Author Archives: Nigel W.D. Mumford

Seeds of Faith.

Seeds of Faith.
For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. Mark 4:28
“It is not the body’s posture, but the heart’s attitude that counts when we pray”
~Rev. Billy Graham
I think I was about ten years old when my parents took me to hear Billy Graham in my home town of Plymouth, Devon, England. I had no idea what we were doing as we parked and walked for what I thought were miles as we approached a huge circus tent. There were hundreds of people with us as we walked. I thought we were going to the circus! The tent was filled with chairs but no circus ring! I remember the speaker, I remember his strange accent. I listened intently as seeds of faith were planted in my soul. What he was saying made a lot of sense. I watched people walking forward, I felt that I was being drawn to the light, drawn to he truth. There were so many people and I wanted to go forward. I felt that my soul went forward to receive the seeds of faith that were put in place to germinate eight years later. It was March 10th. 3pm three days before my eighteenth birthday, when I knew that I knew. Just before going on my first of three active duty combat deployments. Thank you Dr. Graham for introducing me to Jesus.
Every individual in every generation has the free will to embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior one person at a time. Looking back I can easily trace the thread of faith, the “faith time line” if you will, to know Christ a little bit more each day. Looking back at the fear of allowing The Lord into my life, knowing I was afraid of what I was going to loose. Not realizing at all in what I was going to gain.
Perhaps a new seed of faith might be planted in you as you read this and start connecting the dots of faith, that become seeds, that eventually germinate into the knowledge and love of our Lord. How about you give those seeds permission to germinate into “fully knowing” Christ? Allow your heart to have an attitude of prayer. First the seed, then the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn.
Perhaps this story might plant another seed in your soul.
This past weekend I was extremely touched as I invited people of faith to gather around Daniel, at St. Simon’s church, Buffalo New York. My soul was pierced. Daniel is a fifteen year old suffering the extreme post pain of the H1N1 virus, Polly Myopathy and Poly neuropathy, that has prevented him from walking since 2009. Looking into his mother and sisters’ eyes and seeing such pain. Watching about a hundred people come forward, as an act of faith, to lay hands on Daniel, so that he might be healed, touched me deeply. Seeds of healing, seeds of faith, planted in that young man. Looking into his eyes, as he is seated in the wheel chair, knowing what he is going through and hearing him say, “It is so good to meet someone who knows the pain I am going through…someone who understands. ” pierced my soul.
More seeds germinated by tears of faith.
Please join me in praying:
Dear Jesus, thank you for Daniel. Please have mercy on him and heal the ravages of the Swine flu that is residual in his body. Heal the root cause of his pain so that he might walk, run and sprint again. In Your most Holy Name.
Thank you God, thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit, thank you Holy Trinity.

Recent Testimonies…

I had the privilege of leading a healing mission at St. Marks, Geneva, ILL over the weekend of March 1-3 2013. It was truly a blessed time. There was even a Glory Cloud in the church. (I am so sorry I have not mastered how to put a photo into the blog yet.)
I post these for two reasons. 1) To let you know that God still heals today and 2) to bring Glory to the Lord.
“I am the Lord who heals you” Exodus 15:26
Here follows three freely given testimonies:
Date: Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 8:14 PM
Another testimony and praise: We just received word that the lady we stood in for on Sat. afternoon at the healing mission in Geneva has had a dramatic improvement in her heart situation. Here is a summary. A good friend of ours and wonderful woman of God, Jackie Klein, who is 90 years old, was told a year ago that her heart was failing. She had heart valve surgery at that time and was then told she had roughly a year to live. She was even told she that she would likely not live past this month. On last Sat. Gwynne and I stood in for Jackie and we sensed the power of the Holy Spirit move as Fr. Nigel prayed. All day that day Jackie was sensing the Holy Spirit touching her in her home in Springfield, particularly late in the day. She sensed renewed strength for the first time in a long time as well. A follow up visit to her cardiologist early this week ended with him telling her that her heart was actually stronger and not near failing as they expected. She also had ulcers on her heels that were not healing that are now healing and closing up. She believes that this change in her heart and the ulcers was directly related to what took place last Sat. because of what she sensed and felt that day and afternoon. Gwynne and I had simply prayed with Fr. Nigel that Jackie would have “more time” as her life and ministry touches so many here. Praise be to God. Thanks be to the ministry of O S L as well. Tim and Gwynne.
Thank you for coming to St. Mark’s last weekend. It was a joyous time for all of us. I loved serving you as a fellow Brit. You touched many lives while you were here and new healings are occurring daily. Bless you and your ministry. In HIM John
Date: Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 9:57 PM
It was my privilege to attend the Healing Mission on Friday and Saturday. I had hoped to have the opportunity to have Fr. Nigel pray for the healing of my eyes/vision, but this did not happen because I was asked to serve on one of the Prayer Teams. I was disappointed, but also knew that God could still heal if He choose to. While there is no change in my eyes/visual problems, over the next several days I became increasingly aware that the symptoms of my long-standing IBS and more recent severe Colitis were gone. Both have interfered with a “normal” day-to-day life style, in the case of the IBS for 45 years and the initial bout of Colitis kept my pretty much housebound for 3 months. As I gradually stopped both medications, still no symptoms… And then on Thursday, I “dared” to have a salad and, Praise God !, no problems either within 20 minutes (what would normally happen) or the next day. I hardly know how to act – not having to be afraid to eat the “wrong thing”, which with both disorders included just about everything. We truly serve an awesome God, who clearly is active in His healing ministry today, as well as in all details of our lives. And I thank God for his minister and servant Fr. Nigel, who continues to be faithful in sharing the gift of healing which the Lord has given him. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Canadian Chaplain report on WHI

