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Cancer Disappears Between Check-ups

Amy Reid - 700 Club Producer

Midlothian, VA

When Dr. Merchant said, "You have cancer." That was like a body blow.

On March 19, 2007, Ken Johnston of Midlothian, Virginia went for a routine check-up, but the results of his blood test showed elevated PSA, a marker for prostate cancer.  A twelve-sample biopsy confirmed the diagnosis: cancer.  

Ken remembers how he felt when he heard the news: “My heart sank because my mother had died of cancer and she had a fairly lengthy, lingering death, and, so that was very, very sobering.”

His urologist, Dr. Wilson Merchant, recommended surgery, but Ken, a pastor for over thirty years, wasn’t convinced surgery was the answer.

“I wanted to experience what God had said in His Word in James five about healing,” Ken recalls. “And so, I suggested to him that maybe we pray about the situation.”

“Prostate cancer progresses slowly over 10 to 20 years,” Dr. Merchant notes. “So, I was okay with waiting a few months and I was certainly fine with praying about the situation.”

Ken was a little surprised at what came next. “We prayed right there in his office and he actually led in prayer.”

“I prayed in the name of Jesus Christ, who I believe is the son of God and walked on this earth and He healed people,” Dr. Merchant declares. “I think we as physicians need to always turn to God to heal.”

Ken told his church and asked them to pray for healing.  But he quickly pushed his concerns and prayers for himself aside.

“There are always lots of urgent things that demand attention now,” Ken explains. “And so, it's difficult to get an extended period of time to seek God.”  

Two months later, his PSA had risen to 15.5.

Dr. Merchant was alarmed. “I was concerned that there might be some progression, and so, I suggested that he consider surgery at that time.”

Ken admits that the results got his attention: “It was a little bit frightening. I had been regretting the fact that I had not really sought God as seriously as I might have. I didn't give it all I had in terms of seeking God.”

In spite of Ken’s reservations about surgery, he scheduled it for later that fall, but since Ken opted for a newer procedure using robotics, another doctor in the practice had to take over. So, a month before the surgery, the new doctor had Ken go in for another PSA test.

When he arrived, Ken decided to take a moment in the car. 

"'I wasn't too sure if I should be looking for a miracle or if I should just simply go for surgery. I just prayed a little prayer out in the parking lot, ‘Lord, I need a sign from you as to which way to go,’ because I realized this is serious business. I have a wife; I have two children and it's not just about me."

Inside, Ken met medical assistant Rebecca Whittle.

"I jokingly said to her, ‘I need a good report.’ And then I said to her, 'Actually, what I really need is a healing.'"

Rebecca responded in kind. "And I just say, ‘Well, you know, God sent you to the right place.’ And that's when he got to talking about you know, he was a pastor and everything and he preached it. I said, 'Well, then you need to live it! If you preach it, you need to live it because it's true!' And I said, ‘And I put my faith with yours that God is going to heal you from this.'"

Rebecca took his blood sample. Soon after, she got the report; Ken’s PSA had dropped from 15.5 to 7.4.

That was all it took to convince Ken that his prayer had been answered. “I thought to myself, 'This has to be God. This is God sending me a message.'"

Ken postponed the surgery again, but this time he went to a friend’s cabin where he spent the next three days alone with God, praying and fasting. Halfway through the second day, Ken noticed a change.

“There came an assurance down over me that I was healed. And I felt like God was saying to me, ‘I want you to fast one more day, and then you can go home.’ I knew that I knew I was healed because, I found that I could not pray for healing anymore.”

Three months later, in January 2008, he went back for another PSA test and a new biopsy. Ken’s hopes were high, but the test results were disappointing. His PSA had jumped from 7.4 to 8.7.

Ken wasn’t sure what to think of the results. “I thought, if I am healed, why is this number a little higher? So, I was nervous about that. And God seemed to speak to me very clearly and say, 'Wait for the results of the biopsy.'"

A few days later, on January 18th, 2008, Ken got the biopsy results.

“All of the 12 biopsies were free of cancer.” Dr. Merchant smiles.

“I was ecstatic because I thought, ‘All right, we have seen the power of God here! This is the manifestation of the power of God.’ And that thrilled my soul!” Ken declares.  

Since that time, Ken has been clear of prostate cancer. He credits prayer with changing his outcome and Dr. Merchant agrees.

“I have no problem saying that this was evidence of God's healing.  And He heals in different ways. Sometimes He will use physicians and their surgical procedures to heal. I see God behind it in all things.”

“The Bible say it's impossible to please God without faith,” Rebecca recalls. “So, you just put your faith out there and believe it - believe Him and God is not going to let you down.”

Ken is grateful and says it has changed the way he thinks about prayer. “He came through in a wonderful way, and so, I have more confidence with regard to praying for whatever it might be, as well as healing.”  

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