And He Gave Him His Power
Bro. Lawrie always had a great burden for people who were sick and maimed and he sometimes became over burdened from feeling the weight of their infirmities. Praying for the sick was the most difficult part of his ministry, as it drained much of his strength. Yet for the glory of God, he cheerfully stood at his post, praying and laying his hands on them sometimes for hours on end. As for the number of miraculous healings that have taken place, there is no count; but a few of the incidents are here to give the reader an idea of the diversity and immensity of Bro. Lawrie’s ministry. These are not set in any chronological order.
A Leper Healed
A 41 year old man, George, from a place called Arumuganeri in South India was suffering from the incurable disease, Leprosy, since the age of 12. In his misery he had attempted suicide. He then attended one of the open air meetings of Bro. Lawrie. The crowd was large and he could not get closer to him. Bro. Lawrie prayed a mass prayer from the platform. The man says,” I was trembling under the power of God and received a great joy that cannot be explained. My skin is all right now. The Lord Jesus has healed me of the dreaded disease”.
PRAYER THAT GIRDLED THE GLOBE
People from far and wide write to the Lawries with requests to pray for their various ills. Thanking Mrs. Lawrie, who was in India, one Miss M. A. Scott, Devon, England had this to write. For 13 years this Miss Scott was bedridden due to a spinal fracture sustained by a fall on the ice.
She happened to come across a copy of “Healing Leaves” (an early publication of Bro. Lawrie) and wrote to Bro. Lawrie, who at that time was touring America. Bro. Lawrie wrote back assuring her that he was praying for her. The night she received the letter, Miss Scott had a comfortable sleep; and when she got up the next morning, she was completely healed!
The distraught parents of a soldier wrote to Bro. Lawrie to pray for their son who was then at the fighting front. They sent their soldier son the reply they received from Bro. Lawrie that he had remembered their son in his prayer. As the soldier was reading this mail from home, a shell burst close-by killing all those near him, leaving him unscathed. That the prayer protected him could be the only explainable answer for this miraculous escape.
PRAYER AND FASTING FOR POWER
In India there is much practice of witchcraft, and those who indulge in such acts are able to do astounding things that Westerners can scarcely believe. In order to have control over these powerful ones, the Lord told Bro. Lawrie that he would have to fast for forty days drinking water alone. Although this was a difficult task, he completed the ordeal and from then on was able to control the fiercest of them.
After this fast, a magician challenged him and sent a very powerful demon to destroy him. As Bro. Lawrie was going on the road at midnight with his brother and a pastor, this demon came to attack him. Bro. Lawrie was saved from death by a supernatural power that lifted him six feet in the air.
As this powerful demon came flying towards Bro. Lawrie to kill him, he was lifted off the ground making the demon pass under him. The demon seeing he missed his mark, turned and came back three different times to attack; but every time the Spirit of God lifted Bro. Lawrie just as the demon came near, keeping him safe from any harm. Incensed, the demon then turned and attacked the magician that sent it.
Bro. Lawrie also found that people who worship these demons, also fast for 40 days (One Mandalam) to receive such power from Satan. They are able to curse a threshold, so that anyone passing over it to enter the cursed building will get a disease or some other affliction. There is much Devil worship, sun and moon worship, as well as the worship of the many false gods in India. But Bro. Lawrie, by his powerful preaching, gained thousands of such persons to Jesus Christ.
DRIVING DROVES OF DEVILS
There had been times when Bro.Lawrie was called upon to clear out demonic forces out of haunted houses. At a place called Illanthayadivillai near Thamarai Kulam. Kanyakumari District existed a haunted house belonging to a Miner working in Nagpur, Central India. Gospel workers and sorcerers could not get the evil spirits out of this house.
The Daniels who moved into this house in December 1957 had terrifying experiences. As they went to bed, they could hear loud knocks on the door. The kitchen window was forced open by some unknown hand and a hole was found dug in the floor. Mysteriously the lights in the house would be blown off. The grinding stone (ammi) would go up to a certain height and come down and so on.
On a Friday at about seven in the evening, the inmates could hear loud noises from every direction. When the neighbours came up, they found no one near the premises. The next day when they came down the stairs, they heard such a frightening noise that they scurried back upstairs. They saw a black apparition on the northern side of the house.
