On an unusually consistent basis since 2002 we have seen the Lord heal people of various heart conditions miraculously as we minister to them in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of the testimonies are at Testimonies of People Who Had Heart Disease. Some believers who have attended The Elijah Challenge Training are also ministering with the same authority and power, whether through the laying on of hands or at a distance for example over skype or over the telephone. The healings often take place quickly, on the spot.
We wondered why the Lord chose to give us such authority and power over this particular infirmity. Why not the same high level of authority over cancer or some crippling disease? The answer might be found in the very nature of heart disease. Killer diseases like some forms of cancer, although “incurable”, do not take their victims immediately. It may take months or years before the sick person succumbs. Even strokes do not usually kill their victims, but many can live for many years following the stroke albeit with severely reduced mobility.
Some heart conditions, by contrast, can potentially kill people at any time. We once received the following email:
“I have a dear friend, and her husband James has an arrhythmia or a heart rhythm problem. He also has COPD and emphysema. The main issue is the heart problem as it is possible he could die at any time.” (What happened immediately after we ministered to James over the phone is reserved for the end of this article.)
In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually. Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack.”
The heart therefore is arguably the most important organ in the body. Even a person who has suffered from brain death can continue to “live” on for many years on life support. In western culture, the word “heart” when not meant in the physical sense is often used of course to refer to our deepest, innermost being. As we shall see, man’s heart in the realm of the spirit occupies a position equal to its importance in the realm of his physical body. In Scripture, man’s heart (“kardia” in Greek) has a most important place in life.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Scripture also sees the heart of unregenerate man as the seat of our sinful nature.
2 Peter 2:14 …having eyes full of adultery and never ceasing from sin, alluring unstable souls, having a heart exercised with covetousness. They are cursed children… (KJV)
By the same token, it is obedience from our heart that brings salvation from the slavery of sin, as we see below.
Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. (NIV)
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Could this be the reason the Lord gave us this “special” authority and power over heart disease in particular?
In Mark 2, Jesus proved that his authority to heal physical infirmity was the evidence that he had authority to forgive sin—a far more important matter.
And again He entered into Capernaum after some days. And it was heard that He was in a house. And at once many were gathered, so as none any longer had room, not even to the door. And He spoke the Word to them. And they came to Him carrying a paralytic, being borne by four. And not being able to draw near to Him, due to the crowd, they unroofed the roof where He was. And digging through, they lowered the cot on which the paralytic was lying. And seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, Child, your sins are forgiven to you. But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this one speak blasphemies this way? Who is able to forgive sins, except One, God? And instantly knowing in His spirit that they reasoned this way within themselves, Jesus said to them, Why do you reason these things in your hearts? Which is easier? To say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven to you, or to say, Rise up and take your cot and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on the earth, He said to the paralytic, I say to you, Rise up and take up your cot and go to your house. And at once he rose up. And taking his cot, he went out before all, so as all to be astonished and glorified God, saying, Never did we see it this way. (Mark 2:1-12, LITV)
When Jesus healed the paralytic with authority, therefore, he proved that he also had authority to forgive sin on earth.
In the same way, Jesus has given us a measure of his authority over heart disease to use for confirming the gospel to the lost: the One who has authority to heal a physical heart is the One who has authority to heal the HEART out of which are all the issues of life. The One who can heal people of life-threatening heart disease is the One who has authority to forgive the sin in man’s HEART with his life-saving death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, giving us a new HEART.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new HEART and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Trained disciples today can use the Lord’s authority and power to minister healing to heart disease as evidence to the world that Jesus can forgive sin and grant eternal life to those who believe.
What happened to James above “who could die at any time”?
“As of tonight, the day after you prayed over James, he says that his chest now feels normal, no tightness or discomfort around his heart and lung area. It seems like the COPD, emphysema and heart issues are gone. He says he’ll try to get a report from the doctors visit to confirm the good results.”
Eleven days later, we were told:
“His chest has recovered from the heart and breathing problems you mentioned and prayed over. So to summarize the COPD, emphysema, and the heart rhythm problem with irregular heartbeat and chest feeling all cramped up is healed! I think all three of those are by human means incurable, so the Lord has had a major victory in healing the impossible! Thank you in the Lord! I will update when I have the official results from the doctor.”