The Person of the Holy Spirit
Pastor Bill Prankard has walked in a supernatural healing ministry for more than 30 years. Bill believes that God will use any who make themselves available, and who begin to know the Holy Spirit as a person, not just a doctrine.
Sid Roth interviewed Bill in February 2005 for the Messianic Vision radio program. This is the second part of a two-part article about his ministry. It describes how he encountered the Holy Spirit. Although quote marks are used, the words are summarized and condensed from the original interview.
“My experience with supernatural healing began after I attended a Katherine Kuhlman meeting over 33 years ago the point at which my life changed forever. Before that meeting, I was a minister in a small Pentecostal church. I spoke in tongues, I studied the Bible, and I thought that I had all there was. However, even though I taught about healing, I would pray for the sick and they were not healed. I was one of those who had the form of Godliness but not its power.
“Friends had told me that Katherine Kuhlman was speaking in Pittsburgh and urged me to attend. I agreed to go, although inwardly, I was somewhat skeptical. Miracles were not part of my routine experience, even though I thought I believed in such things. With this doubting attitude, I traveled to the meeting with a large group of Canadians, taking a twelve-hour charter bus ride from Ottawa to Pittsburgh.
“My skeptical attitude worsened when I found that we would have to stand in line for several hours in order to get a seat. It grew still worse as the meeting started. However, as I sat there in the meeting, determined to be a critic, a strange feeling began to come over me. I became profoundly overwhelmed by God’s presence. I began to perceive God’s glory, and the Holy Spirit came to me. I literally felt His finger in my chest saying ‘Yes – this is my power.’ Never before had I been overcome like this.
“I came face to face with the Holy Spirit. He spoke to me and said, ‘Yes, this is my power and before, you have never seen it. You have had a form of Godliness and you have denied my power.’ I began to weep convulsively. I had thought that I had it all; I was realizing that really, I’d had so little. I had been denying the both the person and the power of the Holy Spirit.
“I wept because I realized that I did not know Him. I had sought after His power, but I had never realized that He was a person. I was looking for His gifts, not realizing that He was a person. It was as if previously, I had been introduced to the Holy Spirit, and I had said thank you, but I had never gone on.
“Paul and the disciples had taken years to go out into the desert to learn about Him. To me, the Holy Spirit had been a doctrine that I believed with all my heart, but I did not know Him. I made a decision not to seek healing ministry any more, not to seek His power or His gifts. I said, ‘all I want is to know You.’
“You know, I think that the biggest difference between the New Testament Church we read about in the book of Acts, and the church of today is that early church treated the Holy Spirit like a person – just as they would have treated Jesus. Our church has reduced Him to a doctrine a doctrine that says He is a person. But, He is a wonderful person and as we get to know Him, the supernatural unfolds quite naturally in our lives.
“After the encounter with the Holy Spirit, my heart was changed to a complete degree. I left that service after having seen many miracles and having this life changing experience. I got on the bus for the long ride back to Canada, and found that no one else on the bus had been healed, even though an abundance of healing miracles had occurred in the meeting. I was exhausted when I got on the bus and I when I leaned back in my seat, I immediately went to sleep.”
Shortly after falling asleep, Bill was awakened by one of the other passengers. Something amazing was happening. “A lady was singing in tongues a Catholic lady who had never done such a thing before. As the lady sang softly in tongues, it was as if a cloud of God’s glory came into the bus, creating an atmosphere similar to Katherine’s meeting in the bus.
I went and stood beside the lady, awed by the atmosphere that had come into the bus.
“Next, God spoke to me audibly and said someone was being healed. It was an audible word just as real as if I were hearing from a person. I was debating whether to speak this Word to the others, when first one passenger, and then others reported they were healed. One by one they stood up to tell the others what had happened to them. Then we heard a scream from the mother of a 4-year-old crippled girl. This little Greek Orthodox girl had never walked in her life, and here she was – completely healed and running down the aisle. The bus driver was so amazed by what was happening in the bus that he could hardly drive. From that time on, miracles seemed to occur abundantly at my meetings.”
God chose Bill for this ministry, but Bill does not believe that he was anything special. He believes any of us could walk in the same anointing that he does. He said, “God loves to use ordinary people. I had no special gifts or abilities. But, when you say ‘yes’ to whatever God is speaking to you about, then He will give you the anointing and the equipping to do it. People will know that it is not you, it is God.”