Welcome Home Initiative – A Chaplain’s Encounter
By Captain (Chaplain) Robin Major, Canadian Army.
A wise teacher once said to me, “You’re done learning, when you’re done living.” This seems especially true in the spiritual life. I never cease to be amazed by the power of God to open my eyes anew in ways that seem so obvious when my eyes have been opened while up to that moment I did not even realize in this issue, I was blind. We see this all the time with people that we are seeking to help who just don’t seem to get it. My road to growth as a helper is paved with the fact that when I am able to be both vulnerable and honest with both myself and God at the same time, I feel I need more help than those I’m called to help. What follows is the story of my recent experience with healing prayer that made this clear in a new and exciting way.
This past February, I attended the 20th running of the Welcome Home Initiative at the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich New York as an observer. While the 20th running, it was the first exclusively for women. The program was led by the Episcopal Priest, Reverend Nigel Mumford, a former British Royal Marine and PSTD survivor. His most recent book, “After the Trauma, the Battle Begins. Post Trauma Healing,” is an excellent story of his own suffering and recovery through the very prayerful approach that he embodies through leadership of the Welcome Home Initiative.
The Welcome Home Initiative is a three day healing prayer retreat for combat veterans suffering from trauma. The Initiative is explicitly Christian, and is grounded in the belief in the power of the Holy Spirit to heal people through prayer. This kind of approach was quite new to me as an Anglican raised and trained in what for lack of a better phrase I would call “non-evangelical tradition.” I had almost no experience with things such as praying for people through the laying on of hands in groups. The limited experience I have had with such things, I have found to be negative and unacceptable to my religious sensibilities. My encounter with the Welcome Home Initiative changed this.
I realize now in the removal of the barriers that were within me, what the barriers were and why. The first of the barriers to taking serious the healing prayer movement was that my prior experience had been with people who did not celebrate the things that were critical to my faith as an Anglican, namely the honoring of liturgical traditions of worship. While Reverend Nigel Mumford was well versed in more contemporary manners of praying and worshipping, the process also included an Anglican Holy Eucharist with Chalice and Paten. And through the contemporary breakout cross that was at the center of the Upper Room where healing prayer occurred, one looked directly across the valley to the sight of a majestic edifice called the Convent of the Sisters of St Mary. In this context, liturgical and evangelical co-existed side by side in harmonious mutual celebration of God.
The second barrier that was removed centered on my previous experience with the healing prayer movement in terms of the conflict that was posited between healing prayer and modern medicine. It was as if to affirm the value and role of medicine was to lack faith in the power of healing prayer. It was to my delight that the approach I encountered not only lacked the conflict, but rather affirmed and even celebrated medicine. What a freedom it is to pray fully for God’s miraculous healing of sickness by means of either supernatural, medicinal or both.
The third barrier had to do with concerns I had with the tendency for those who practised healing prayer to be overly full of their own sense of importance to the healing process. I made explicit inquires about the nature of the power in prayer with Rev. Mumford who was clear to me that we are called to pray and that something happens because of our prayer but ultimately whatever that is, it is God who is doing the work.
Another barrier for me is that everybody is not healed from prayer. Rev. Mumford’s reply was that in the context of prayer for healing, “All are healed and some are cured.” By this he explained that in some way in the context of prayer, he believes there is always some kind of healing that God is doing and it is our job to remain faithful to this and keep praying. That all are not cured of sickness is in God’s hand.
With these barriers removed, I found myself able to enter into receiving and offering healing prayers for people with an openness to praying faithfully for healing of all ailments and leaving the rest in God’s hands. During the retreat, I witnessed two physical healings, one of a woman with a headache and another with a person who had a continuous nervous shake as well as many tears and smiles that reflected inner healing occurring. These outward changes in my mind are small examples of what can be in time much greater healing of people’s hearts, minds and bodies through continued prayer and participation in every available kind of way to help with recover from illness.
In my own heart, the process created a safe place where I went with Christ to some dark places in my past where I experienced a healing of suffering. With this healing was also a call to more healing and at this time, in daily prayer, I continue to walk with the one who heals in deepening a sense of freedom from the past to live more fully today. I would not say that this process just started but rather, through this encounter, it has shifted and deepened in a way which is benefiting me personally and hopefully will benefit those I feel called to help.
For anyone who might be interested in attending, the next Welcome Home Initiative is 20-22 May 2013 which is the week before the Annual Chaplain Retreat. The location in Greenwich NY is four hours’ drive south of Montreal. If you are personally suffering from deployment based trauma, you may attend as a retreat member. Another option for attendance is as an observer/student of the process as I did this past February.
Respectfully submitted,
Captain (Chaplain) Robin Major