That night at about eleven, terrible screech shattered the quiet of the night, followed by the crash of a jar from the table upstairs. Lights went off and the Bibles too had been thrown down. Two persons who came for help had seen the flower pots thrown down from upstairs, but they did not see any one doing it. These bold men stayed awake asking the inmates to rest, when suddenly a table was thrown off. Early in the morning a hideous noise as a lion’s roar could be heard. On investigation all they could find was the lamp which was upstairs, buried in the kitchen.
About ten in the morning everyone could hear voices around but no one could see any person. So the inmates shouted questions asking the evil spirits what they were after. To this they replied, that they wanted the life of one of the daughters, who also felt some unseen power strangling her throat. The men who practiced witchcraft demanded an exorbitant amount of money to drive the devils out.
In those days Bro. Lawrie was at Nagercoil addressing meetings. The Daniels sent out a cab to get him over and drive the evil spirits out. Bro. Lawrie had just two hours before a meeting, but drove there and prayed in the name of Jesus and sprinkled water all over the house. There was mighty deliverance from the evil forces and the inmates were never bothered afterwards.
FIRM FAITH, AID TO CURE
People close to Bro. Lawrie at times had the glimpse of apostolic days. At a place called Mudalur, Bro. Lawrie was taken to the house of one Mr. Jayaraj, who was for many years crippled by a paralytic attack. On reaching the place, Bro. Lawrie looked at the expectant face of the man and asked, “Do you want to get up?” To this Jayaraj replied, “Sir, I believe that I will get up”. “If the Bible is true you will get up”, said Bro. Lawrie, and taking some oil anointed him according to what the Bible enjoins us. The cripple, who could not as much stand on legs for many years, immediately jumped up and walked. There was a big stir round the place because of this healing.
Later this same man had a tumor in his eye. It was gruesome to see his eyeball protruding as if it would pop out of its socket. With faith in prayer - strengthened by his earlier cure - he came to Bro. Lawrie to be prayed for, and he advised him to go to a surgeon and get the tumor out by a surgical operation. But Jayaraj insisted that he be prayed for, which he said would suffice. Jayaraj went on pleading to Bro. Lawrie to pray for him and not to advise him to go to a doctor. So he prayed for the man and sent him away. After a month, when he happened to pass that way, Bro. Lawrie learnt that the tumor was cured without an incision, and the eye was normal again.
At one time a college student came rushing into the prayer hall at Nagercoil, where Bro. Lawrie was praying, shouting, ‘Snake bite - Snake bite’ and fell down in the midst of those assembled. Holding him where he showed them as the place of bite, Bro. Lawrie prayed asking God to heal him. After a few moments, the boy got up healed.
Bro. Lawrie clearly confessed that he was not a born preacher. In his college days, when he was asked to be in a debate, it was a complete failure. He said he studied for a week, memorizing all of the ideas of the subject in a book by an author, Bacon. When his turn to speak came he says he could only tell, “Bacon says, Bacon says...” While speaking, he started to tremble as he had forgotten all his memorizing. As a result he was jeered off the stage and asked to take his seat.
After the Lord touched him and saved him, it was all different. He never takes any glory for preaching the powerful messages that keep his audience in quiet attention for hours on end. He clearly tells that it is only through God’s power and not any of his own ability. In fact he has said, like in the debate days, when he could only copy what Bacon said he is still only copying His messages. His work is only to copy God’s message and tell what ‘God says,’ not any of his own ideas.
HIS PASSION FOR SOULS
Bro. Lawrie’s passion for souls was so great that he never spared even the individuals who came to him. He always had a deep concern for souls. He was not a man preaching on the stage only but was also concerned about preaching to any individual he came across. He would simply begin a conversation and speak things the other person is interested in such as Football (Soccer) and many other things to get them interested and finally somehow lead them to Christ.
No matter who he saw when he started to talk, it would always wind up on something about God and the Word of God. His whole being as body, soul and spirit was consecrated to the work of God that he would not care about the worldly things. Sometimes this made it difficult for Sis. Lawrie too. When she wanted to discuss about family or personal matters he would be seriously talking about some ministerial matter. He was always concerned about the ministry and the souls much more than the other things.
A PROMISE SHOULD BE KEPT
Once the Lawries promised before God that they would not talk anymore about a sister-in-law of Bro. Lawrie. The sequence for this was that this lady always created trouble and dissension within the family and made the life bitter for everyone. As a self-assumed penance, they promised God that they would not talk about her.
