The following is an excerpt from a pdf file I found online including the personal testimony of Kenneth Hagin regarding his miraculous healing, even after physicians, one who had practiced at the Mayo Clinic, pronounced he would certainly die; there was no hope. In fact, he had three near death experiences before he was finally healed.
Please take the time to read the testimony (about 10 pages) of this great man of God, if you have never heard it, because you will gain a better understanding of God’s healing power, if you have never experienced it, and it will change your life.
How God Raised Me from
“He is dead,” stated the doctor who delivered me. I
was born prematurely on August 20, 1917 in a house in
the 900 block of East Standifer Street in McKinney, Texas.
My Grandmother Drake, who was present at my birth,
later told me there was no sign of life in me. Thinking I
was dead, the doctor laid me on the foot of the bed, and
he and my grandmother continued to work with my
mother, who was in very serious condition. She had been
ill for several weeks before I was born.
After about 45 minutes had passed and my mother was
doing better, the doctor told my grandmother he would
run to his office to get some supplies he needed. While he
was gone, my grandmother picked me up to carry me out.
Suddenly she detected a sign of life. She washed me and
put a little dress on me, but she had to use a makeshift
diaper because the regular kind would have swallowed me.
Then she weighed me, and with the little dress and diaper
on I weighed slightly more than two pounds.
Today, even with our advanced medical knowledge and
skill and with the incubators we have for premature babies,
the chances are practically nil of a baby surviving who
weighs fewer than two pounds. I was born in a day when
there were no incubators, and I was born in the home, so
my chances of living were almost nonexistent.
‘The Baby Is Dead’
After a while, the doctor returned and my grandmother
I Believe In Visions
asked him what she should feed the baby.
“The baby is dead,” he said. “I examined him earlier.”
When she told him I was alive and she had washed and
dressed me, he reached into his pocket for a sample
package of baby formula. “Feed this to him,” he said. “It
will last longer than he will.”
Granny mixed the baby formula and fed it to me. After
that was all gone, she gave me milk, feeding it to me a
drop at a time with an eyedropper. She said she had never
seen anyone so tiny — she had a large comb that was no
longer than I was. She said sometimes even a single drop
of milk in my mouth would choke me, causing me to
strangle and turn blue.
My childhood was not like other children’s, for I had
been born with a deformed heart and was not able to lead
a normal, active life. I wasn’t completely incapacitated,
but my activities were limited. I wasn’t able to run and
play as other children did.
In those days, children didn’t start school until the age
of 7. However, I learned to read when I was 6. My brother
was already in school, so I read his books. Since I couldn’t
use my body, I used my mind.
Soon after I started school, I learned that children are
prone to take advantage of a weaker child. I guess that
proves how big they are. I couldn’t fight to defend myself
because I would lose my breath, turn blue, and almost pass
out, so I decided I would have to have an equalizer.
There was one boy in our class who was the bully of
the playground. He was three years older than the rest
of us, because he had failed three grades. He would run
up to someone and knock him or her down. Knowing I
couldn’t fight, he seemed to delight in picking on me. One
How God Raised Me from a Deathbed
day I found a two-by-four that was about 20 inches long.
The next time he hit me, I got the two-by-four, slipped
up on him, and knocked him in the head. He was out cold
for 40 minutes. He soon learned to leave me alone. (When
a person can’t fight, he has to learn to take care of himself
some way — and I had.) My older brother learned not to
fight with me, either, for I knocked him in the head with
a hammer once, and he was unconscious for 45 minutes!
During the years when I was growing up, I was always
very small for my age. My brother would tell me I would
never be any bigger than a 56-year-old man we knew who
weighed only 89 pounds and was the size of a 10-year-old
boy. When my brother wanted me to do something for him,
he would say that if I didn’t do it I would turn into a girl
when I was 12 years old. Of course, he was always about
half a block away and running when he said that, because
he knew I would hit him with anything I could get my
My father left Momma and us children when I was still
very young, leaving her with all the responsibility for providing
and caring for us. When I was 9 years old I went
to live with Momma’s parents, because Momma’s health
was very poor and she needed help in taking care of us.
Bed-fast at Age 15
At the age of 15, just four months before my 16th birthday,
I became totally bed-fast. Five doctors, including one
who had practiced at the Mayo Clinic, were on my case.
