THE BEGINNINGS OF HIS HEALING MINISTRY
One morning the children were all gathered around the breakfast table and my wife said, “Harold and Ernest are very sick this morning. Before we have breakfast we will pray for them.” Immediately the power of God fell upon my wife and me, and as we laid our hands on these children they were both instantly healed. As we saw the miraculous healing wrought before our eyes, we were both filled with intense joy. The Lord was always so good in proving Himself our family Physician.
Smith praying for a sick woman
.......I was able to devote much of my time to the sick and needy. I used to go to Leeds every week to a place where Divine Healing was taught. But I was very critical in my spirit and would judge people so harshly. I did not know why so many people who taught Divine Healing wore glasses. I questioned, “Why do you wear glasses if you believe in Divine Healing?” This stumbled me somewhat. Later I had to wear glasses to read my Bible, and I was often criticised for this. However, I was very full of compassion towards the sick and needy folk, and being, able to pay the expenses of the needy ones, I used to collect a number of them and take them to Leeds every Tuesday to the service. One day I had nine with me. The leaders of the Leeds Healing Home looked through the window and said, “Here is Wigglesworth coming again and bringing a lot more. If he only knew, he could get these people healed at Bradford just as easily as to get them healed in Leeds.”
These leaders knew that I had a compassion for the sick and needy, and one day they said to me: “We want to go to the Keswick convention and we have been thinking whom we should leave to do the work. We can only think of you.” I said, “I couldn’t conduct a healing service.” They said, “ We have no one else. We trust you to take care of the work while we are away.” A flash came into my mind: “Well, any number of people can talk. All I have to do is to take charge.” The following week when I got there the place was full of people. Of course, the first thing I did was to look for someone who would do the speaking; but all whom I asked said, “No, you have been chosen and you must do it.” And so I had to begin. I do not remember what I said but I do know that when I had finished speaking fifteen people came out for healing. One of these was a man from Scotland who hobbled on a pair of crutches. I prayed for him and he was instantly healed. There was no one so surprised as I was. He was jumping all over the place without his crutches. This encouraged the others to believe God for their healing and all the people were healed. I am sure it was not my faith, but it was God in His compassion coming to help me in that hour of need.
Smith in classic preaching pose, Bible at the ready!
After this the Lord opened the door of faith for me more and more. I announced that I would have a Divine Healing meeting in Bradford on a certain evening. I can remember that there were twelve people who came that night and all of those twelve were miraculously healed. One had a tongue badly bitten in the centre through a fall. This one was perfectly healed. Another was a woman with an ulcer on her ankle joint and a large sore that was constantly discharging. She was healed and there was only a scar the next day. The others were healed the same way.
One day a man asked me, “Does Divine Healing embrace seasickness? “I answered, “Yes. It is a spirit of fear that causes your seasickness, and I command that spirit to go out of you in Jesus’ name.” He was never seasick again though he had to travel much.
One day a man came to the house. He was a very devoted brother. I said to him, “Mr. Clark, you seem downcast today. What’s up?” He answered, “I left my wife dying. Two doctors have been with her right through the night and they say she cannot live long.” I said to him, “Why don’t you believe God for your wife?” He answered, “Brother Wigglesworth, I cannot believe for her.”
He went out of the house broken-hearted. I went to see a fellow named Howe who was opening a small mission in Bradford. I thought he was the right man to go with me, to assist me. When I said, “Will you go with me?” he answered, “No, indeed I won’t. Please do not ask me again. But I believe if you will go, God will heal.” I realise now that the Lord put those words in his mouth to encourage me.
Well, I knew a man named Nichols who, if he got the opportunity to pray, would pray all around the world three times and then come back. So I went to him and said, “Will you come with me to pray for Sister Clark?” He answered, “Yes, I will be very glad.” We had a mile and a half to walk to that house. I told him when he began to pray not to stop until he was finished. When we got to the house we saw that Mrs. Clark was nearly gone. I said to the one I had brought with me, “You see the dangerous condition of Sister Clark. Now don’t waste time but begin to pray.” Seeing he had an opportunity, he began. I had never suffered so much as I did when he was praying, and I cried to the Lord, “Stop him! Please, Lord, stop this man’s praying.” Why? Because he prayed for the dear husband who was going to be bereaved and for the children who were going to be motherless. He piled it on so thick that I had to cry out, “Stop him, Lord; I cannot stand this.” And thank God, he stopped.