A back healed

Dateline: St.Marks, Geneva, Ill.
2 March 2013
While speaking at conferences I often tell the story of my mentor Francis Macnutt. He was at a large healing conference and picked out a very tall man. He placed him in in the aisle saying this is how NOT to pray. He then ran at him smacking him on the forehead, shouting,
“Be healed in the name of Jesus.”
The man fell to the floor. Everyone laughed. He was making a point about TV evangelism. His point, you don’t need to make a performance of this, it is a quiet and gentle process. A week later Francis got a letter from the tall man saying that he was totally healed of cancer! We must not limit what God can do!
Well, this least weekend, at St. Marks, Geneva, Ill. I picked out of the congregation a man called Bob. Bob is six foot six and I demonstrated what Francis did. Shouting, “Be healed in the name of Jesus…”
After preaching on Sunday, I met both Bob and his wife they told me that he realized his back had been healed sitting in the pew at the healing service.
There is power in the name of Jesus.
This just in from Bob,
I’ve had chronic back pain for almost 20 years and after herniating two disks last spring, things got worse. The doctors suggested daily physical therapy exercises and stretching which I’ve done for a year, but day-to-day activities still lead to a lot of back pain. However, after attending the Healing Service, the tightness and stiffness immediately disappeared. The last two nights, I slept peacefully rather than tossing and turning all night which is great! God does perform miracles…
After all the back problems I’ve had, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the fun dad things (basketball, golf, car repair, etc.) with my two sons due to the pain that those activities caused. Turns out, healing me was no big deal for God.
God is so good.
Let’s not limit God dear friends.
Blessings and love to you.
~Fr. Nigel Mumford+
PS. Bob has given me permission to use his name and has prof read this report.

Sorrow in Newtown, CT.

I lived in Newtown, Ct for eight years. It was a lovely place to live. The flag pole, (in the middle of the road) Trinity Episcopal church, the fourth of July parade and so much more. It was an Idyllic place to raise your kids. Now evil has touched the town and healing will slowly take place over many years. I lived in Newtown when a pilot shoved his wife through a wood chipper! I lived next door to the woman who sold him new bedroom carpet!
What happens when someone just loses the plot? What goes through the mind of someone who has become mad. What happened between mother and son? Why did a mother, with perhaps a problem child have an automatic assault rifle and two powerful hand guns in her house? So many questions arise when something as heinous as this touches lives.
I woke up this morning with such a heavy heart for those who have lost little ones.
Are we going to have to build brick walls around our schools so they look like prisons? Are we going to have to build panic rooms so everyone can be safe in a “Situation?” Do we take away all the guns and the resort to knives and stabbing which seems to be the trend in the UK!
Jesus we really, really need you NOW. The Christmas story includes the words “Peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind. Sadly there are many who fall into the gap of “man- unkind.” People who are so bitter they suffer from Post Traumatic Embitterment disorder (PTED) a diagnosis I think we shall be seeing in the new DSM-V next year.
Our hearts and prayers go to all the souls that were lost. The Mothers and Fathers, siblings of the lost, families that are so traumatized, struggling through Christmas and every Christmas for the rest of their lives. We pray and hang onto the words, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted by the Holy Spirit.”
Come Holy Spirit, come now and come with more power.
In the words of Tiny Tim, rather appropriate for this horror,
“God bless us everyone…”
Fr. Nigel Mumford+
The Oratory of Christ the Healer
Christ the King Spiritual Life Center

Only in Silence, can you hear the Silence Speak

A new CD will be available Nov 30th 2012 called “Only in Silence, can you hear the Silence Speak.” The CD contains music played by Mark Kelso (Piano) and Nigel Mumford (Violin) recorded live at twelve healing services. The CD will be available at and by snail mail to
Oratory Press, P.O.Box 55, Greenwich, NY 12834 $16.95 plus $3.00 S&H.