My Grandfather Drake, although not a wealthy man, was
a man of some means. He had quite a bit of property,
although this was during the days of the Great Depres-
sion when property wasn’t worth too much. If the doctors
at Mayo Clinic had been able to help me, he would have
sent me there. However, our doctors said that the doctor
who had been at Mayo was one of the best doctors in
America, and if he said nothing could be done, it would
be a waste of time and money to make the trip to the Mayo
Clinic. They said there was absolutely no hope for me; I
didn’t have one chance in a million of living. As far as
medical science was concerned, to their knowledge, no one
in my condition had ever lived past 16 years of age.
Day after day and week after week I lay on the bed
of sickness, wondering what was wrong with me. I knew
something was wrong with my heart, but I didn’t know
exactly what it was, because the doctors didn’t tell me.
Later I learned that I had two serious organic heart
My body became partially paralyzed. I can remember
seeing a glass of water beside my bed, wanting to drink
it, and not understanding why I couldn’t get it. After strict
concentration of all my mental powers on it for 45
minutes, I would be able to reach my hand over to it, but I
couldn’t pick the glass up. One of the doctors said I was
bordering on total paralysis and eventually would become
Sometimes three weeks would pass when I didn’t know
anything. My mother and grandmother fed and cared for
me, for I was as helpless as a baby. I reached the point
where I could hardly hear them talking to me. They later
told me that they would put their mouths down to my ear
and shout at the top of their voices, but I could barely hear
them. It seemed as if they were a block away. I was
somewhere between reality and unreality.
How God Raised Me from a Deathbed
I gave my heart to the Lord and was born again the
very first night I became bed-fast. That was Saturday,
April 22, 1933 at 7:40 p.m. in the south bedroom of
405 North College Street in McKinney, Texas.
Earlier that evening, my heart had stopped beating and
the spiritual man who lives in my body had departed.
When death seized my body, my grandmother, my
younger brother, and my mother were sitting in the room.
I had time only to tell them “goodbye.” Then the inner
man rushed out of my body and left my body lying dead,
with eyes set and flesh cold.*
I went down, down, down until the lights of the earth
faded away. I don’t mean I fainted — I don’t mean I was
unconscious — I have proof that I was actually dead. My
eyes were set, my heart had stopped beating, and my pulse
The Scriptures tell us about the lost being cast into
outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of
teeth (Matt. 25:30). The farther down I went, the blacker
it became, until it was all blackness — I could not have
seen my hand if it had been one inch in front of my eyes.
And the farther down I went, the hotter and more stifling
Finally, far below me, I could see lights flickering on
the walls of the caverns of the damned. The lights were
caused by the fires of hell. The giant, white-crested orb
of flame pulled me, drawing me as a magnet draws metal
to itself. I did not want to go, but just as metal jumps
*For a complete account of this experience, see Kenneth Hagin’s minibook,
I Went to Hell.
to the magnet, my spirit was drawn to that place. I could
not take my eyes off of it. The heat beat me in the face.
Many years have gone by, yet I can see it just as clearly
today as I saw it then. It is as fresh in my memory as if
it just happened.
I came to the entrance of hell. People ask, “What does
the entrance of hell look like?” I cannot describe it, because
if I tried, I would have to have something with which to
compare it. (Similarly, if a person had never seen a tree
in his life, it would be impossible to tell him what a tree
Coming to the entrance, I paused momentarily, because
I did not want to go in. I sensed that one more foot, one
more step, one more yard, and I would be gone forever
and could not come out of that horrible place!
Upon reaching the bottom of the pit, I became conscious
of some kind of spirit being by my side. I had not
looked at him, because I could not take my gaze off of the
fires of hell. But when I paused, the creature laid his hand
on my arm to escort me in.
At that same moment, a voice spoke from far above
the blackness, above the earth, and above the heavens. I
don’t know if it was the voice of God, Jesus, an angel, or
who. I did not see him, and I do not know what he said,
because he did not speak in English; he spoke in some other
When he spoke, his words reverberated throughout the
region of the damned, shaking it like a leaf in the wind,
and causing the creature to take his hand off my arm.
I did not turn around, but an unseen power, like a suction,
pulled me up, away from the fire, away from the heat,
How God Raised Me from a Deathbed
and back into the shadows of the absorbing darkness.
I began to ascend until I came to the top of the pit and
saw the lights of the earth. I saw my grandparents’ home,
went through the wall back into my bedroom, and it was
just as real to me as it was any time I had entered through
the door (my spirit needed no door).
I slipped back into my body as easily as a man slips
into his trousers in the morning. It was the same way in
which I had gone out — through my mouth.
