I remember the first time I prayed for someone for healing on my own. I was seventeen-years-old and sat in a car with my new driving instructor. She turned to me and said, ‘Please be careful not to stall the car or break harshly,’ explaining that she suffered with sciatica. Any sudden movements would cause her back to go into spasms and leave her stuck in bed for weeks. I said, ‘Well, I go to a church where we often pray for people for healing, would you mind if I pray for you?’

She told me she wasn’t religious but was happy for me to pray for her. I laid my hand on her back and simply said, ‘In the name of Jesus, back pain leave now, amen.’ She turned to me and asked what I had done?! Her back had filled up with heat and all the pain had left! I was able to share with her that what Jesus had done for her back, He wanted to do for her whole life. I explained that Jesus loved her and had a plan for her life, and spent the next weeks learning how to drive whilst explaining the gospel. Talking about Jesus’ love, Church community, and answering lots of questions about faith!

An academic record

My driving instructor is just one story. Across Wales we are hearing reports of hundreds of people being healed following prayer. I attend a church that frequently sees people physically healed and so I decided to start a PhD to academically document what these churches were seeing. In just a couple of months, I collected over 600 stories of people living in Wales who said that they had been healed in the previous five years!

What is fascinating about my results is that people aren’t necessarily getting healed in church services, following three hours of worship and prayer from a travelling minister with the gift of healing. Instead, the stories detailed people getting healed in the supermarket, in a Costa Coffee shop, at a friend’s house or in the gym. More than that, it wasn’t always the pastor praying for people, but you and me, ‘average’ Christians. People reported being healed of all sorts of sickness, from life threatening diseases and cancers to back pain, tennis elbow, migraines and acne.

Lessons from church leaders

During my research I interviewed fourteen church leaders in Wales. It was fascinating to understand their theology of healing, that it is meant to be a driving tool for mission. Many of the leaders spoke about copying Jesus’ example of healing in the gospels. When Jesus healed people, it was a physical demonstration of His power. Today, Christians all over Wales are offering to pray for their friends, colleagues and neighbours, seeing them healed and using it as an opportunity to explain the gospel.

Over the years, Church leaders in Wales learnt about the theology of healing, often at New Wine Cymru events and training.[1] These leaders have then faithfully prioritised praying for healing as a key function of their church and a key part of their mission to their communities. By doing this for several years, they have created a culture of expecting healing miracles. That’s not to say every single person who gets prayed for is always healed. But there is a culture of healing in Wales which means that churches are frequently seeing the miraculous.

An everyday thing

The experience with my driving instructor opened my eyes to what living a supernatural life can be like. How we can be filled with the Spirit and then live that out practically. And in such an ordinary and everyday way! It showed me that offering to pray, and praying for people in that moment, opens hugely significant opportunities for a person to be open to God working in their lives. It showed me that praying for healing is an everyday thing. It’s not just a one-off special event or service, but something we are called to do as an ordinary part of our Christian life. It showed me that, healing is a way in which we can fully present the Good News. That it’s a demonstration of Jesus’ power. That it’s a proof He can change lives and is alive. It is a physical sign which reveals Him!

Normal Christians like you and me, praying for whoever comes their way throughout their day. Doesn’t that sound like Jesus? Like when He bumped into the ten lepers and they got healed? Or when the lady who was bleeding approached Him whilst he was walking? When He healed Peter’s mother-in-law in their house? Situations that arose, in real time, in normal and everyday locations. And now these stories are happening across Wales today, and people are coming to know Jesus as a result!

[1] https://newwinecymru.co.uk/training/healing-courses/healing


Chloe Swart

Chloe lives in Swansea with her husband Russo. She is the associate national director for Alpha UK where she has worked for 8 years. At her local church, Cornerstone, Swansea, she oversees the student and young adults ministry. She is also on the board for Evangelical Alliance UK.

She completed her theology PhD in 2022 on the topic of healing miracles in Wales.


Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash


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