Proclaiming Christmas

Proclaiming Christmas, forty timeless talks and sermons.
Edited by J. John
A new book containing forty Christmas sermons including Philip Yancy, N.T. Wright, R. T. Kendall, J.John, Nigel Mumford, and thirty five other preachers.
Available at
J.John writes:
Our churches are never better attended than during the Christmas season. This gives a special opportunity to deliver a message to our congregations, to present God Incarnate and to creatively preach the ‘original scrip’. I have asked friends, all know for their gift as creative communicators, to let me have their best Christmas sermon, and the result is this book. This will not only enlighten, encourage and inspire you as you read it, but will inform and equip all preaches with ideas and content.
Also this is for anyone who likes reading sermons (like me) to give you a faith-lift.

Never forget: Greater things will you do by Donna M. Authers

Never forget: Greater things will you do
by Donna M. Authers
OSL Sharing Magazine, Oct/Nov 2012 Issue
Do you remember the first time you realized that God actually heals today? That thrilling moment when you could identify with the paralytic or the woman who touched the tip of Jesus’ garment? That miraculous event which challenged the validity of the theory: “That was then; this is now”? Through the power of the Holy Spirit and at the pleasure of God, Jesus still heals today exactly as he said he would: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:12-13, NIV)
Yes, Jesus continues to heal today through his imperfect disciples like you and me. We may not see an immediate cure (Waiting for the Full Ear of Corn, Sharing, July/August 2012) but in my experience he always heals, bringing peace and hope to a frightened soul. When we lay hands on someone and pray, something always happens in a way that is unique to the individual asking for prayer. It is important to remember our stories and even more important to tell them, especially the ones that changed the course of our lives way back when, lest we become complacent with the gifts God has given us. This is one of my stories.
It was 1995, and after more than three years of MRI’s, injections, pills and literally crawling into physical therapy sessions which brought little relief, my husband Roger agreed to have back surgery. Three years? Why so long? Well, you see, Roger has an aversion to hospitals, needles, blood, even taking out splinters. He cringed when I told him I had ordered contact lenses! But on this occasion his back and leg pain finally outweighed his fear.
Two days before surgery, we were invited to our friend Susan’s house for dinner. Early in the evening Roger spoke of his apprehension, and our host responded, “You need to meet Nigel; he was supposed to be here tonight; but he’s praying with somebody.” She added with a hint of skepticism, “Apparently, when he prays people are healed!” Of course, the Nigel she was talking about is OSL Board Member Fr. Nigel Mumford.
Before seven o’clock the next morning, the phone rang. In response to a sleepy “hello,” a voice said, “Good morning, this is Nigel Mumford; sorry to call so early, but I received an urgent message from Susan last night to call you. Do you know anything about this?”
“Oh, dear! We had no idea she asked you to call us; but since you did, we’d love to meet you. My husband is having surgery tomorrow, and at dinner last night Susan said that you needed to pray for him. Perhaps you can tell us more?”
“I’m on my way to work and have no time today or tonight, but if you like, I can come over right now.”
“Have you had breakfast? Roger’s from England as well and he taught me how to make a proper pot of tea.”
“Brilliant! I’m on my way.” And with that we hung up.
“Quick, Roger, get up!”
“What in the world is going on?”
“I have no idea, but Nigel’s on his way and will be here any minute.”
Wonderful things happened that morning while talking over a cup of tea and toast with marmalade from Marks & Spencer. While Roger and I had always known it was God who brought us together and Christ was the glue in our marriage, we had no experience with miraculous cures except what we had seen on television. You know what I mean: the kind of program where a preacher smacked someone on the head and seemingly pushed him into the arms of a catcher after yelling, “Heal!” Surely they were paid well for the charade. At least that’s how it appeared to us skeptics. But this was different.
After getting acquainted, Nigel shared the story about his sister Julie’s miraculous cure in England and how he discovered that he had received the gift of healing upon his return to the United States. Canon Jim Glennon’s prayer for Julie was brief and gentle with only the lightest of touch when he laid hands on her. It was a beautiful picture and calm came over us and when Nigel asked Roger if he would like prayer. Since this was new for both of us, the answer was a tentative, but surprisingly expectant “yes”.
We were instructed by Nigel to continue in prayer after he left for work and to pray with thanksgiving for the healing that was taking place. But by lunchtime the back pain remained and I called Nigel at work to see if Roger needed a “prayer top-up.” When Nigel agreed to a second prayer, I packed a lunch for him and drove straight to his picture framing shop. Nigel flipped the “Open” sign on his shop door to “Closed”, and we went into another room for prayer. It was then he declared that, while Roger might still need the surgery, God would make sure that he would experience a miraculous recovery. Little did we know that we would experience a series of miracles.
The first happened as we drove to the hospital. Roger showed no fear and for some reason he blurted out of the blue, “Maybe I’m supposed to have his surgery to meet the man in the next bed.” He had no idea where that thought came from; but later all was revealed.