I began to talk to my grandmother. She said, “Son,
I thought you were dead.”
My great-grandfather had been a medical doctor, and
Granny had worked with him. She later told me, “I dressed
many people for burial and laid them out in days gone by.
I have had much experience with death, but I learned more
about death in dealing with you and your experiences than
I ever knew before. You were dead. You had no pulse or
heartbeat, and your eyes were set.”
‘I Am Dying’
“Granny,” I said, “I am going again. I am dying.
Where is Momma?”
“Your mother is out on the porch,” she replied. And
about that time I heard my mother praying at the top of
her voice as she walked up and down the porch.
“Where is my brother?” I asked.
“He ran next door to call the doctor,” Granny
If you’re not ready to go, you want somebody with you.
You’re afraid! I said, “Granny, don’t leave me! Don’t leave
me! I’m afraid I’ll go while you’re gone! I want somebody
with me! Don’t leave me!” So she gathered me into her
I said, “Tell Momma I said goodbye. Tell Momma I
love her. Tell Momma I appreciate everything she has ever
done for me and for all of us. And you tell Momma that
I said if I’ve ever put a wrinkle in her face, or a gray hair
in her head, I’m sorry, and I ask her to forgive me.”
I felt myself slipping. I said, “Granny, I’m going again.
You were a second mother to me when Momma’s health
failed. I appreciate you. Now I’m going, and I won’t be
back this time.” I knew I was dying, unprepared to meet
God. I kissed her on the cheek and said goodbye.
My heart stopped beating for the second time. It’s
almost as real to me today, nearly half a century later, as
it was that day. I felt the blood cease to circulate. The tips
of my toes went numb — then my feet, ankles, knees, hips,
stomach, and heart. I leaped out of my body and began
to descend: down, down, down. Oh, I know it was just a
few seconds, but it seemed like an eternity.
I began to descend again into the darkness until the
lights of earth had faded. Down below, the same experience
occurred. The voice spoke from heaven and again my spirit
came up out of that place — back into my room and back
into my body. The only difference this time was that I
came up at the foot of the bed.
I began to talk to Granny again. I said, “I will not be
back this time, Granny.” I asked, “Where is Grandpa? I
want to tell Grandpa goodbye.”
She said, “Son, you know your Granddad went down
to the east part of town to collect rent off of some of his
How God Raised Me from a Deathbed
“Oh,” I said, “I remember that now. I just forgot
I said, “Granny, tell Grandpa goodbye. I’ve never
known what it means to have a daddy. He’s been the
nearest to a daddy I’ve known. He gave me a home when
I had none. Tell him I appreciate him. Tell him I love him.
Tell Grandpa that I said goodbye.”
Then I left a word for my sister and two brothers, and
my heart stopped for the third time. I could feel the circulation
as it cut off again — and I leaped out of my body
and began to descend.
Until this time, I had thought, This is not happening
to me. This is just a hallucination. It can ‘t be real!
But now I thought, This is the third time. I won ‘t come
back this time! Darkness encompassed me ’round about,
darker than any night man has ever seen.
The Horrors of Hell
I wish I had adequate words to describe the horrors
of hell. People go through this life so complacently, so
unconcerned, as if they will not have to face hell. But God’s
Word and my own personal experience tell me differently.
I know what it is to be unconscious — it is black when
you are unconscious — but there is no blackness to compare
with outer darkness.
As I began to descend in the darkness this third time,
my spirit cried out, “God, I belong to the church! I’ve been
baptized in water!” I waited for Him to answer, but no
answer came — only the echo of my own voice as it came
back to mock me.
It will take more than church membership — it will take
more than being baptized in water — to miss hell and make
heaven. Jesus said, “.. .Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
Certainly I believe in being baptized in water — but
only after a person is born again. Certainly I believe in
joining the church — but only after a person is born again.
If you merely join the church and are baptized in water
without being born again, you will go to hell!
The second time I cried a little louder, “God! I belong
to the church! I’ve been baptized in water!” Again I waited
for an answer, but there was no answer, only the echo of
my own voice through the darkness.
It would frighten a congregation out of their wits if
I ever imitated the way I screamed the third time,
although, if I could scare them out of hell and into heaven,
I’d do it! I literally screamed, “GOD! GOD! I BELONG
TO THE CHURCH! I’VE BEEN BAPTIZED IN
WATER!” And all I heard was the echo of my own voice.
