Power in the Word of God
For the Word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword’ Hebrews 4:12
The Lord has given us a great gift in the testimony of Dale and Pearl Raatz. Their story is one of victory over a medically hopeless situation through skillfully applying the Word of God. Dale said, “God raised my wife up from a brain-dead condition, and has proven to me that He will perform His Word for any of us, in any situation that we face in life. However, we must position ourselves to receive from Him. My heart is to let you know that this is not just for selected people. You can also learn how to bring God’s power into your situation.”
Dale and Pearl have told their story in a book about the power of God’s Word, called The God of Now. Their story begins in 1997 on a cold February evening. Dale and Pearl had just arrived at a church music program in Iron Mountain, Michigan. As they were taking off their coats, Pearl fell over, crying, “My head! My head feels like it’s exploding!” After crying out, she experienced convulsions, and then fell into a deep coma.
Dale describes what happened next: “While we waited for an ambulance, the other pastors and I laid hands on Pearl and prayed. My natural mind was numb from the shock of what was happening, but from deep within, I heard the words of Psalm 118:17, ‘You shall live and not die, and declare the works of the Lord.’ I began to speak these words over my unconscious wife. I said them repeatedly, and by the time the ambulance came, I had an inner sense that I would see them come true. Pearl would live and not die, by the authority of the Word of God. This inner conviction became like a rock of truth that sustained me through many battles of faith until Pearl was completely healed.
Power in Praise
“A friend went to the hospital with me, and while the doctors worked over Pearl, we waited in a nearby room. I was in the worst storm of my life, and I did the only thing that I knew to do. I lifted my hands and began worshipping God, thanking Him for His Word. As I worshipped, comfort came to me. My sense of shock and numbness gave way, and the rich deposit of God’s Word came flowing out of my heart like a river of living water. I began confessing some of the many promises for healing that the scripture teaches, inserting Pearl’s name in each one.
‘Jesus, Himself, bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. By His stripes Pearl was healed.’ 1 Peter 2:24.
‘That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying Jesus, Himself, took Pearl’s infirmities and bore her sicknesses.’ Matthew 8:17.
‘I call those things that be not, as though they were.’ Romans 4:17.
‘I have the faith of God, and I speak to this mountain of physical destruction, commanding it, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea. Mark 11:23.
‘God has highly exalted Jesus and given Him a Name above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee must bow. Every disease, every infirmity, every problem has to submit itself to the Name of Jesus. And every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God.’ Phil 2:9-11.
Hoping Against Hope
“All through that night of waiting, I confessed these and other scriptures. When I grew tired, my friend took over the job of speaking God’s Word over Pearl’s situation. When the doctors came out, they said, ‘Your wife has had a massive stroke, and most likely will be dead within hours. If she does live, she will never regain consciousness, and will be totally paralyzed from the neck down.’
‘No! She will not die!’ The words rang in my heart. ‘By the Word of God, she will live and make a full recovery.’ I told that to myself over and over. I have learned that fear brings the devil into situations, and that even a little bit of fear is a faith killer. It is faith that gets God’s attention and brings His power into our needs. I resolved to stay in a faith position and to not be moved by fear.”
The next day, the doctors moved Pearl to a larger hospital in Green Bay with more facilities for stroke patients. However, the new doctors gave Dale the same hopeless medical evaluation. One of them told him, “Our tests show that Pearl has suffered a catastrophic stoke and large parts of her brain are totally destroyed. She will probably never come out of her coma, and even if she does, she will never recognize or remember you. I am sorry to have to tell you this, but there is no hope.”
Dale said, “Maybe from a human perspective there is no hope, but where there is God, there is hope! He is the God of Abraham ‘who against hope, believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations.’ (Rom 4:18)”. So, just as Abraham considered not his own body, now dead, I resolved to not consider Pearl’s nearly lifeless body, but to meditate instead on the promises of God, and to continually speak them over my wife.
“Because the situation seemed so discouraging, the doctors delayed doing surgery that would relieve pressure on Pearl’s brain. I felt that they were expecting her to die no matter what they did, so it was a minor triumph when they finally agreed to operate. I had strongly wished they would operate sooner, but the Bible says that faith works by love (Gal 5:6). For this reason, I knew that I could not get into strife with any of the medical people. Even when I was at odds with the medical people, I always tried to deal with them in love and kindness, and this brought about many small miracles.
“For example, I felt that it was important that Pearl be bathed constantly in anointed music and the scriptures, so I wanted to bring in a tape recorder to play them 24 hours a day. The nurses told me that this was absolutely against the rules. But because my loving approach had brought me so much favor with the medical staff, they eventually bent those rules and allowed me to bring in a tape recorder. Soft worship music and reading of the Word filled Pearl’s room 24 hours a day. I knew her spirit could hear and gain strength, even though she remained in a coma.”
God’s Battle Plan
Dale knew that getting Pearl back from this seemingly hopeless state was going to be a long fight. He said, “Through the past years, we had seen enough miracles come about through speaking God’s Word, that I really trusted it. However, I needed more. I needed to hear God’s plan for this situation. He is the Commander in Chief, and I needed to know how He wanted me to fight this battle.
“By praying and meditating on the Word every day, I had long ago learned to discern His voice. I was continually listening for His guidance. One day, as I was reading Second Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, I heard the voice of the Lord asking me what those words meant to me. The question really made me think, ‘Lord, what are You trying to tell me?’ I began to realize that this passage was not limited to the spiritual side of things, but that Pearl was also a new creature physically in Christ. Therefore, she could have a new brain!”
Dale began to call this new brain into being. He persistently spoke to Pearl, as she lay in her coma, saying “You are a new creature in Christ and you have a new brain.” The Lord also showed Dale that the name of Jesus was higher than any other name, and that every knee must bow to that name (Phil 2:9). He began to speak directly to the name ‘stroke’ and demand that it bow to the name of Jesus. He describes the remarkable story of this battle in his book, The God of Now.
Dale stayed in the hospital with Pearl, night and day for several weeks, continuously fighting on her behalf. During this time, he prayed for some other “hopeless” cases in the hospital and saw creative miracles that saved lives and brought the reality of God to those patients and their families. He was in another patient’s room, praying for that person’s healing on the day when Pearl finally opened her eyes, recognized her family and began to speak. He said, “When my children came to tell me Pearl had opened her eyes, I was overjoyed, but I was not surprised. The Word of God is a seed that will always bring forth a harvest if we follow the guidelines laid out in Mark 11:24.”
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore, I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
The Word worked for Pearl. Pearl mended quickly, and today she is completely well. She is vibrant and alive, and ministers healing to others along with Dale.
Pearl is among us today because Dale knew how to apply the Word of God. From the first moment of the stroke, Dale resolved to believe that God’s Word was true, no matter what medical facts were presented to him. He did not refuse medical care, but cooperated lovingly with it. He spoke the promises of God continuously, and let no doubt or unbelief come out of his mouth. He praised and worshipped God in the midst of the storm, and heard God’s battle plan while he was reading the Word. For those who feel that they have to choose between trusting God’s Word and accepting medical care, Dale advises, “If something is good and helpful, it is wrong to turn it away. God has given us medicine; we must use it in faith, always understanding that God is the one who heals.”
Dale got quite a harvest from his seeds of faith, and we can learn much from him. Click here to hear Sid’s radio interview with Dale and Pearl.