During the pre-op procedures which required a blood test, the first miracle was confirmed: Roger’s fear was gone. He was completely at peace and watched as the needle went into his arm and blood was drawn. Later he complimented the nurse who installed the IV, and as I watched him being wheeled into the operating room, peace prevailed with shouts of “Love you; see you later!” as if he were going to work. It was then that I knew in my heart that Roger and the doctor would be standing on holy ground with the Great Physician directing the surgery.
Later I learned the anesthesiologist warned Roger that, because of the way his neck was formed, he would have a very sore throat due to the tube they would insert and remove while he was asleep. However when Roger awoke in the recovery room, there was no throat soreness. In fact, he felt as if he had been napping. No grogginess, no pain! He looked at the clock on the wall and asked a nurse, “Is that the right time?” Nigel’s prophesy came true: rapid healing, at least of his sore throat.
After Roger was moved to his hospital room, I arrived and he greeted me by kicking his legs in excitement. I gasped and urged him not to move. He said, “It’s okay. I’m healed and I’ve already been up and to the bathroom on my own.” I was speechless and my heart filled with joy and gratitude. Even so, the doctor said he would be in the hospital for a couple of days.
In the same room was another surgery patient – a young man whose parents were visiting him. Their son’s operation was much earlier that morning, and he was still asleep. John’s mother explained that he would be in the hospital for five days; clearly, his surgery was much more invasive than Roger’s. He had been in a train wreck and they had to take bone from his hip to repair his neck which had been damaged in the accident. After his parents and I left for the evening, John began to stir. Hearing this, Roger introduced himself and they began to talk through the curtain that separated their beds.
In the course of their conversation, Roger told John about Nigel’s gift of healing, something he would never have done before; and at that moment the phone rang. It was Nigel calling from the lobby asking for permission for an after-hours visit. I love God’s timing! After saying a prayer of thanksgiving for how well things went – no sore throat and all – Roger introduced Nigel to the man in the next bed. John told Nigel what had happened to him and accepted Nigel’s offer to pray for his healing, too. Are you ready for what happened?
At nine o’clock the next morning Roger called to ask me to come directly to the hospital after my Bible study class. Both he and John, the man in the next bed, were being released that very morning. This was a miracle! I wept for joy and couldn’t wait to see them. When I went to Bible study the opening hymn began with “We are standing on Holy Ground,” and I sang through my tears.
Roger began taking walks within the first week he was home and we thanked God with each step. As we walked we were finally able to verbalize the fears God had suppressed prior to surgery. If anything had gone wrong there was a possibility that he might never walk again, which meant he could never play the organ again, or at least never use the pedals. But God gave us peace and new opportunities not only to witness to His healing power but for Roger to use his gift of music to bring glory to God.
As for John, he and Roger kept in touch by phone for weeks to track each other’s recovery. To round out his story we discovered he had left a message at his church for someone to bring him communion the following Sunday, but the message was lost. If you recall, he was to have been in the hospital five days. But on the fifth day, he had already been home for four. It was Sunday and his healing was so rapid that he was able to walk to church, the very day he should have been discharged! We have lost touch with John, but we will never forget “the man in the next bed.”
Often the Bible tells how lives were changed by an encounter with Jesus and his healing touch, and our story is no different. It’s been 17 years since Jesus entered our married life in a personal way and we have witnessed God’s healing many times in our family and in the lives of so many of the special friends we have made over the years.
We have all been called to spread the good news about how much God loves us and we have found there is no better way to tell people than through the “God stories” of our lives. More than ever I am convinced this is the easiest way to evangelize. So many of us shy away from that “e” word, but after hearing one of my stories, a woman exclaimed, “I wish I had your faith.” What an open door! That’s all evangelizing is – sharing our faith – and if a story prompts a comment like that, what else can we do but explain how to have faith.
Faith is a gift. If a person has previously made the choice not to believe, they can equally make the choice to believe by simply reaching out and accepting the free gift of faith. Once they start behaving as if they believe, God will handle any doubts they may have, especially through a nurturing friend – perhaps one like you by their side.
This is why we must share these experiences. Don’t underestimate the ripple effect of your faith stories. Stories of healing, whether of body, mind or spirit, will help people understand the truth that God is alive and well and wants us to be well – to be at peace wherever we are, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. Living a life of gratitude and praise “in all things” will draw others to us. And when they ask how you have been able to cope with the many surprises you have had in of life, don’t be shy about telling your stories.
Be bold in sharing not only what you believe but why you believe the way you do. Then be prepared to listen to their story, even if it reveals their unbelief. Pray for God to open their eyes so that they might receive the ultimate healing: the healing of their relationship with God through Christ.
Never forget your stories and remember that, through the Holy Spirit, God will help you do even greater things than you ever thought possible, and all to His glory.
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