I came again to the bottom of that pit. Again I could
feel the heat as it beat me in the face. Again I approached
the entrance, the gates into hell itself. That creature took
me by the arm. I intended to put up a fight if I could to
keep from going in. I only managed to slow down my descent
just a little, and he took me by the arm.
Thank God that voice spoke. I don’t know who it was
— I didn’t see anybody — I just heard the voice. I don’t
know what he said, but whatever he said, that place shook;
it just trembled. And that creature took his hand off my
It was just as if there was a suction to my back parts.
It pulled me back, away from the entrance to hell, until
I stood in the shadows. Then it pulled me up headfirst.
As I was going up through the darkness, I began to
How God Raised Me from a Deathbed
pray. My spirit, the man who lives inside this physical
body, is an eternal being, a spirit man. I began to pray,
“0 God! I come to You in the Name of the Lord Jesus
Christ. I ask You to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse
me from all sin.”
I came up beside the bed. The difference between the
three experiences was that I came up on the porch the first
time; I came up at the foot of the bed the second time;
and I came up right beside the bed the third time.
When I got inside my body, my physical voice picked
up and continued my prayer right in the middle of the
sentence. I was already praying out of my spirit.
Now, we didn’t have all the automobiles in 1933 that
we have today — that was in the Depression. But they
tell me that between me and Momma praying so loud, traffic
was lined up for two blocks on either side of our house!
They heard me praying from inside the house, and they
heard my mother as she walked the porch praying at the
top of her voice.
I looked at the clock and saw it was 20 minutes before
8 o’clock. That was the very hour I was born again due
to the mercy of God through the prayers of my mother.
I felt wonderful — it was just like a two-ton weight had
rolled off of my chest. Although I was rejoicing and was
happy in my spirit — although I felt wonderful spiritually
— I felt no better physically. The doctors had been called,
and they told my family that I was going to die. I thought
I would die that night, but it no longer bothered me. I knew
I was ready to go.
My experience of being brought back from the dead is
not new. Jesus raised three people from the dead: Lazarus,
Jairus’s daughter, and the widow’s son. The Apostle Peter
raised Dorcas from the dead; the Apostle Paul raised a
young man from the dead; and others throughout Church
history have had similar experiences.
The Best Thing in the World
Through my experience, God brought me to a
knowledge of salvation, which is the best thing in the world
to know. I was so thankful to know that my heart was
right with God, and to know that if I should die before
morning I would go to be with Him.
Every night when the lights were out and my family
was in bed, I was left alone with my thoughts. I did a lot
of thinking and praying. I remember thanking God that
I was saved and was His child.
I told the Lord I was going to go to sleep smiling and
praising Him, and if I should die during the night, they
would find me with a smile on my face and a praise in my
heart. While praising the Lord, I would drift off to sleep.
I never had to take anything to help me sleep, and this
is still true today.
The Bible tells us that God “giveth his beloved sleep”
(Ps. 127:2). I am His beloved, as is every Christian, so we
can simply take that verse, thank Him for it, and go to
sleep peacefully. We don’t need any tranquilizers.
The next morning I was awakened by the sun streaming
across my bed. The first thing I did was to praise God.
I thanked Him for the light of another day. I thanked Him
for the sun, trees, flowers, grass, and leaves. I thanked
Him for the songs the birds sang. I praised Him for all
of these little things that are so wonderful, marvelous, and
How God Raised Me from a Deathbed
I had never heard anyone praise God like this, but
when one’s heart is in tune with God and he knows he is
ready for heaven, there is an automatic praise in his soul. I
didn’t know anything about divine healing. I didn’t
know that God answered that kind of prayer. But I
thanked God that I didn’t die and go to hell!
At noon, when Granny would bring my lunch to me
on a tray, I would pray and thank God for food. Then I
would say, “Lord, I guess I won’t be here by the time the
evening shadows fall. I’ll probably slip away this afternoon.
But I’m so glad I am saved! I’m so glad You didn’t
let me die and go to hell! I ‘m so glad I didn’t have to stay
down there! “
After a while, evening would come, and soon I would
be alone in the dark once more. Again I would praise the
Lord for salvation. I would tell Him that I probably would
pass away during the night, but I was thankful to be saved
and ready to meet Him. I would go to sleep smiling and
praising the . Day after day, week after week, month
after month I did this.
In the fall of that year, when the weather became cooler,
I began to feel somewhat better. Granny would prop me
up in bed. Then she would bring her Bible to me and prop
it up in front of me. I often say that I was a Baptist boy
reading my grandmother’s “Methodist” Bible.
