When Oral and I married on Christmas Day, 1938, I knew I was marrying someone called to the ministry. But at the time, I never dreamed that he would take God’s healing message across the nation and around the world. And because Oral obeyed God’s call on his life, we’ve spent a lot of time apart during our marriage.
The longest moments of my life have been those when Oral was not with me. When he conducted his tent crusades across the country, he was often gone from the family for three weeks at a time. I can remember thinking as I drove him to the airport to leave for his first crusade, Goodbye, Oral. I’ll probably be doing this the rest of my life.
When Oral was home, it always meant twice as much work for me—more cooking, more straightening up around the house—but I loved having him home, and there seemed to be a peace in our home when he was there.
Keeping Love Alive
I believe a marriage is worth your attention, and it’s the little things you do that can help build up a marriage. Oral and I liked to raid the refrigerator before bedtime, and the late night snacks were usually the time for heart-to-heart talks about our future, the children, and just being in love. Over a glass of cornbread and milk we grew closer.
Our marriage is probably no different than most couples’. Through the years we’ve been married, there have been some rough spots, but we always worked hard to keep our love alive.
We were criticized for traveling by plane to see each other during the long crusades. When a friend suggested that the money spent on plane fares could be used for a better cause, Oral was quick to reply, “You can’t put a price on love!” To us, love is priceless.
Oral dearly loves his family, but I’ve always known that his love for Jesus is even greater than his love for me or the children. That deep, spiritual love doesn’t make us jealous, because Oral’s love for Jesus makes his love for us all the more sacred.
I’ve never been sorry that I married Oral Roberts. There were many lonely hours when he was away, but always our hearts were together in unity and love that transcended the miles. Over the years we’ve learned that there is no distance in love.
RC: No, I entered many pageants. My first pageant when I was 16 years old and I got third runnerup in a county fair queen pageant, you know, where you put the ribbons on the cows, you know, and the pigs, that pageant. But I got third runnerup.
LR: Start right at the top.
RC: And I entered again and I got third runnerup again, second year in a row. The first year I entered Miss Illinois National Teenager, I was so excited for this pageant, a whole weekend, you know, for that. And my father, I remember in the talent, I got my eyes off the Lord. I wasn’t centered on the Lord that weekend, and my father came over before I did my talent and said, “You know, have you prayed?” “Yeah, yeah, I prayed,” you know. It was just kind of like I was there and got caught up in all the pageant activity. And I messed up my talent. I forgot eight measures of it and just stood there and smiled. So that was the first year I entered. I got in the top 15, but I knew I had failed the Lord. I hadn’t done what He wanted me to. took your eyes off of Him.
RC: That’s right, that’s exactly right. So when I entered the second year, my goal was to be a winner in the Lord, not to win the National Miss Illinois, but to keep Him first and to be a witness for Him at that pageant. And when I went with that attitude, it wasn’t as much the competition, it was just the chance–we had prayer backstage with evening gowns, girls took hands and prayed, and I was, you know, “Who’s going to pray? Well, Rhonda, why don’t you pray?” And we prayed before we went out on stage, and it was so exciting the change. And something, my Miss Illinois National Teenager director, Martha Smith, said was, “Everyone has a crown in their heart.” It’s a crown that God has given us and we have to keep that polished. It’s not the external crown. I mean, we see the glory for the outside. But it’s what we are inside, and that’s an encouragement to the teenagers especially, that you have a crown in your heart and you need to keep that polished. Because it’s by actions, as we know. It’s not by our words. But when the teenagers see a difference, they want to know. Then they want to know why.
Praise the Lord. Cheryl, do you have a testimony? A great one. This lady called for prayer because she had a tumor on her body. And the prayer partner prayed with her. The tumor was gone. And she went to the doctor and the doctor verified that the tumor is gone. She called back to say, “Hey, it’s gone and the doctor said it’s gone.” (Applause) That’s faith talk. How do you feel about that, Lindsay?
You know, it’s usually the very time you get something wrong with you, suddenly your fear begins to talk. The devil attacks your mind and the first thing that comes into your mind is, you’re never going to get well. This is the worst thing that could happen to you. You’re going to be sick. You’re this, you’re that. The first thing that we’ve got to learn to do when something comes against us is stop looking at the circumstance and let our faith talk.
I had that when the doctors told me I’d never walk again. I was laying in the hospital. My left leg was completely crushed. There wasn’t anything left in my left leg. And yet I kept thinking to myself, OK, do I accept this? I didn’t have any teaching either. No one taught me that I could believe. No one taught me that I could confess. But I said to my father, I first of all found out what God was like and I found out He wanted me whole. And then when I found out He wanted me whole, I said, “OK, I’m not going to look at the leg.
