A Healing Testimony
“…Your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” [Mark 5:34]
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.” [Matt 10:5]
This is the testimony of Fred Dent, a brother in Christ; a bondservant of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.
I suffered from progressively worse hearing loss in my left ear for several years. By 2012 after several years of treatment and remedies prescribed by medical professionals (family doctor, audiologists, allergists, otolaryngologists) and spending several thousand dollars on those therapies my hearing continued to worsen while my tinnitus grew louder and louder. At that time I had about 70% hearing loss on my left side.
The medical community told me that my condition was irreversible caused by damage from loud noises in the military and from severe acid reflux disease. Stomach acids had burned my esophagus in the back of my throat so badly that the Eustachian tube connected to my left ear had scarred over completely so that my left ear could not equalize pressure which caused the eardrum to collapse (sort of sucked in). My otolaryngologist was convinced that the hammer and anvil bones in my ear had fused because they were crushed together by my eardrum and had not moved in several years so they could no longer transmit sound vibrations to my inner ear even if they could equalize the pressure behind my ear drum with a shunt tube. My right ear Eustachian tube was also compromised but not as severely. My audiologist told me that most of what I was hearing in my left ear was coming through my skull so a hearing aid would not help.
Further examinations revealed that the one-way valve at the top of my stomach that holds food in during digestion especially at night while laying down was burned away from the acids released due to acid reflux disease. I was put on a lifetime regime of acid control medication to control my acid reflux disease.
My audiologist told me that my inner ears worked fine with minimal loss (much less than he would expect from someone in their sixties). That explained why my voice and chewing noises sounded so loud to me yet I couldn’t hear external sounds. I was living in a sound proof bubble. That in turn caused me to talk more and more softly as my condition progressed. Quality of life began to deteriorate because I couldn’t hear or judge the loudness of my voice.
I am a trained, classical singer with a degree in vocal performance and have worked as a professional singer most of my life mostly in Christian ministry performing major, religious, choral works in many local churches and major performing arts venues including Carnegie Hall in New York. I had to stop performing because I could no longer judge how loud I was singing nor hear pitches properly.
Over the next several years my hearing loss grew worse in both ears. I estimate that I had about an 85% loss in my left ear and about 40% loss in my right ear. I sat in the front row of church and still had difficulty hearing. Concerts and movies were out of the question. I was still taking my daily acid reflux medication and allergy medications when necessary.
By now I had given up on modern medicine and resolved that this was a permanent loss, however, I remembered what my audiologist had said about my inner ears being fine and that stirred hope in me. I was taught growing up that Jesus was always there for us when we turned to him so I prayed for God to restore my hearing at least enough so that I could sing again even if just for my own enjoyment and to praise Him.
In the meantime, God lead me to a Christian community near Spokane. During the next three years the Holy Spirit lead me on a spiritual journey. First he opened my heart to realize that I had been putting my faith in the medical professions, not Him. I went to modern medicine first, then to Him. I should have gone to Him first and then let the Holy Spirit lead me to where I needed to go for healing. It was my will (faith in doctors), not the Holy Spirit (faith in God’s promises) that lead me to doctors. I was relying on man, not on my Father. I realized that I needed to put my faith and trust in Him and changed my prayers. I asked God to reveal His will to me and lead me to His solution and set my heart to be content with His solution.
I concentrated on enhancing my prayer and spiritual life in Him. I prayed for wisdom, understanding, spiritual healing and for my hearing. I established a routine of studying His word, prayer, fellowshipping at the various Christian meetings and ministering to my brothers.
After several months the Holy Spirit showed me that all the healings in the Bible involved two people – the afflicted and an intercessor! Here I was spending all my time alone praying for healing, too proud to ask for help. What a revelation that was for me. We need the body of believers for everything, even in our prayer life. The song I had performed hundreds of times before, “No Man Is An Island” by Peter Schikele made famous by Joan Baez in the late 1960’s, rang trough my head like a choir of angels with entirely new meaning. I lived most of my life believing that I need to be the one standing solid in my faith and reaching out because my brothers need me. What a revelation that God wants to reach into me through the body as well! God wants me (all of us) to not just help others but also be humble enough to ask for help (prayer) when we need it.
God was teaching me that that I can’t do all things by myself and that I need to humble myself sometimes and ask for help. You see, I was allowing pride to come between me and the body of Christ. Pride was preventing me from asking for prayer help. I had this notion that asking for prayer was somehow admitting that I didn’t have a strong enough relationship with the Father or would show weakness in my faith. Just the opposite is true. I had preached that message hundreds of times performing “No Man Is An Island” but never heard the message myself!
The first lesson the Holy Spirit showed me was the story of Elijah restoring life to the widow’s son [1 Kings 17:17-24]. The son was afflicted; Elijah was the intercessor. This story reminded me about the story when Jesus brought Lazarus back to life [John 11;1-44]. In this story Lazarus was the afflicted, Jesus was the intercessor. There are many stories of Jesus healing the afflicted (the blind man, the leper, that paralytic, the lame man, etc.). In all these stories Jesus was the intercessor for each of the afflicted.
Later in Acts Peter, with John at his side, healed the man who had been lame since birth [Acts 3:1-10]. Then later in Acts Aenus who had been paralyzed for eight years was healed when Peter prayed for his healing in the name of Jesus Christ [Acts 9:32-35]. These are two examples of the apostles acting as intercessors to heal the afflicted just like Jesus had done.