A Commando Raid by Four Friends

A Commando Raid by Four Friends
A story based on Mark 2:1-12 by The Rev. Nigel Mumford.
(Circa 32 AD in Capernaum …The Holy Land)
Five friends were hanging out when one had a bright idea of how they might help their friend who was paralyzed.
“Hey, I heard Jesus is in town . . . let’s take our buddy to the Master, so he might walk again!”
“OK!” came the unanimous and quick reply.
The four picked up the mat, upon which their lame friend laid, and carried it to the house where “The Man” was said to be. As they neared the house, the crowd in front was so dense they couldn’t get near the entrance.
One of the four hatched a plan that the others embraced without hesitation. The four, whose names are unknown to this very day, boldly executed the plan. They picked up their buddy on his mat and carefully scaled the back wall of the house until they reached a staircase that led to the roof.
This was perhaps, the first recorded Commando raid!
Once safely ensconced on the roof, they chose the best place to begin digging through the packed earthen roof … unintentionally showering the VIP religious guests below. As pebbles pelted covered heads, those listening below were not pleased. Jesus was teaching and they didn’t appreciate this disruption.
One by one those below looked up, until eventually all saw daylight streaming through the large hole overhead. To their shock and amazement, they watched as a man, bound to his mat, was carefully lowered until he rested at the feet of the Master Himself.
Can’t you see Jesus smiling, broadly, while this was going on? He knew… He just knew…
Now here is my take away from this historic moment, I can see and hear:
“By your faith,” Jesus said while looking up at the shadowy outlines of the four friends above, who had executed this potentially felonious act … and continued speaking as He turned His eyes upon the man on the mat before Him, “you have been healed. Pick up your mat and go home.”
And the man did just that.
The amazed witnesses marveled aloud, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”
Dear people, you have choices, if you are sick: You can pray. You can contact the doctor or call an ambulance. You can get your friends to pray for you and carry you by their prayers to the Lord … much as these four unnamed chaps did. (These days you’ll need more than a shovel and the police will likely be waiting below to greet you!)
I don’t know about you, but I want friends like these four fellows in my life.
Wait, what am I saying? I have friends like these in my life! Yes, indeed!
Just 3 years ago, I was paralyzed and comatose for three weeks. Thousands of friends, many yet unnamed or unknown to me, lowered me “thorough the roof” on the “stretchers” of their prayers!
From October 23-25th, 2009, on the brink of death from sepsis, while my liver and kidneys were shutting down, and my lungs filled with water as my body temperature rose, dangerously; the prayers of my unnamed “friends” in Christ, deposited me directly before the One Who is able to heal.
As Jesus Christ answered their prayers, He turned His eyes toward me and rescued me from death’s grip. He overcame the predictions and assertions of my medical providers, that I was dying; and He boldly restored me to this life.
The corporate prayers of thousands saved my life!
I am left with two simple words, which I say several times a day … “Thank You!” I thank God for all my “friends” who prayed that I would live!
So let’s agree to spend our lives living like those four unnamed friends … let’s live as true friend and readily pray for one another. If you are sick, do ask your friends to pray. I am a true believer in corporate prayer!
Dear people, I am alive because of corporate prayer. Thanks be to God!
Alive today because of His Promises,
Fr. Nigel Mumford+