I’m not going to look at the circumstances. I look to God.” And even my Sunday school teachers and the nurses and the doctors and everybody would come in and say, “Honey, you’ve got to accept that you’re going to be a cripple the rest of your life.” And I would say, “No, because my God is like my father. The Word says my God is like my earthly father.” And I watched my earthly father and he wanted me whole. And so I thought, all right, if he wants me whole, then God wants me whole. I was a little girl but I believed it and I received it.
Right. You minister that way all the time. In fact, I’m leaving and going to a minister right after this program on a crusade and I’ll be praying for the sick. And people say, “Well, man, there you are praying for the sick and you took your son to the City of Faith.” I said, “That’s right.” I said, “We were at a situation that I at that particular time for several reasons, I was not ready faith wise to fight a faith battle.
Besides that, didn’t have time to fight a faith battle. I had to have some immediate results. And I used”, there they are, the hands right behind us, “prayer and medicine together.” And we got perfect … Solution out of it. We got a result that was perfect. Actually where they went through the skull is not supposed, the bone is not supposed to grow again. It is.
The bone has grown again. It’s growing again. It’s covering up and there’s becoming bone in there where they had to drill through the skull and that’s not supposed to happen. That’s supernatural, see. That’s what God, the doctors couldn’t do anything about that. Now I say this all the time, Richard, I tell people, if you have a disease that medical science can help you control and keep you alive, use that until you learn how to believe God and get complete supernatural healing.
In other words, you’re saying, use all that God has for you. Use anything that you can get your hands on that God has given. Everything that’s good, you said, comes from God. That’s what the Bible said. I didn’t say it. God said it. That’s right. You see, it’s not your words, it’s the Word of God. That’s right. But people say, well I believe in medicine but I don’t believe in prayer. Or I believe in prayer, I don’t believe in medicine.
I think they are both wrong, Ken. That’s right because they’ve got to take the whole package. The whole loaf. Right. Who gave all of the doctors, the researchers, everybody that’s found all of the drugs, all of the cures, the operations, who gave them the knowledge to do that in the first place? Where did it come from? Did the devil do it? According to the Bible he didn’t because the Bible says that the devil is going around as a roaring lion, you know …
Richard Roberts want to share something to you. When we look around the world today, there seems to be instability everywhere…so much, in fact, that it’s easy to think you and I may be dealing with situations that no one has ever faced before. But according to the Bible and the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50, that’s just not true. If anyone ever had a reason to become unstable and even bitter, it was Joseph. Just look at what happened in his life.
Dysfunctional families are nothing new
Joseph’s father, Jacob, had two wives, and he was involved with several other women at the same time. He had children by all of those women which caused jealousy and competition in the home. Joseph’s mother died when he was young. Jacob favored Joseph over his brothers and gave him a special, multi-colored coat, causing great jealousy among his brothers. In Genesis 37, we read where Joseph began having unusual dreams, including a dream where his brothers all bowed down to him. But rather than loving their brother and listening to his dreams, Joseph’s brothers grew even more jealous and bitter. They rejected his dreams, and hated him so much that they threw him into a pit, sold him into slavery in Egypt, and told their father he’d been killed.
And if slavery wasn’t bad enough…
Joseph was bought by Potiphar, a powerful Egyptian who put him in charge of his household. But In the midst of what had begun to be good fortune for Joseph, Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him. When he refused her advances, she accused him of trying to rape her, and Joseph was thrown back in prison, though he had done nothing wrong. How did Joseph keep his sanity? How did he keep from becoming angry at God and filled with hate in the crazy, unstable world he was living in?
Joseph refused to get bitter
One reason I believe Joseph had emotional stability was because no matter what happened to him, he kept his eyes on the Lord and refused to get bitter. When his brothers sold him into slavery, he didn’t get bitter. When he was thrown into jail for a crime he didn’t commit, he didn’t get bitter. The Lord said in Romans 12:19, Vengeance is mine; I will repay. Why? Because He’s the only One who can absorb the punishment that vengeance brings. Joseph understood that, and he didn’t waste his time trying to get even with his enemies. No matter what people did to Joseph, he just kept moving forward with God. I believe he knew God had a purpose for his life, and he trusted Him to turn what the devil meant for his harm into his eventual good.
He used his gifts to bless others
Joseph had a gift from God to interpret dreams. One day Joseph interpreted a dream for Pharaoh and Pharaoh was so impressed that he made Joseph the number-two man in his government. When Joseph’s family ran out of food during a famine, they wound up at his doorstep on their knees, asking for food. And Joseph’s dreams came to pass! Joseph’s brothers were terrified when he revealed who he was. But Joseph held no bitterness in his heart. He said, “You planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people…You have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” (Genesis 50:19-21 MSG).
