Some of you may be aware that a dear friend’s husband, Steve, died earlier this week. She, being a woman of faith, didn’t wait and wonder what to do—she began mustering up an army of prayer warriors to stand with her in faith to raise her husband back to life through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. I have been part of that process, and have attempted to keep the Raise The Dead Initiative and DRT groups on Facebook, as well as my own social media thread, updated with where we stand. At the time of writing this, he is not alive YET, so please continue to join us in prayer.
Last afternoon I found myself struggling with the situation, given that it’s been a day and a half and we have no clear results yet. It doesn’t help that I am on the far opposite side of the United States from where my friend and her husband are, so as much as I would like to be more involved, that is made more difficult. I found myself questioning whether it was “over” or not.
Truth be told, I was really struggling with this. When I set my faith toward something, I am pretty forceful about pushing it forward in both prayer and action. Finding myself at a point where I wasn’t sure if I should continue to pray or not was difficult, so I talked to my wife and a good friend both, to help me process what was going on inside me. When all was said and done, I decided that not only is it not over, but I know a woman whose husband is supposed to return to life and remain by her side!! I have a battle to fight!
We all go through periods of doubt when trying to raise the dead. This is entirely normal, and I attribute it largely to the subtle whisperings of the enemy trying to derail our faith, encourage doubt, and get us wallowing in grief, self-pity, regret, and other negative emotions. The key, I believe, is to recognize when these feelings arise, and then either entirely ignore them, shoving them aside until after the fact, or even acknowledge them, and prayerfully send them to the feet of Jesus. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” I believe that taking captive every though also includes taking captive our emotions. If I let myself continue thinking that “it’s over”, then my emotions will eventually line up with my thoughts, and once I do that, I have no room for faith.
I spent an hour and a half on the phone with my friend the night her husband died, as we and some other men and women of faith prayed over the body. I heard her crying at times, quite understandably, because the love of her life had just died. Yet I also knew that if she wanted to stay in a place of faith, she couldn’t let herself be overcome by grief either, so as we continued to pray, I encouraged her in her faith as well, decreeing again and again the will of God for his life, which is that he will live and not die. As I did this, it encouraged her to keep pressing forward as well. Don’t get me wrong—she isn’t weak of will by any means, but I cannot say I would fare any better if anything happened to my beautiful wife either. I would both want and need friends of faith to stand with me as well.
Managing one’s emotional state in this kind of situation is of utmost importance. Many people do not realize that emotions are actually tied into our ability to effectively release faith, as much if not more than our thoughts are. When I want to engage faith for something, I literally stir up my emotions to engage what I am believing for in my thoughts, so that my heart and mind are unified in prayer.
In this situation, I have been trying to listen to the Lord on an ongoing basis to hear what He is saying to me, to receive guidance and wisdom on how to effectively walk this out. All I keep hearing him say are things like “You’re doing great, Michael. You’re doing an awesome job.” When I woke up yesterday afternoon to get some chores done then head to work for the night, I wasn’t in that place, and it took a few hours to get my head settled on right. Why? I was having difficulty discerning what I was feeling.
When things get stressful, it can be hard to know whose voice we are listening to. We have to separate the voices of God, the enemy, and ourselves, and that takes discernment—which in and of itself requires a bit of wisdom. Fortunately, we have been given the Bible which is chock-full of verses that tell us how God works, what He thinks, and His will for us in such trying situations as this, and the more we understand how He thinks, the easier it is to use godly wisdom to discern who is speaking to us.
One of the things I keep reminding myself, and others, as we continue to pray for Steve to return to life, is this:
There is no plan B.
There are two possible outcomes in this situation:
Either my friend will bury her husband, or she will receive him back to life, raised by the power of God.
Obviously, we are aiming for the latter outcome, and the hard part is that only time will tell. There is no special way to know what is going to happen, and it can be maddening to watch, wait, and pray. Yet, that is our task—to pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
If this subject has touched you in some way, and you want to learn how you can engage God’s resurrection power for those in your life, check out the resources below. I highly recommend six things:
1. Sign up for our Raise the Dead Initiative mailing list here to receive updates, and connect further.
2. Get some books. I have written two books on the subject: Practical Keys to Raise the Dead and Faith to Raise the Dead. Practical Keys is a series of excerpts from Faith To Raise The Dead, all of which give practical advice for when you are actively praying to raise someone at that time. Faith To Raise The Dead goes more into theology, but has a chapter devoted to resurrection testimonies, an appendix in the back of faith-building scriptures to help you pray for the deceased to return to life, and I answer a lot of common and even difficult questions surrounding the subject.
Tyler Johnson, founder of the Dead Raising Team has written multiple books on the subject as well: How to Raise the Dead and The Dead Are Raised. Be sure to check out Father Hebert’s encouraging book Saints Who Raised The Dead for pages upon pages of uplifting testimonies about saints in history who have raised the dead in Jesus’ name.
3. Join the Raise the Dead Initiative on Facebook. The Raise the Dead Initiative is a group I started to help the Body of Christ grow in this area, and I will eventually develop an RDI teaching curriculum to train believers to pray for and raise the dead. You may also be interested in The Dead Raising Team (DRT) and Dead Raising Campaign Facebook groups.
4. Look at how you can host or attend a School of Resurrection in your area. Contact Tyler Johnson via his website at http://www.oneglance.org/ to arrange the event. Tyler is an awesome man of God and good friend who regularly teaches Schools of Resurrection to help transform our understanding on the subject of resurrection life. He has Dead Raising Teams around the world who are ready to mobilize in their area to release the abundant life of Jesus Christ. You can also head over to Gumroad to buy and download a complete Resurrection School audio series.
We are hosting the Portland School of Resurrection 2018 this next weekend, the 19th and 20th of January here in Portland, Oregon. Head over to our Events page to sign up and join us!
6. Look for and actively engage opportunities to raise the dead in your area by reaching out to friends when you hear that someone has died.