When I first started reading the Bible I could read only
10 minutes at a time — I couldn’t see after that. The next
day I would read for another 10 or 15 minutes. After a
few weeks of reading this way, I could read for an hour
at a time. Finally I could read for as long as I liked.
I had been brought up in Sunday School. I can’t
remember the first time I went to church, nor can I
remember the first time I ever read the Bible. It seems,
too, that I have prayed all my life. But until that Satur –
day night when God permitted me to have a glimpse of
hell, I really had never been born again.
You can be religious and not be a born-again child of
God. When you are born again, however, the same Bible
that you have been reading all your life suddenly looks
different. As I read Granny’s Bible, I found that Jesus
Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The doctors said that I could die at any time, so when
I began reading the Bible I began with the New Testament.
I reasoned, “I have to utilize this 10 minutes, or
whatever time I have, so I will start with the New
The Verse That Changed My Life
I read through the Book of Matthew and began reading
in the Book of Mark. There I read a verse which was to
transform my life: “Therefore I say unto you, What things
soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive
them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24).
Salvation is, of course, the most important thing that
can happen to a person. But you cannot possibly understand
the all-consuming desire a person can have for
health, healing, and life when he never has had a normal
childhood, has been sick all of his life, and then lies bed-fast
month after month, knowing that this will be his
deathbed before long.
The greatest desire of my heart was to be well and
strong. And here in this verse of Scripture Jesus said,
“What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that
ye receive them, and ye shall have them. ” It seemed as
if someone had turned on a bright light in a very dark
room. And you cannot imagine how dark it can be, even
in the daytime, when you are shut in between four walls
and are staring at the ceiling all the time with a feeling
of utter hopelessness.
I didn’t know that the Psalmist had said, “Thy word
is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”
(Ps. 119:105). But without knowing the Word, I had the
experience. The whole room suddenly seemed engulfed in
light, and there seemed to be light on the inside of me.
I never have forgotten that experience or that Scripture.
It is as if it were branded on my heart.
Naturally, the devil was right there to plant doubt in
my heart. The minute the light came, he came, too. I didn’t
know at the time, however, that it was the devil. I didn’t
have enough spiritual discernment or knowledge of the
Word to know.
Subtly the thought came that maybe the words
” . . .what things soever ye desire” didn’t apply to physical
things, but just to spiritual things. Maybe it just meant
” . . .what things soever ye desire” spiritually.
The light went out. Doubt had blown out the candle
of faith, and I was in the dark again. I had believed what
the devil had told me, and again I thought there was no
hope. I thought I had to die!
I decided to send for my pastor and ask him exactly
what Mark 11:24 meant. Looking back now, I see how
foolish it was to send for someone to ask if Jesus really
told the truth or not! But this was all so new to me, and
I had great confidence in my pastor up until this time. I
would have believed anything he told me. I was just like
so many other people who are following men and not really
Live by the Word
I try to tell people whom I minister to not to believe
something just because I say it. That doesn’t make it so.
If I cannot prove by the Bible that what I am saying is
truth, then don’t believe it. Don’t accept it. I have no right
to force any of my theories or pet doctrines on someone
else. I would not want to impose any of my convictions
on others. Let us live by the Word of God.
Longing to talk to my pastor about this Scripture, I
called Granny to my bedside and asked her to go get the
pastor, who lived about four blocks from our house. She
walked to the parsonage, asked to see the pastor, and told
him that I wanted him to come to see me. He said he was
very busy that day, but he would come two days later.
She suggested that he come early in the morning, because
I was more rested and alert then than later in the day.
(After about 10 o’clock in the morning, I usually lay in
a stupor for the rest of the day.) He said he would come
about 8:30 in the morning.
During the years before I became bed-fast, I had been
very faithful in attending Sunday School. I never had
missed. Yet in all the time I had been sick, the pastor had
not been to see me once.
When Thursday morning came, the day appointed for
his visit, I eagerly looked forward to seeing him and asking
him the questions that burned on my heart. Eight thirty
came and went. Nine o’clock came, and I looked
anxiously for my pastor. Nine-thirty, then 10 o’clock, but
How God Raised Me from a Deathbed
still no word from him. And even though I lay on that bed
for another entire year, he never did come to see me.
Although I was crushed with disappointment and
disillusionment at the time, I could look back later and
see that it was best that the pastor did not come, for he
would have told me the wrong thing. Rather than inspiring
my faith to believe God for my physical healing, he simply
would have reinforced the doubts I already had.