They slipped one day in observing this promise as they were driving in a cab to Cape Comorin, and by mistake talked about her. As a consequence, their third son Devadayavu was thrown out of the moving car by a hand which opened the door and pushed him out. The little boy was picked up cold and lifeless. After sometime, his life came back. But his skull had fractured and he was bleeding heavily from a gash in the head.
That night Bro. Lawrie was to preach in a Church in Nagercoil. As they entered the town, people had already started going to the Church. With full of faith in God's power of healing, they did not take their son to any doctor. Instead they took him to the meeting. While Bro. Lawrie was preaching, he could see his son’s face brightening up.
When at the end of the meeting, during the healing prayer, he could stand up. And as the meeting was over, he came running to his father, saying, “Daddy, I saw Jesus touching me and I am completely healed”. There was not even the trace of the wound nor the scar. This four-year old youngster was a great testimony at that time in a number of meetings.
Bro. Lawrie and his son Deva-Evu were riding a scooter one day along the highway. They were in haste as there was an important meeting the next day. As they were speeding fast, a young woman carrying a big bundle of hay on the head suddenly lurched and dropped her load in front of the scooter. Bro. Lawrie applied the brake suddenly. They were both thrown out. Bro. Lawrie sustained a fracture of his leg.
They managed to reach home. As the people had started gathering, everyone was anxious about Bro. Lawrie. He asked them to allow him to sleep for couple of hours, after the bone was set. He prayed, “Lord, tomorrow there’s a big meeting and my leg is fractured, you can heal me”. After two hours’ rest, he got up completely healed. It was a miracle done on him.
DRIVING WITHOUT GAS
Sometimes Bro. Lawrie would be driving his car without remembering to put fuel in the tank. He would be driving prayerfully and only after reaching his destination he would remember he had no fuel in the tank. He would find that he had driven the car many miles without fuel. One time had driven nearly fifty miles without any fuel.
ANOINTING AT THE DINNER TABLE
One time Bro. Lawrie was invited to a home for dinner. The lady of the house was serving the dinner. She had wanted to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit for a long time. As the dinner was being taken, the lady of the house told Bro. Lawrie that she wanted to receive the Holy Spirit. Bro. Lawrie, even without washing his hands, put the palm of his hand over her head. Immediately this sister received the anointing of the Holy Spirit and jumped for joy.
LAME WALKS BY FAITH
In 1964, Bro. Lawrie conducted meetings in his forefathers’ village of Adayal Mudalur. After the meeting, when Bro. Lawrie was about to leave, a lame man on crutches wanted to touch Bro. Lawrie. By the time he reached the car Bro. Lawrie got into it and the car started moving. This lame man hurriedly touched the car and immediately he was able to walk. His faith had made him whole.
WHO CAN STAND AGAINST GOD'S FURY
In 1964 August series of meetings was arranged in the little town of Pudukottai near Tiruchirappalli. Lots of people, both Christians and Non-Christians, flocked to hear the Word of God and be healed physically as well as spiritually. By chance, a famous circus company had pitched their tents close-by for their circus shows. The circus did attract many people away so that there was a feeling in Bro. Lawrie’s camp that the meetings would be a failure.
Therefore, Bro. Lawrie together with the members of the Gospel team prayed to God that He must not fail them. That night a terrific cyclone came up and ripped up the circus tent and all canvas to shreds. The damage was so great that the circus company was put out of commission for more than a month. Without this distraction, the meetings were a great success.
CURES THAT BAFFLED MEDICAL SCIENCE
Prayer requests are telegraphically conveyed to Bro. Lawrie for those persons critically ill. Some of the healings have baffled doctors and scientists. A fully qualified and well-experienced doctor gives this testimony.
Dr. K. N. Rabindranath, M.B., B.S., Raphael Hospital, Kakinada, India writes:
“During the 10days’ ministry of Bro. Lawrie, the blind gained sight. The lame walked. Tumours in the body disappeared. No medical explanations can be given for these. These cures were nothing but miracles!”
At Vellore, a young man who was a carpenter had his thumb removed by the doctors at the famous Christian Medical College Hospital (American). He was asked by the Doctors at to the hospital to come on a certain day to have this wound closed completely. In the meantime Bro. Lawrie was conducting revival meetings at the Voorhees College grounds, Vellore.
