of prayer, and as has been frequently done in the brotherhood on account of some necessity-the entire Church in that particular locality entreating [the boon] with much fasting and prayer, the spirit of the dead man has returned, and he has been bestowed in answer to the prayers of the saints” (“Against Heresies” Book II Chapter 32:3, ~130-202 AD)
There is even more: “For some do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe [in Christ], and join themselves to the Church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years. And what shall I more say? It is not possible to name the number of the gifts which the Church, [scattered] throughout the whole world, has received from God, in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and which she exerts day by day for the benefit of the Gentiles, neither practicing deception upon any, nor taking any reward from them Ion account of such miraculous interpositions]. For as she has received freely from God, freely also does she minister [to others].” (“Against Heresies” Book II Chapter 32:4, ~190 AD)
Origen was another church father. Born in Egypt, he lived from 185 to 25 AD4. He, too, witnessed healings through prayer alone: “…demons which many Christians cast out of persons possessed with them [.] And this, we may observe, they do without the use of any curious arts of magic, or incantations, but merely by prayer and simple adjurations which the plainest person can use. Because for the most part it is unlettered persons who perform this work; thus making manifest the grace which is in the word of Christ, and the despicable weakness of demons, which, in order to be overcome and driven out of the bodies and souls of men, do not require the power and wisdom of those who are mighty in argument, and most learned in matters of faith. (Against Celsus Book 7, Chapter 4)
Next we will revisit the life of Hilarion, who lived from 291 to 371 A.D. “Facidia is a hamlet belonging to Rhino-Corura, a city of Egypt [now Al-‘Arish near the Sinai-Gaza border]. From this village a woman who had been blind for ten years was brought to the blessed Hilarion, and on being presented to him by the brethren (for there were now many monks with him) affirmed that she had spent all her substance on physicians. The saint replied: ‘If you had given to the poor what you have wasted on physicians, the true physician Jesus would have cured you.’ But when she cried aloud and entreated pity, he spat into her eyes, in imitation of the Saviour, and with similar instant effect.” (The Life OF Saint Hilarion, Para. 11-28: 15. Wonder-Worker of Gaza Translated by Wm. Henry Fremantle, 1893.)
Anything is possible with our Heavenly Father who truly loves us! He cares! He is the healer!
(To view the entire “Miracles From the Past” devotional series, please click here.)