When my pastor didn’t come to see me, my grandmother
walked to another part of town to see yet another
preacher in whom she had great confidence. She told him
about my condition, and that I had asked to see a preacher.
He told her that he would come, but he, too, failed to keep
his promise. Again I cried with disappointment when he
did not arrive, and again it really was a blessing that he
didn’t. (Many things we cry about are for our own good,
but we don’t realize it at the time. We wouldn’t be crying
if we could just see into the future.)
My aunt, who was a member of another church, said
her pastor would come to see me. However, by this time
I was certain that he, too, would not come. My aunt was
superintendent of the Junior Department in the Sunday
School of her church. During the years I was eligible to
go in her department, when I was 9 through 11 years of
age, I went to Sunday School with her and never had
missed a Sunday. I had met her pastor, of course.
Job’s Comforter Arrives
One day I heard someone knocking on the front door.
A member of my family answered the door, and the
minute I heard the voice of the caller, I recognized it as
of my aunt’s pastor. Suddenly my heart leaped with joy
because I thought I could ask him what this Scripture
meant. Surely he would know and could clear up this confusion
in my mind. I knew if this Scripture meant what
I thought it meant, I was coming off of that bed!
At that time only one person at a time was allowed in
my room, so the pastor came in alone. Until he stooped
over me, I couldn’t see him too clearly. Then his face came
Partially paralyzed in my throat and tongue, I could
not speak distinctly, and I would say a lot of things
backwards. Sometimes it would take me a long time to
get my words out. Often I would have to stumble around
for 10 minutes before I could ask a question. My brain
didn’t seem to work right.
I moved my mouth and lips, trying to say something.
I tried to call his name. I tried to tell him to get my Bible
and turn to Mark 11:24 and tell me what it meant, but
I couldn’t get the words out. I was just stuttering; I
couldn’t frame the words.
Before I could say anything, he thought that I was
unable to talk. He patted my hand and drawled in his professionally
pious voice, “Just be patient, my boy. In a few
more days it will ALL be over.” Then he laid my hand
down and left the room.
Although this pastor had prayed no prayer with me,
he went into the living room and said a prayer with my
family. For some reason, my hearing was very keen at this
time, and I could distinctly hear every word he said,
although he didn’t pray very loudly. He said, “Heavenly
Father, we ask You to bless this dear grandmother and
grandfather who are about to be bereaved of their grand-
son. Prepare their hearts for the dark hour that is about
to come upon them.”
As I listened to this prayer, I was like the naughty
little boy who was being punished by his schoolteacher by
having to stand in a corner. He might have been standing
up outwardly, but he thought to himself that on the inside
he was sitting down. I felt just as rebellious as that little
boy. Although I couldn’t speak the words audibly, on the
inside of me I was shouting, “I’m not dead yet!”
I listened as this pastor continued his prayer. “Bless
this dear, brokenhearted mother who is about to lose her
son.” My mother had had some hope until then, but he
robbed her of what she had, and she started crying.
Planning My Funeral
After the preacher left, my grandmother came into my
room and asked me if it would be all right for this preacher
to preach at my funeral, as he was the only one who had
come to see me. I agreed that this would be all right.
Granny then asked me what songs I wanted sung at
my funeral. I told her I didn’t have any favorites. They
could sing whatever they wanted. She suggested two or
three, and I said they would be all right. Then she asked
me about pallbearers. She suggested some, and I told her
they would be all right. My mother asked me if I wanted
to be buried in a certain place that she mentioned, and I
agreed. Then they left my room. Although the sun was
still shining brightly outside, it seemed ever so dark in
All of this so stunned me that I lay motionless on my
bed for 30 days. 1 gave up and wanted to die. After about
30 days, I began to read the Bible again. I still couldn’t
seem to get away from Mark 11:24: “What things soever
ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and
ye shall have them.”
Later in the fall I became bolder. I told the Lord I had
sent for two preachers who didn’t come. The third came,
but I realized that it would have been better if he hadn’t.
I told the Lord that when He was on earth He said,
“What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that
ye receive them, and ye shall have them,” and that I
desired to be healed.
I told Him I was going to take Him at His Word: I
was going to believe He told the truth, and this verse
meant what it said. If the New Testament was true, then
I was going to come off this bed.
I told Him I was going to live and not die. “If I don’t
get off this bed, then the Bible isn’t so, and I am going
to have them take it and throw it in the trash can.” I meant
I was determined to get up from that bed, but I still
didn’t know how to act my faith in that verse of Scripture.