New York Times. April 12th 1998

A Devotion to Healing Through Prayer
Published: April 12, 1998
IT was a picture perfect life, all right, for Nigel W. D. Mumford, a transplanted Englishman: a thriving picture-framing business in Wilton, president of the Wilton Rotary Club, a comfortable home he shared with his wife, in Newtown, Ct.; a dog, a boat and, in his words, ”plenty of other toys.”
Spiritual concerns, he recalls, were ”far down on the list,” even though his father is a clergyman. In fact, before emigrating to America in 1980 (because he found the United States ”fresh, open and clean”) he was Corporal Mumford, a drill instructor in Her Majesty’s Royal Marine Commandos who, he said, ”taught men to kill or be killed.” He made grown men cry on the drill field.
Now, as a minister of healing in New Milford, Mr. Mumford has come to realize how much it takes to deal with people’s suffering. ”Now I am often the one to cry,” he says, ”when I listen to the torments they endure.”
Mr. Mumford’s new life in the healing ministry of the Episcopal Church began after two incidents in 1990. The first was being summoned to the bedside of his gravely ill sister in a London hospital; there, he says he witnessed how an Anglican clergyman, through prayer, enabled her to overcome a devastating neurological disease — and to walk again.
The second incident took place shortly afterward in Wilton, when a customer entered his shop complaining of a severe headache. ”My hands went to the top of her head and I said a little prayer,” he recalls. Startled, the woman broke into a broad smile. ”The pain is gone! What on earth did you do?” she exclaimed.
But nobody was more surprised than Mr. Mumford himself. ”It was as if some spiritual force had drawn my hands out to her — it was mysterious,” he relates. ”When word got around, I couldn’t tell whether people were coming into the shop for picture framing or prayer. When I prayed, many would tell me their suffering had been alleviated.”
Only after several years did it dawn on Mr. Mumford that ”God was telling me what to do with the rest of my life.” Following a divorce (there were no children), he chucked his house, his business and ”all those toys,” and two years ago entered a semi-monastic life, as he puts it. He became director of the Oratory of the Little Way in Gaylordsville, a part of New Milford, operating under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. The Oratory is one of only three such residential prayer retreats in the United States.
Before his appointment, the former commando, who is 44, was given psychological testing by the Episcopal Church to make sure ”I wasn’t some kind of a crackpot.” He says there are still many doubters among mainline Protestant churches as to the healing effects of prayer. Then too, ”a lot of so-called faith healers give us a bad name — I mean the charlatans,” he said. ”Here at the Oratory we avoid the term faith healing.”
A tree-shaded, four-acre oasis off Route 7, the Oratory offers ”those ill or injured in mind, body or spirit a place to find prayer, peace and welcome,” according to Mr. Mumford, who is a lay minister of the Episcopal Church. ”All who come here are reminded that I don’t heal — God does. I am only a conduit.”
Prayer, he asserts, has a significant role in dealing with emotional distress ”and recent scientific research shows irrefutably that emotions can directly affect a person’s immune system, blood pressure and, ultimately, even longevity.” Mr. Mumford has just begun a series of monthly prayer services for patients and others in need at the New Milford Hospital.
During this Easter season, he said, ”healing is very much on our minds because in the message of resurrection we have the ultimate healing.”
Two recent visitors to the Oratory (they are called supplicants) recount healing experiences through prayer. One of them, Michael, of Stamford (he withheld his full name), has put prostate cancer behind. ”Fifty percent of my treatment was medical, of course,” he says, ”but the other half of my recovery was getting rid of anger over my family and a divorce — which probably contributed to the cancer.”
Kathleen King, 33, of Norwalk, said at first she hesitated to seek help at the Oratory. ”But in that atmosphere of prayer and love,” she recounts, ”I was able to finally forgive somebody who hurt me badly many years ago.”
Most supplicants seek spiritual, not physical healing. ”But even those with physical sickness,” Mr. Mumford goes on, ”also have underlying emotional or spiritual problems, usually anger or stress, that must be dealt with first. We call this healing of the memories.”
At a recent prayer service at the nearby Gaylordsville United Methodist Church — there is no longer enough space at the Oratory — Mr. Mumford placed his hands on the head of a woman suffering from cancer and prayed for the pain and cancer cells to leave her. Others at the service sought divine intercession for such afflictions as arthritis, substance abuse, severe depression and the loss of a job.
The Rev. Christopher Seitz, professor of Old Testament at Yale University Divinity School, who helped Mr. Mumford officiate at the service, says, ”Prayer puts people in any type of distress into the hands of God and helps allow them to accept His will.”