This young man attended those meetings. Bro. Lawrie prayed for him. To the great surprise of the young man, the thumb started growing and when the day came that he should appear before the doctors, it was almost fully grown. Immediately the Chief Physician called all the doctors and also all the student doctors and told them that a great miracle had taken place.
He told them about how this young man had his thumb removed and that he was to come for final touch up that day. He also told them as a witness how this young man had attended Bro. Lawrie’s meetings and had been prayed for. After prayer this thumb had grown and was there for all to see. This miracle had really baffled the Medical Science.
SHORT LIMBS RESTORED INSTANTLY
There are instances that are beyond the conception of common sense either. One Miss. Alexander, Madras came to Bro. Lawrie with her trouble that her right leg was shorter by 3 inches than her left leg. Without even a hesitation, Bro. Lawrie held the shorter leg in his hand, pulled it as he prayed in the name of Jesus and corrected this infirmity!
This is not an individual case on record. Another Hindu girl, Miss S. Subbulakshmi, Perambur had such a deformity with the imbalance of 3½ inches between both legs, again corrected by the prayer of Bro. Lawrie in no time.
SALVAGING PHYSICAL WRECKS
Hair growing grey overnight has been heard of whereas grey hair turning natural black is not known. This reversal did happen to one Mr. D. Amelia, Katpadi at one of the meetings. But one of the strangest cases on record is about Mr. T. Jeyavelu, Ayanavaram, Chennai. This Hindu gentleman was an employee of the Southern Railways, India.
While he was working in the factory, a heavy hammer accidentally fell on his head and due to the internal injury in the head, he lost the sight of both eyes and became stone deaf. He was crippled by the nervous breakdown in such a way that he could not use either his hands or legs. He was removed from the service roster after the doctors had declared their inability to salvage this wreck.
Eighteen months he survived with these handicaps, a burden to his family. At this stage, a member or the Salvation Army (Bro. John) carried Jeyavelu like a bundle of rags to Perambur where Bro. Lawrie was holding meetings. As Bro. Lawrie prayed for him in the name of Jesus, Jeyavelu felt the surge of energy pass through his entire body.
Immediately he felt his senses returning marvelously. For the first time after one year and six months, he could look at the faces of his wife and children and converse with them. He could jump up and walk. Jeyavelu went before a Medical Board and was declared fit. He was reinstated in his old job.
Similar was the case of an official in the Central Rice Research Institute in Orissa, North India. This man was a wheel chair patient for 18 years. His body was a mass of immobile flesh. To the surprise of all, including the scientists at the Research Institute, this young man could walk unaided after a week of prayer.
Saved From Surgical Knives
A very touching incident is narrated by a widowed mother who is a refugee from Burma. On return to India, this woman’s youngest daughter developed gangrene in one of her legs. The doctors decided to amputate the leg, ankle down to save her life. Though the mother agreed with the doctors, her daughter, Suganthy stubbornly resisted. “The day my leg is cut off, I will take poison”, she warned them all.
However she was taken by force to the Operation theatre. But the girl’s pathetic appeals were too much for the mother to bear. She stopped the nurses who were applying some medicine on the wound, and took her daughter home even though the doctors warned that the child would not live beyond a few days.
When they reached home, Suganthy found at the doorstep a copy of ‘Nambikkayin Thoothan” - a Tamil bi-monthly published by Bro. Lawrie. After reading it, she placed the sheets of this journal on her gangrenous ankle and prayed with full faith. Suddenly she felt the surge of Heavenly powers within her. From then on, to the amazement of the doctors of the Government Hospital, Madras, the wound started healing and new flesh covered the necrosis.
By the time the grateful mother wrote to thank Bro. Lawrie - according to her letter - there were signs of new toes growing in place of the rotten ones. The mother ebullient, in her conclusion of the letter, wrote that she believed in God and that she and her daughter would one day walk to the Ashram.
A similar case was that of one N. Thangiah. The eczema on both his legs in his younger days turned gangrenous. After a certain state he could not walk but moved about on all fours and was forced to beg for his sustenance. He was placed beyond all the scope of medicine, but was miraculously and completely cured when he was prayed for by Bro. Lawrie in the meeting at a place called Alangode.
DEAD BROUGHT TO LIFE
At one such meeting dropped her 3½ year-old daughter in the crowd, and people trampled the child. The mother could not pick it up but had to retrieve the child by dragging it between the hundred of pairs of legs. The child was dead when taken out. The mother’s plaintive appeal brought Bro. Lawrie to her side. He took the child in his arms, and holding it closely to his bosom, prayed for it. To the joy of the mother and praise to God by the crowd, the child opened its eyes and spoke.