The Holy Spirit lead me through a study of healings in the Bible. Over and over again He showed me that it was not just the afflicted praying for healing by themselves. The afflicted asked for healing and an intercessor prayed for them. The Holy Spirit convicted me to ask a brother in Christ to pray with me to ask for my hearing to be healed. He also charged me to witness my journey and healing to the body to give glory to our Father in heaven. My new prayer was for the Holy Spirit to lead me to the right person to ask for healing prayer.
The Holy Spirit lead me to one of the church volunteers that came into the prison to lead Saturday morning worship who often witnessed about healings to us. The following Saturday after our worship service I asked this man to pray for me for my hearing. It was a powerful few minutes. We both felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and His healing heat in and around my head. I walked away blessed and refreshed but couldn’t hear any better. I desperately wanted to hear again and be able to testify about being healed but the Holy Spirit had more work to do on me.
I walked around for the next few weeks snapping my fingers near my ears to see if I could detect any improvement. Each Saturday my intercessor asked how my hearing was doing. I tried to find even a slight glimmer of improvement to report to him but could not. Off I’d go for another week of snapping my fingers.
Three or four weeks later I asked my intercessor to pray for me again. Again we felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and the healing warmth. Still no improvement but I kept praying in my daily prayers (and snapping!).
After our second prayer session I noticed that the eczema on my legs that had plagued me for nearly thirty years had vanished! Two patches of dry, discolored skin on my right hand that I was worried might be melanoma also vanished as did serious brown liver spots all over my hands! The joints in my fingers were not as stiff and I could make fists again. This alone improved the quality of my snapping so I could hear the snaps better! I generally felt better all over than I had in many years but still, no significant improvement in my hearing.
I continued praying for my hearing to be restored. Then one day the Holy Spirit lead me to read Mark 5;21-43 again about Jarius’s daughter that needed healing. When Jesus was traveling to see Jarius’s daughter he passed by “…a woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years … she came up behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, ‘If I just touch His garment, I will get well.’ Immediately the flow of her blood dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.” Then Jesus said to her “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” Again Jesus was the intercessor which I had read here before but this time the story had new meaning.
The Holy Spirit opened my eyes and my heart to the essence of these stories about healing. I had been waiting for the manifestation of my healing to confirm my faith snapping away all day long. I had it backwards! While I proclaimed to have faith I hadn’t stepped out in faith to claim the victory and God’s healing. Where the woman along the road had faith and accepted her healing before she touched Jesus’s garment, I was waiting for God to show me. Snap. Snap.
That day I changed my prayer and began thanking God for His faithful promises, His gift of healing and thanked Him for restoring my hearing. I thanked Him for expressing His will in my life and stopped snapping my fingers.
Two days later, on a Wednesday, I woke up startled by all the racket in my room! The ventilator grill was rattling, my roommate was snoring lightly, there were voices in the hall, the wind was rustling against the window. Suddenly I realized these were things I hadn’t heard in years! I could hear perfectly! Praise the Lord! That whole day I walked around hearing things that I didn’t even know made noise. I was walking across the courtyard on the cement pavement by myself and heard a clicking sound. I stopped and the clicking stopped. I started walking and the clicking started again. I looked around but there was no one. I stopped again and the clicking again stopped. I walked again and looked down and noticed that sound I was hearing was from the little plastic ends of my shoelaces tapping against my shoes with each step!
I couldn’t wait to share my testimony on Saturday but the man who had been my intercessor wasn’t there so I waited until the following week.
I testified that following week and shared my spiritual journey. The brothers joined me praising God and giving Him the glory. During the next few weeks some of the brothers came up from behind me and very quietly said something to me to test my hearing. Even the Chaplain tested me a couple times. When I turned around the brothers asked about spiritual healing. God blessed me again every time I shared my story.
Two weeks later my intercessor asked if I wanted prayer for my acid reflux disease. I hadn’t thought about it nor had the Holy Spirit put it on my heart. I had been taking my medications so I really didn’t know if it was still a problem so I told him I’d think about it. I stopped my medications and told my intercessor the following Saturday that my acid reflux disease had apparently been cured as well. Praise our Lord, I have not had a recurrence since.
Our God is a mighty God, a loving God, a healing God and a generous God. I asked Him to heal my hearing. God responded by healing my eczema, my acid reflux, cleared up two patches of potential melanoma, cured my acid reflux, repaired the damage in my throat and restored my hearing! All the while He lead me on a spiritual journey to reveal Himself more fully to me and to strengthen my faith. Praise God for His enduring promises, grace and everlasting love. All glory be to Him.
“They were utterly astonished, saying ‘He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” [Mark 7:37]
The name of my intercessor has purposely been omitted so the glory clearly goes to God for His blessings on me. However, I want to thank him for his ministry and his prayers with and for me. His faith, witness and teachings are a blessing to me and our fellowship.
Post Script August 2016
A year later I’m home again and my hearing continues to improve. Lately I’ve noticed that I’m comfortable watching TV with the volume set at around 20 or 25% (used to have it set at 70% plus and still had trouble hearing) and my phone volume no longer needs to be set at 100% and I can sit wherever I want in church and hear just fine! My skin is still relatively clear, no acid reflux disease problems and no heartburn even after eating a spicy pizza. The enemy occasionally sniffs around like when my allergies flared up and my ears plugged up a little but praise the Lord, it was just congestion like anyone else gets from time to time. Last February I flew on Delta Airlines and had absolutely no ear problems! The Holy Spirit continues to lead me and God’s blessings follow.
2018 - I'm in my 69th year now and am still blessed with healed hearing, no acid reflux, relatively clear skin and much more work to do in my Lord's Kindom.
My intercessor remains my Christian friend.
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Scriptures taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.