Dr. Joan Campbell, general secretary of the National Council of Churches based in New York, says, ”I think there is greater recognition today of the influence of the mental and spiritual on the physical.”
Those who seek help at the Oratory, according to Mr. Mumford, must not lose sight of the difference between being healed and cured. ”Not everybody is cured,” he says, ”but all supplicants are healed in some way through prayer.” He adds: ”In the case of the gravely ill, we have to pray for coming to terms with God’s will.”
The Oratory operates on a nondenominational basis; people of any faith are welcome. In the two years since Mr. Mumford became director, the average weekly attendance has grown from a handful to as many as 60 people. Supplicants may attend the weekly Tuesday prayer service, visit for an hour of one-on-one prayer and spiritual dialogue or remain in residence for up to five days. There are also rigorously conducted, silent retreats during which not a single word is uttered by guests or staff, not even to say goodbye.
The only fees charged are $25 for a day of retreat and $65 for an overnight stay, although donations are welcome. The eight guest rooms are spartan: spare furniture, no television, no telephone. Simple meals are served in communal style.
Before Mr. Mumford will pray for those with emotional problems, he asks them to consult a therapist or doctor to ascertain if the Oratory is appropriate for them. ”We work symbiotically with doctors and therapists,” he says. ”We add a spiritual dimension to clinical treatment.”
The Oratory is far from a somber place. ”There is joy and laughter here and camaraderie,” says one supplicant, passing along a platter of sandwiches at a recent lunch. The ex-Marine chimes in, ”I can’t cook to save my life and yet we run a Christian bed and breakfast here!”
A stay at the Oratory can be as full or as empty as a visitor wishes. Supplicants can engage in spiritual reading and conversation or ”just empty their minds,” Mr. Mumford explains.
Mr. Mumford says he never loses his sense of awe when supplicants report miraculous cures or healing. ”I always say to myself, ‘Wow — this is amazing,’ and I give thanks to God.” He is sometimes confronted by skeptics who ask what percentage of people are healed, ”And I usually respond: ‘God acts in wonderful but mysterious ways. If there is another outcome than the one we prayed for, we must accept this.’ And someone who is healed may not come back to tell me — or healing may take a long time.”
One who has come back to tell is Alberta Peterson, 44, of Brookfield. In a recent interview, she recounted her experience this way: ”I fractured my wrist and finger in seven places last year. That’s what the X-ray showed. Three days later Nigel Mumford prayed for me at the Oratory. My hand felt cured and the very next day I went back to the doctor. He took another X-ray and he was amazed — he couldn’t find any breaks. He took five more X-rays. Still nothing. So he took the cast off!”
At the first regular healing service at the New Milford Hospital in February, Mr. Mumford prayed for Mary Ellen Lanigan, 54, of New Milford, a multiple sclerosis victim who was confined to a wheelchair. Her condition, she asserts, had already improved through prayer of friends, family and clergy. Within a week of the healing service, she says, she was able to walk with a cane. ”I thank Nigel. Jesus used him to heal me,” she says.
The Right Rev. Andrew D. Smith, bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, says, ”Without question, something significant is happening through Nigel Mumford’s presence and ministry that imparts the healing grace of God.”
The National Council’s Dr. Campbell takes the view that there may be a scientific explanation for what appears to be a miracle. ”Or the curative effect may simply be explained in terms of achieving peace of mind and soul,” she says.
The Rev. J. Richard Fowler, interim pastor of the New Preston Congregational Church, while accepting that miracle cures can occur, says he is dubious about those who ”credit the person who prays, instead of God, for the healing.”
The Rev. Carl Franson, pastor of the United Methodist Church of Sharon, who admits to having had doubts about the Oratory’s mission, came away impressed with the ”lack of hype and the spiritual uplift.”
According to the Rev. Stephen J. Sidorak Jr., executive director of the Christian Conference of Connecticut, a Hartford-based group representing 14 denominations, including the Catholic Church, ”there has been a reawakening by mainline Protestant churches to God’s power to heal the sick, particularly in the context of the AIDS crisis. We encourage prayer services for AIDS victims.”
Mr. Mumford, his voice dropping, says, ”I know as well as anyone that prayer can seem to go unanswered,” adding: ”Through prayer my sister was cured. But her little girl, my niece, has had a malignant brain tumor. But we never give up our faith in prayer.”
In his daily prayers for Oratory supplicants Mr. Mumford admits to occasional ”compassion fatigue” — particularly in cases of the terminally ill or sick children. At these times, he himself seeks healing prayer from others. ”I am only human, too,” he points out.