Though I knew that neither Clark nor Nichols believed in Divine Healing, I had concealed a small bottle in my hip pocket that would hold about half a pint of oil. I put a long cork in it so that I could open the bottle easily. I took the bottle out of my pocket and held it behind me, and said: “Now you pray, Mr. Clark.” Brother Clark, being encouraged by Brother Nichols’ prayer, prayed also that he might be sustained in his great bereavement. I could not stand it at all, and I cried, “Lord, stop him.” I was so earnest and so broken that they could hear me outside the house. Thank God, he stopped.
As soon as he stopped, I pulled the cork out of the bottle, and went over to the dying woman who was laid out on the bed. I was a novice at this time and did not know any better, so I poured all the contents of that bottle of oil over Mrs. Clark’s body in the name of Jesus!
I was standing beside her at the top of the bed and looking towards the foot, when suddenly the Lord Jesus appeared. I had my eyes open gazing at Him. There He was at the foot of the bed. He gave me one of those gentle smiles. I see Him just now as I tell this story to you. I have never lost that vision, the vision of that beautiful soft smile. After a few moments He vanished but something happened that day that changed my whole life. Mrs. Clark was raised up and filled with life, and lived to bring up a number of children; she outlived her husband many years.
Everybody has to have testings. If you believe in Divine Healing you will surely be tested on the faith line. God cannot bring anyone into blessing and into full co-operation with Him except through testings and trials.
My wife and I saw that we could not go just half-measures with God. If we believed in Divine Healing we would have to be wholeheartedly in it; so we pledged ourselves to God and then to each other. This consecration to trust God seemed to bring a new order in our lives. We looked into each other’s faces and said, “From henceforth no medicine, no doctors, no drugs of any kind shall come into our house.” It is very easy when in health and strength to make pledges and utter vows, but it is being faithful when the time of testing comes that counts. Little did we know that shortly we were going to have such a test.
We were both very zealous for the Lord and spent a good deal of time in open-air meetings. One Sunday a violent pain gripped me and brought me down to earth. Two men supported me and brought me home. The same thing had happened before but the pain had not been so severe in previous times. We prayed all night. The next morning I said to my wife, “It seems to me that this is my home-call. We have been praying all night, and nothing has happened; I am worse. It does not seem as though anything can be done. You know our arrangement is that when we know we have received a home-call, only then to save each other the embarrassment of having an inquest and the condemnation of outsiders, would we call a physician. To protect yourself you should now call a physician. I leave it with you to do what you think should be done.”
Poor thing, she was in a sad plight, with all the little children around her and there seemed no hope whatever. She broke down and left me and went to see a physician—not for him to help me, for she did not think he could help me, but believing that the end had come.
When the doctor came he examined me, shook his head, and said, “There is no hope whatever. He has had appendicitis for the past six months and the organs are in such shape that he is beyond hope.” He turned to my wife and said, “I have a few calls to make, Mrs. Wigglesworth. I will come and see you again later. The only hope is for him to have an immediate operation, but I am somewhat afraid your husband is too weak for that.”
When he got out of the room, an elderly lady and a young man came in. She was a great woman to pray, and she believed that everything that was not health was of the Devil.
While she prayed, the young man laid his hands on me and cried out, “Come out, Devil, in the name of Jesus.”
To my surprise I felt as well as it had ever been in my life. I was absolutely free from pain. As soon as they had prayed for me they went downstairs, and I got up, believing that no one had a right to remain in bed when healed. When I got downstairs, my wife cried, “Oh!” I said, “I am healed.” She said, “I hope it is true.” I inquired, “Any work in?” “Yes, there is a woman who is in a great hurry to get some plumbing done; if we could not take care of it, she would have to go somewhere else.” She gave me the address and I went out to do this work. While I was working, the doctor returned. He put his silk hat on the table, went upstairs, got as far as the landing, when my wife shouted, “Doctor! Doctor! Doctor!” He asked, “Are you calling me?” “Oh, Doctor, he’s out. He has gone out to work.” The doctor answered, “They will bring him back a corpse, as sure as you live.” Well, the “corpse” has been going up and down the world preaching the Gospel these many years since that time!
I have, laid hands on people with appendicitis in almost every part of the world and never knew of a case not instantly healed, even when doctors were on the premises.
From Stanley Frodsham's 'Smith Wigglesworth - Apostle of Faith,' chapter 3.