A person can cry, pray, and do everything he knows
to do, but if he doesn’t have faith, he will remain the same.
Jesus didn’t say just to pray. The key word in this Scripture
Feelings vs. Faith
At this time, I didn’t fully understand faith. I prayed
and prayed, but I didn’t get any results. I was sure that
God heard me, and I had a good feeling inside me. Yet my
heart still wasn’t beating normally.
What I didn’t know then is that we have to go by faith,
not by our feelings. We have to stand on the promises in
God’s Word and not look at the circumstances surrounding
I did improve to the extent that I was able to use my
hands. Sometimes Granny would prop me up in bed for
a short time. I would reach down and feel my legs. There
was no muscle at all, just bone. I was extremely skinny.
I seemed to be making no real headway, and I said,
“Lord, I thought You would heal me.” I was so sure that
He had heard me, but I felt no better. I know now that
just feeling better after you pray is no sign that God heard
you; likewise, feeling no better after you pray is no sign
that God didn’t hear you.
We cannot rely on how we feel. We have to come back
to what God’s Word says about the matter. For months
I struggled this way.
When New Year’s Day 1934 rolled around, it was
moving day. Grandpa owned several houses in town, and
he decided to move into another one of them. He had told
the people who were renting this certain house that he
wanted it for his own use. When they moved, he had it
redecorated, and then we were ready to move in.
When the movers came, they moved the furniture from
the other parts of the house first, saving the furniture in
my bedroom until last. When they came to move my furniture,
an ambulance came and moved me.
While I was riding along in the ambulance, one of the
attendants remarked that he had heard I had been in bed
for about a year now.
“Nine months, to be exact,” I told him.
He said that if I felt like it, they would take me for a
little ride through the residential areas so I could see the
scenery. I was so happy for this chance to see things I had
been missing for so many months. The smallest joys, which
we so often take for granted, can bring immense pleasure
to one who has been deprived of them for so long.
I was able to move my head to look out the window
as they drove slowly through the town. Then the ambulance
attendant said, “Son, if you feel up to it, we’ll drive
down to the square. Since it is a holiday, there probably
won’t be much traffic, and you might enjoy it.” How
wonderful, I thought, to get to see that old courthouse
again, the stores, and other buildings in this beloved little
town of McKinney with its population of 8,000 or 9,000.
I saw the familiar old drugstore on the corner. I saw
the J. C. Penney’s store. Next to that was the Mode O’Day
dress shop and next to that was Woolworth’s. On down
was a shoe store and on the next corner a ladies’ ready-to-
wear shop. Then we turned to go down the south side
of the square. I drank in all of these sights, not knowing
when, if ever, I might see them again.
Just as we turned the corner and started down the
south side of the square, I turned and looked at the old
courthouse that sat in the middle of the square. I shall
never forget that moment as long as I live. In that instant
something said to me, “Well, you never did think you
would ever see these old buildings again. And you wouldn’t
have, if it hadn’t been for the kindness of the man who
is taking you.”
One Gleam of Light
Then I remembered the verse in Mark 11:24: “What
things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye
receive them, and ye shall have them, ” and I recalled the
verse that went before it which said, “.. .he shall have
whatsoever he saith.”
As I said it in that ambulance that day, tears rolled
down my face. I didn’t understand all that I know now.
I had just one small gleam of light. It was like a little light
that might peep through a crack in the door, but it was
a beginning point for me this first day of January 1934
about 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
I said, “Yes, I will see these buildings and this courthouse
again. I will come and stand in this courthouse
square, because Jesus said that what you believe in your
heart and say with your mouth shall come to pass.” I had
January and February went by, and I was still bed-fast.
March, April, May, June, and July went by. The devil
might have said it wasn’t working, but I held onto my confession
and refused to give up. I kept telling the Lord that
I was going to hold on, that I was standing on His Word,
and it had to work!
Finally I saw what I had been doing wrong: I wasn ‘t
really believing what God’s Word said. I was saying it in
my mind, but I wasn’t believing it with my heart or acting
upon it with my heart.
I realized that for months I had been hoping I would
grow better gradually. I was praying with hope, not faith,
and that won’t get the job done.
I realized that my faith was not yet based on what
God’s Word said, but only on what I could see and feel.
I could feel that my heart wasn’t beating right yet. I often
would look at my legs and arms and start crying because
they were unchanged. I was believing only what I could
see with my physical eyes.
