Nigerian Pastor TB Joshua has offered ‘virtual prayer’ for healing for those afflicted with COVID-19 in an Isolation Centre in Honduras, Central America.
By Gareth Watson*
A video posted to Emmanuel TV’s YouTube Channel showed the prominent cleric praying for bedridden patients hooked up to oxygen tanks and surrounded by hospital staff heavily laden with protective gear.
“Where can we go from God’s presence? Distance is not a barrier because He is Spirit,”Joshua declared in front of several huge screens relaying in real-time the footage from the several wards within the Honduran Isolation Centre.
“By the power of the Holy Spirit – that affliction, that COVID-19 – be flushed out,” he prayed stretching forth his hands towards the dozens of patients on the multiple screens at the Emmanuel TV Studios in Lagos, Nigeria, in a program tagged ‘Interactive Prayer Session’.
During the prayer – which was translated simultaneously into Spanish – several patients began to involuntarily ‘vomit’ whilst others rose to their feet from their hospital beds, waved their hands joyously and removed the oxygen apparatus fixed to their nose as a sign of “supernatural healing”.
“Jesus that has freed you will help you to maintain your miracle. Make the Word of God the standard for your life,” Joshua counselled after declaring dozens of COVID-19 patients “free”.
“I sensed the healing and delivering power of God,” explained Aracely, one of the Honduran patients, after the prayer. “I felt my lungs fill up with air… I’m no longer using the oxygen mask,” she testified.
“I couldn’t go to the toilet before but immediately after the prayer, I felt like rushing to the toilet,” another patient immediately acknowledged. “I passed out a lot of foul substance – that was the power of the prayer.”
“I saw a white light that illuminated me and asked me to remove my oxygen mask,” another lady stated. “I’m not choking any longer,” she excitedly stated, with others testifying their sense of smell and taste was restored and their strength revitalized following the prayer.
Afterwards, representatives of the medical staff at the hospital thanked Joshua for his prayers and support.
The video concluded by stressing that it was not intended to “discourage anyone from seeking medical treatment” as “good Christians are good citizens”.
“If you don’t believe in God with medicine, you cannot believe in God without medicine,”Joshua said.
Last month, the World Health Organisation reacted to a video in which a Cameroonian medical doctor was ‘healed’ of COVID-19 after receiving “interactive prayer” from Joshua’s ministry, acknowledging “spiritual leadership is very important in a time like this”.
Since starting its ‘Interactive Prayer Sessions’ – in which online prayer is offered via video calls – Joshua’s ministry has prayed for COVID-19 patients from around the world, prompting the cleric to recently declare his readiness to freely pray for those in Isolation Centers.
Joshua, who had been absent for seven weeks from Emmanuel TV’s broadcasts, earlier shared a sermon titled ‘Mistakes Are Correctable’.
“We wake up in the morning determined to get it right. Before we know it, we have missed the mark,” Joshua began, stressing that “making a mistake” was not the issue but “how we handle it matters.”
“For instance, the issue of COVID-19 is a mistake. However, how we are handling it has led us to where we are today,” he continued, citing the uncertainties and “twists and turns of life”.
“If you make a mistake, as we all do sometimes, don’t run from God; run to Him,” Joshua taught, adding that mistakes actually “make Christian life more interesting and more valuable” and serve as a means to “draw us closer to God”.
“We made the call – and all of us have made the bad call in some areas of our lives,” he acknowledged, parabolically describing that everyone has “feet of clay to some extent”.
Joshua concluded by calling on viewers to have a ‘genuine’ connection with God. “When we connect with Jesus genuinely by way of a personal relationship, He will walk you through everything you do,” he stressed, before proceeding to pray for viewers.
Joshua’s videos have been viewed over one billion times in various languages on YouTube, with his official English Channel reaching 1.7 million subscribers.
|*Gareth Watson is a freelance journalist covering Sub Saharan Africa. He is usually based in Cape Town, South Africa.|