John G. Lake operated in one of the most powerful and awe-inspiring gifts of healing that the world has ever seen. In a single ten-year span, Lake saw over 250,000 confirmed physical healings. In 1918, Spokane, WA, was declared the healthiest city in the U.S. because of Lake’s Healing Rooms. His congregation fondly called him “Dr. Lake” because he saw more people get healed than the local physicians.

Lake was saved at the age of 16, learned about sanctification around the age of 20, and then entered into a ministry of healing after experiencing the power of healing in his own family through the ministry of John Alexander Dowie in Chicago. Lake continued to operate in the gift of healing for the next 10 years and saw hundreds healed. 

At the end of those 10 years, Lake was more hungry for God than ever. Although he walked in the miraculous, he claimed that he had not yet experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He would often walk the streets and spontaneously cry out loud to God, surprising all those around him. Lake said, “It was the yearning passion of my soul, asking for God in a greater measure than I then knew. But my friends would say: ‘Mr. Lake, you have a beautiful baptism in the Holy Ghost.’ Yes, it was nice as far as it went, but it was not answering the cry of my heart. I was growing up into a larger understanding of God and my own soul’s need. My soul was demanding a greater entrance into God, His love, presence and power.”

Driven into the wilderness by his hunger for more of God, Lake fasted and prayed for 9 months, waiting on God. Several months into his fast, the Spirit spoke to Lake and said, “Be patient until autumn.” Lake was encouraged and kept going. He prayed, “God, if you will baptize me in the Holy Spirit, and give me the power of God, nothing shall be permitted to stand before me and a hundred-fold obedience.”

At the end of nine months, Lake was weary. He later recounted, “I prayed for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for nine months, and if a man ever prayed honestly, and sincerely in the faith, I did. Finally one day I was ready to throw up my hands, and quit. I said, ‘Lord, it may be for others, but it is not for me. You just cannot give it to me.’ I did not blame God.” 

Shortly after this, a man named Pierce invited Lake to join him and a group of other believers at his house who had been praying for the past year for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. None of them had yet received the Baptism. Lake accepted the invitation. Five minutes into prayer, Lake was overcome as “the light of God began to shine around me, I found myself in a center of an arc of light ten feet in diameter, the whitest light in all the universe. So white! Oh how it spoke of purity. The remembrance of that whiteness, that wonderful whiteness, has been the ideal that has stood before my soul, of the purity of the nature of God ever since.”

After this experience, Lake was invited to pray for a woman suffering from rheumatism and bound to a wheelchair. As he prayed with her, suddenly “the Spirit said, ‘I have heard your prayers, I have seen your tears. You are now Baptized in the Holy Spirit.’ Then currents of power began to rush through my being from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. The shocks of power increased in rapidity, and voltage. As these currents of power would pass through me, they seemed to come upon my head, rush through my body, and through my feet into the floor… Even at this late date, the awe of that hour rests upon my soul. My experience has truly been as Jesus said that He shall be within you ‘a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.’ That never-ceasing fountain has flowed through my spirit, soul, and body day, and night, bringing salvation, and healing, and the Baptism of the Spirit in the power of God to multitudes.”

Lake sold all he had and entered into full-time ministry. God spoke to him that he would soon go to Africa.    

One morning when I came down to breakfast, I found my appetite had disappeared. I could not eat. I went about my work as usual. At dinner I had no desire to eat, and no more in the evening. This went on till the third day. But toward the evening of the third day, an overwhelming desire to pray took possession of me. I wanted only to be alone to pray. Prayer flowed from my soul like a stream. I could not cease praying. As soon as it was possible to get to a place of seclusion, I would kneel to pour out my heart to God for hours. Whatever I was doing, that stream of prayer continued flowing from my soul… On the night of the sixth day of this fast, that the Lord had laid on me, while in the act of washing my hands, the Spirit said, ‘How long have you been praying to cast out demons?’ and I replied, ‘Lord, a long time.’ And the Spirit said, ‘From henceforth, thou shalt cast out demons.’ I arose and praised God.” 

Within a week, a violently insane man was brought to Lake. Lake commanded the demon to come out of him in the name of Jesus and the man was instantly delivered. Two days later that same man was released from the institution where he had been confined.

Within the next year, Lake and his family were called by God to South Africa. Over their next five years of ministry in South Africa, Lake saw over one million people give their lives to Jesus, 625 new churches planted, and 1,250 preachers raised up. By the time Lake returned to America, the work in South Africa continued through the hands of those Lake had trained. Lake’s five short years of ministry in South Africa were so impactful that Lake was given the title, “Apostle to Africa”. Gordon Lindsay stated that Lake was “engaged in a ministry which in some respects rivaled that of the Early Church.”

Lake always knew there was something more, but it was the keys of fasting and prayer that opened the door to satisfying his hunger for more of God. By giving up physical satisfaction and hungering in his flesh, he satisfied the hunger of his soul and the world was blessed by it. 


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