Earlier in his life, even before he was waiting for God's lead to begin his ministry, one morning a man came running to him and cried, “Brother, my wife is dead and there is a wedding in the house this evening. Please come and pray”. It is usual among Christians of these parts to call an elder or Gospel Worker to pray for the departed soul. The dead body was laid on the cot and people were crying their hearts out.
Bro. Lawrie, with his unshaven face (he had no money to have a shave for many weeks), walked into the funeral house. As he prayed touching the body, he felt the power of God flow through him, and the woman sat up. This shook everyone around there and a great fear fell among them. From then on Bro. Lawrie was approached for any ailment from headache to cancer.
While Bro. Lawrie was holding a meeting in a place near Nagercoil, a woman brought her dead child to him crying, ‘O man of God, can't you bring back my child to life as Elijah did?’ Bro. Lawrie took the child and held in embrace, while others in the congregation were praying intently. Within a few minutes the child came back to life, and was handed over to the mother.
At Dr. Williams’ Hospital in Nagercoil, a girl named Rani was at the point of death. The doctors gave her only fifteen minutes to live. The Pastor of the Church at Nagercoil was at her bedside praying for a painless death. Rani’s mother went running to Bro. Lawrie and requested him to go to the hospital and pray for her dying daughter.
On seeing Bro. Lawrie, the pastor frowned, “Have you come even to steal the dying sheep?” and left the hospital. Life was almost extinct in Rani, and her eyes were completely dead and closed. Bro. Lawrie knelt by her bedside and prayed. Within ten minutes, she was completely revived. She is still living in Nagercoil, happily married.
The scope of this Biography is limited to record only a few of the thousands of miraculous healings that have been witnessed in Bro. Lawrie’s ministry. Physical well being is only the toddler’s steps compared to the great strides millions have taken towards God in the meetings conducted by Bro. Lawrie and blessed with spiritual salvation. Everyone who has heard the spirit-filled messages through the lips of Bro. Lawrie and has been filled with the Spirit of God, has experienced this “Peace that passeth all understanding”.
MOCKERS RUN AWAY
In 1968 there were meetings in North India. The Central Baptist Church at Chandni Chowk, Delhi had invited Bro. Lawrie for a few days’ meetings where Bro. Lawrie took his son Deva-Evu and Bro. Jeevaputhiran with him. Bro. Victor David was the secretary of the Church then. The Baptists normally did not believe in divine healings and miracles. But because of the name Bro. Lawrie had, they requested him to pray for the sick. There too the Lord worked wonders and there were many healings and in no time the Church was overflowing.
It so happened that three rich young men who were violently disposed were walking on the road. They came across this prayer line where Bro. Lawrie was praying for the sick. They had earlier failed in their attempt to kidnap a girl a little while ago. They wanted to vent their anger and frustration by mocking at Bro. Lawrie and the people in the prayer line. Therefore they too stood in the prayer line. When they came near, the first young man stood in front of Bro. Lawrie.
Bro. Lawrie laid his hands upon his head and prayed. Immediately the power of God struck him and the young man fell down like an uprooted Palmyra tree. When Bro. Lawrie beckoned to the other two to come forward for prayer, they panicked and ran away in fear, sensing danger. But this young man, who was touched by the power of God, received the Peace of God in his life. There was also another Sikh young man who came to be prayed for healing. The Lord healed him and he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ in his life.
THE MOVING CHAIR
After the meetings in Delhi, there were also meetings in Bareilly, another city in Uttar Pradesh. There was a brother called Mr. Massey who was attending the meetings. He did not believe in the existence of evil spirits. Even after seeing people delivered from the grip of the evil spirits, he was doubtful and was argumentative. Bro. Lawrie kept calm and cool and did not talk much about it.
On a certain night, after the meeting was over, Bro. Lawrie was praying for the sick and this Mr. Massey was sitting on a chair watching. Bro. Lawrie was praying for someone who was possessed of an evil spirit. The evil spirit left that person and attacked Mr. Massey and his chair. To his horror Mr. Massey found his chair moving and turning by itself. He was so frightened that he screamed and shouted, “Bro. Lawrie, please save me”. Bro. Lawrie cast out the evil spirit. This put an end to the arguments of Mr. Massey.