We can have what Joseph had
Joseph not only survived the instability surrounding him, he flourished. And I believe when you and I stay focused on God, as Joseph did, instead of the circumstances in our lives, we can have what Joseph had…and we can find stability in the unstable world around us.
Richard Roberts has a story to share to you. Often when I go into a grocery store, people will recognize me and ask for prayer. And when they do I don’t say, “Let’s go out in the parking lot.” I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and pray for them right there.
One time I was in the frozen food section with ice cream in one hand and frozen vegetables in the other when a woman came up and asked me to pray for her to be healed. When I put down the frozen food and laid my hands on her head, I thought she going to go through the ceiling because of my cold hands.
She said, “I didn’t know the anointing was so cold!” I said, “No ma’am, that was the frozen food.” Why do I tell you that story? Because it’s real, just like Jesus was real. Sometimes people see Lindsay and Richard Roberts on television and they want to know, “Are they real?” I believe Jesus wants all of us to be real. We all have our faults and idiosyncrasies, but God created us to be unique individuals.
There’s no one else like you on earth. So if you’ve been putting yourself down, stop it. Stop thinking you can’t be used by God. Be yourself! When God leads you to touch someone with His healing power, don’t worry about what to say or do.
In Mark 13:11 NIV Jesus told His disciples, Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. It’s not your power; it’s God’s—and He wants you to allow Him to work through you. When you’re not afraid to be yourself, He can work through you any place in the world, even the middle of a grocery store!
The bookstores of America are filled with books dealing with leadership, yet I believe we have fewer true leaders right now than at any time in our history. If God is calling you to be a leader, there are important character traits to develop.
I went to a leadership clinic not long ago, and the question was proposed, “What is a leader?”
One man said, “A leader is someone who can articulate his vision powerfully and forcefully.”
I said, “What about Moses? Moses was a man of such poor speech that God gave him somebody to talk for him.”
Another man said, “He’s a man of purity. He’s a man of holiness.”
I replied, “What about David? He was convicted of conspiracy
to commit murder, and he was an adulterer.”
I just wasn’t satisfied with those definitions of leadership. My definition of a leader is simple: someone who can get somebody else to follow him or her.
Now, there are righteous leaders, as in the case of Moses, and there are unrighteous leaders, as in the case of Hitler. Both were powerful leaders, one for the Prince of Light, and the other for the prince of darkness. But I believe there are specific traits a godly leader should possess in order to lead others in this end-time spiritual battle.
Focuses on one purpose
St. Paul said, This one thing I do…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV). Jesus said, “I only do the will of My Father” (John 8:28).
Godly leaders don’t try to do everything. They know that all they need to do is one thing—what God has called them to do—and do it well. God’s call is specific, and as we walk in it, He empowers us with His supernatural authority.
Endures the heat
The three Hebrew young men were told to bow before a statue of Nebuchadnezzar or be thrown in the fiery furnace. They refused, saying, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:17 KJV).
At some point in our lives, God may allow us to be put in a furnace—a trial by fire—to see what we’re made of. If we have any quit in us, that’s when it will come out. But if we have the ability to endure the heat, as the Hebrew young men did, I believe God can use us in ways we never dreamed.
Responds with the mind of God
I believe God wants His leaders to be able to function under fire, and to be rooted in the Word of God to such a degree that even in the worst of times, the mind of God will be their first response.
When Moses and his people were escaping Egyptian slavery, Moses didn’t have time to call a committee meeting. Even as Pharaoh and his chariots were racing to kill them, Moses stood firm on the bank of the Red Sea and said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13 KJV).
Moses had the ability, under fire, to see the mind of God for his people, and through his faith, God worked a miracle that allowed them to cross to the other side.
Leaves the past in the past
Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind me, I reach ahead” (Philippians 3:13). Paul had a lot to forget: he had sent Christians to prison, many of whom were later killed. In fact, he personally supervised the murder of Stephen, the first martyr.
I believe our success or failure in reaching the destiny God has for us is often based on our capacity to forget the past and to move confidently forward. God said, “Your sin and iniquity I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). If God can forget our past, we can forget it too.
God is looking for leaders, young and old, who can lead others
in the good fight of faith. I believe as we develop the traits of a godly leader that God’s Word reveals, God will go before us and make the impossible possible in Him.
For Such a Time as This…
Abraham seemed like an unlikely choice to father a nation. But when God wanted to bring forth faith, He brought forth Abraham. Abraham was at first unfamiliar with the ways of God…and apparently too old to bring forth anything—especially a child—when God decided His time to birth a nation had arrived. And so God made a change in Abraham’s life that would impact generations to come (Genesis 17).
Esther was a girl living in a remote area where no one seemed to notice her. That would soon change, because she was born for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14), and through her, God would release an anointing to save the nation she so passionately loved.