Thus I came to the second week of August 1934. That
Tuesday, I prayed through the early morning hours. At
the usual time my mother came in and helped me with my
bath. It was about 8:30 when she left the room. I continued
My Struggle With Mark 11:24
I had been struggling with Mark 11:24 for a long time,
but I still wasn’t any better. I told the Lord, “You said
when You were on earth that ‘what things soever ye desire,
when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall
have them.‘ I desire to be healed, and I believe. If You
were to stand here in my room and I could see You with
my physical eyes and take hold of your hand, and if You
were to tell me my trouble is that I’m not believing, I
would have to say this isn’t true. I am believing.”
Then a voice on the inside of me spoke so clearly it
seemed as if someone had spoken audibly: “Yes, you are
believing as far as you know, but the last clause of that
verse says, ‘and ye shall have them.‘ “
I believed as much as I knew how to believe, but I
didn’t know enough. A person cannot pray and get faith.
The Bible says that faith comes “.. .by hearing, and
hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). We need
knowledge of the Word. When this light of knowledge from
the Word comes, faith is automatically there.
In this moment, I saw exactly what that verse in Mark
11:24 meant. Until then I was going to wait till I was
actually healed. I was looking at my body and testing my
heartbeat to see if I had been healed. But I saw that the
verse says that you have to believe when you pray. The
having comes after the believing. I had been reversing it.
I was trying to have first and then believe second. That
is what most people do.
‘I See It!’
“I see it. I see it!” I said with joy. “I see what I’ve
got to do, Lord. I’ve got to believe that my heart is well
while I’m still lying here on this bed, and while my heart
is not beating right. I’ve got to believe that my paralysis
is gone while I’m still lying here helpless, flat on my back.
“I believe in my heart that You have heard my prayer!
I believe that my heart is healed and that my paralysis
is gone! I believe in my heart that I have received healing
for my body!”
As I said this, the thought came to me, “You’re a
pretty thing. Just look at you, claiming to be a Christian
and here you are lying. Don’t you know the Bible says that
all liars will have their part in the lake that burneth with
fire and brimstone?”
“I am not a liar,” I declared.
“Certainly you are, because you said you are healed
and you’re not.”
“I didn’t say that I am healed because I feel like it,”
I stated. “I’m healed because I believe it. And, devil, if
you say I am not, then you are a liar. I am acting on the
Word of God. If I am not healed, then Jesus is a liar. Go
argue with God about it; don’t fuss with me.”
With this, the devil left me alone. Then I said, “Thank
God, I’m healed.” I lifted my hands and praised God.
Momentarily, I started to feel my heart to see if it was
beating normally, but I caught myself and stated that I
wasn’t going by feelings but by faith. I kept saying that
my heart was well. I praised the Lord in this manner for
about 10 minutes.
Up and Out of Bed
Then the Holy Spirit spoke as an inner witness on the
inside of me and said, “You believe that you are healed.
If you are healed, then you should be up and out of that
I felt this was right, so I pushed myself up to a sitting
position with my hands. Then I reached down, got hold
of my feet, and swung them around to the side of the bed.
I couldn’t feel them, but I could see them. Then I said that
I was going to stand and walk.
The devil fought me every inch of the way. He kept
telling me that I was a fool. Of course I couldn’t walk, he
would tell me. (As long as the devil can keep us in the sense
realm, he will defeat us. But if we will stay in the faith
realm, we will defeat him!
I got hold of the bedpost and pulled myself up. The
room started spinning, for I had been in this bed for 16
months. I closed my eyes, wrapped my arms around the
bedpost, and stood there for a few minutes. Finally I opened
my eyes and everything had stopped spinning.
I declared I was healed and I was going to walk. Feeling
began to return to my legs! It seemed as if two million
pins were pricking me. The nerves were being reactivated.
I rejoiced because it was so wonderful to have feeling back
in those lifeless legs, in spite of the painful prickling sen-
sation. After a short time, the pain left and I felt normal.
Determined now more than ever to walk, I held onto
the bedpost and cautiously took a step. Then I took
another. Holding onto pieces of furniture, I managed to
walk around the room one time.
I told no one of this, but the next morning I got up
and did the same thing. That night I asked my mother
to bring me some clothes because I was going to get up
and go to the breakfast table the next morning. She was
shocked, but she did as I asked. On the third morning I
got out of bed, dressed myself, walked into the kitchen,
and joined my family at the breakfast table. And I ‘ve been
doing it ever since.