Freely ye have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8


Howard Barnett

Some years back I was at a local hospital to visit a friend in the intensive care ward. As protocol sometime demands in a hospital visitation, I found myself in the waiting room, waiting for the system to provide me an open door. Most hospitals extend to the ministry a pocket card or label that identifies you as a minister. This normally serves as a pass to usher you around some of the hospital=s time tables. But even with the card, the waiting rooms are no-respecter of persons.


On this particular evening a tearful wife asked if I was a minister, probably from seeing the lapel card. I told her that I was. She asked if I would >please visit with her husband in the intensive care unit?= I said certainly, what is his name? She informed me that he had suffered a massive stroke and was not expected to make it. And that he didn=t know Jesus. I felt the pain from her heart with the statement, >He doesn=t know Jesus=. Finally the buzzer let me in (I=m never sure who controls the buzzer) and I first visited with my recovering friend. His condition and spirits were on the mend, so I proceeded to the unit where the woman=s husband was. He was completely comatose. There was no outward sign of any response. He was breathing and that was about all. As we reached out in prayer, God let me know, with his spiritual witness, that the husband was in His hands and to tell the wife not to worry, Ait=s all okay.@ Although the man was not able to give any physical sign, Jesus had let me receive his testimony. When I related this to his wife, she tearfully said, AI know.@ She had already felt the change in her husband and she was looking for a supporting witness. Jesus had reached out his hand of peace and comfort. This man=s natural body was never to say AAmen@ in a service somewhere. But his spirit was shouting, AHallelujah!@


Some will say, impossible, his mouth didn=t confess.

Jesus says Aout of the heart a man speaketh.@

Some will say, but he wasn=t baptized!

Jesus said, AI am the way, the truth and the life. I am also the baptizer.@ Amen!


Another Experience

Many years back while trying out my >new gospel shoes=, a concerned mother wanted prayer for her daughter who was to undergo reconstructive surgery the next day. I stopped by her hospital bed on the way to the Sunday evening service. We visited and chatted awhile and I asked if it would be all right to >share prayer= with her, thinking it would help comfort her for the coming day. I still remember the cheerful >sure!= she responded with. As we prayed, Jesus interceded with the words, AI will visit you, even this night@; a prophetic word for the young daughter. As I left the hospital and continued to the Sunday evening service, I was puzzled, I had just experienced >prophetic prayer=. I went on to the service, entered into praise and worship, shared the word and requested group prayer for the young friend. I went home praising the Lord for another wonderful day. It=s good to be a part of the wonderful family of God.


The next morning I received a call from an excited mother. The young daughter had witnessed an angel that had come into her hospital room the night before and told her not to worry, Ait was all okay.@ Surely, she was half asleep and confused by some nurse or intern in a white uniform, the scoffers might say. Maybe, but when the physicians were prepping her for surgery they discovered an astounding thing. The young lady was completely normal. The defect was gone! A puzzled hospital sent her home.


Some years later, I received a call from the wife of a business acquaintance. It seemed that her husband, a man that I had met on only a few occasions, wanted me to see him in the hospital. I remembered witnessing to the gentleman while at his place of business. I would and still will talk about Jesus at the >drop of a hat=. I=ll even talk about him if you don=t have a hat. He didn=t want his wife=s pastor to visit him. He was asking for me. On the phone I felt she wasn=t too happy about that. But I gathered the information as to his location, and met her at the hospital. The doctors had not given her much hope. She expected her husband to share a death bed confession with some >little-known= Pentecostal preacher. But she hoped he would get saved before he died.

I didn=t know what to expect as I walked into the cardiac ward. The man was in an oxygen tent. They had him wired and tubed up as only those units can provide. I asked what I could do to help, since he had asked specifically for me. He evidently, from our discussion, had no confidence in the churches of form and fashion, but he did believe that God could help him. Jesus the healer let me believe with him. The prayer was for healing. The word was Ahe will be okay.@


When I met his wife in the waiting room, I told her Ahe will be okay.@ It=s never been my habit to add to the word in the spirit. I=ve learned that little is much, when God is in it. The puzzled wife was still puzzled the next morning when the doctors sent him home. Their answer - Ait must have been indigestion.@ Some of us know better!


Some years back I received news of a minister who was in the last stages of cancer. I had known of his ministry for many years. He was a >prayer warrior=. God has >prayer warriors=, they are intercessing ministries, people who are instant in season with God. They don=t have to beg and plead, their armor lets them step instantly before the throne of grace. This brother was known to pray drunks= sober. If you needed prayer, he would come to your house, day or night. Although he could preach, his greatest ministry was prayer.


I felt to visit him in the hospital. Maybe >together= we could turn it around. God had let me be a witness to many miracles. I had faith to see another. When I arrived at the hospital room, I walked into a room filled with angels. There was so much of God in that room that when I got into the brother=s presence, I told him, Abrother, I thought I was coming to pray for you, but would you please pray for me?@ He did! That wasted body was to lay down a few days later, but the warrior I met in that hospital room will never die!


Another Time

I had a friend who had suffered a ruptured appendix. I visited him on several occasions in the hospital. He had found the Lord and looked forward to getting out of that hospital bed and coming to church. At every visit he wanted to know about the church. And at every visit would be the statement, Awhen I get out I=m coming to church!@ I learned that he had never been to church when he was growing up. Somehow his life hadn=t slowed down enough to experience the Lord. Now that he knew Jesus, he was anxious to fellowship. His parting statement, AI=m coming to church@ I will always remember. He died a few days after my last visit and I had been so sure that I would see him in the congregation.


The Sunday following the funeral as we had all gathered in for the evening service, just as we were beginning the service the sanctuary doors opened as though someone had walked in and then they closed the same way. I shared the brother=s testimony with the congregation that evening. When the service came to a close, the doors again opened and closed. Why brother, that=s just an amazing coincidence. Things like that don=t happen. Maybe, but I serve an amazing God. The outer screen door had a strong spring holding it. This had never happened before or after this particular Sunday evening. In the resurrection Athey are as the angels.@ (Luke 20:36)


I knew a dear mother, one who had met all the standards spoken in Proverbs 31:10-29. Soft of voice, gentle of touch. Love and faith personified. A mother who would pray for animals, as well as people. A mother who was able to have faith for those of little faith. This mother had faith to see angels and esteemed God=s will far above her will. I was honored to spend precious time with her the last days of her life. I remember that quiet voice that began speaking in tongues and prophesied to her family and friends, and her AI love you@ to each visitor. I was also privileged to witness the angels that came into that hospital room when it was time for her to leave. As her pastor, I ministered her funeral a few days later. The message was from Proverbs 31. God allowed the angel of her presence to visit me many years later with a sign from the Lord. She wasn=t old and she wasn=t young. Her appearance was as the best it had ever been. Her smile, as she handed me the witness, did not need any words.

He who hath an ear to hear, let him hear.



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