When God wanted to change the heart of a wicked king, he brought forth Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3). These men were thrown into a fiery furnace for their belief in God, but God brought them out unharmed so that a nation could be freed from the terrorist king of their day.
When God wanted to change the face of healing evangelism, one of the men He called was a man named Oral Roberts. In spite of Satan trying to make a mockery out of God’s plan by afflicting him with tuberculosis at age 17, God’s Word on healing came forth anyway, and the world has been forever changed as a result. Now I believe it’s time for change for Richard Roberts.
I was born under unusual circumstances. When I was due to arrive in this world, my father, international healing evangelist Oral Roberts, was conducting a healing crusade in Dallas. God had blessed that crusade mightily and so many people were getting saved and healed that the sponsoring pastors prevailed upon my dad to extend the meetings.
My dad’s heart was touched with the needs of the people, and he called my mother and asked her to agree with him that my birth would be delayed until his crusade was finished. Imagine the faith of my mother who agreed with my father! My parents set my new due date as November 12, the day for my dad to return from his crusades. As God would have it, late on November 12, 1948, I was born.
As a child, I had the privilege of being at my dad’s crusades when he took his tent cathedral around the world. By age 19, I had joined his ministry full time. And for many years, I’ve had the opportunity of going around the world to places such as Russia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Haiti, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, the Ivory Coast, Niger, and El Salvador…and many others…preaching the Gospel in my own healing rallies. But now God is saying to me, “Change, change, change.”
God is calling me to become even more intense with this ministry in light of all that’s happening in the world today. I believe with everything in me that you are on God’s heart today more than ever and we must partner together as the body of Christ. When we do, I believe miracles, signs, and wonders will follow, and together we can take the message of hope and healing to a crying, dying world.
Just as Abraham carried an anointing, there was also a specific time for it to be increased and released. Esther carried an anointing, but it was only at a certain level until the time came for her to be released into her kingdom anointing and kingdom authority. Oral Roberts was called by God from birth, yet the time that the anointing was released came years later.
Each particular part of our anointing has a specific timetable—our “for such a time as this” moment. It is the season of change for the old anointing; the old mantle, to come off, making room for the new anointing to come forth. Well, just as God has spoken to me over and over that change was coming forth, now I believe that change is here.
You know, we’ve gotta learn how to ask the right questions don’t we? The disciples asked the wrong question, but Jesus had the right answer. And God is going to receive all the honor and all the glory. And Father, I just give you praise. I worship you in Jesus’ might Name. Now, our singers are coming to sing, and as they do, if you’ve been touched by the power of God, I want to know about it. I want you to call the Abundant Life Prayer Group at 918-495-7777. If you get a busy signal, hang on the line, you’ll get Lindsey and me reading the healing scriptures. Who knows, you may get healed as you’re on hold, or just hang on until a prayer partner comes on the line. Lots of people will be calling. Or email, oralroberts.com, or just write me, Richard Roberts, Tulsa, OK, share your testimony; when you do, be sure and get a copy of my book He’s a Healing Jesus. He’s the healer. If you’d like one of the blue prayer cloths…we’ve sent out I guess, about fifty-thousand of these now. Let me know that you want it. It’ll send it to you. Call or email or write, share your healing testimony. If you feel like you need further prayer, let me know. I’ll take your prayer requests; I’ll hold them in my arms. They’ll bring them to me from the prayer group; I’ll hold them in my arms; I’ll pray. I promise you I’ll pray, and I’ll write you back, and I’ll bring you a good word.
Someone who’s been having TMJ, and you’ve been having this terrible pain in the sides of your face, and when you eat it’s just misery, God’s healing you right now. And there’s another person, another word about an esophagus backup, you’re being healed right now in the Name of Jesus! Oh thank God, somebody give praise to the Lord! Hallelujah! Praise you Father! We worship you and give you honor.
And the Lord gave me a word of knowledge that there was someone who was crippled in the crowd. I didn’t know that a young man of about twenty, by the name of Abdul, was there. I didn’t know that he couldn’t walk. I didn’t know that he crawled along the ground, pulling himself along. I didn’t know that his parents carried him to the post office each day to beg for money. I didn’t know that he’d never taken a step in his life, and I certainly didn’t know that everyone in town knew him, and he was known as the beggar of Jos. All I knew was, God gave me a word of knowledge, “someone crippled in their legs is being healed right now, rise up and come forward.”
Well, I gave that word, as I often do, and I may do something like that on this program in a moment. And when I gave it, I began to give other words, as God gave me utterance. Pretty soon I saw the crowd begin to part, and they began to cheer, and a young man was walking. He looked normal to me. Pretty soon he made his way to the platform, and came up, and began to run and jump.