Little Mark and the Milkshake

— Food Allergies —

Moreno Valley, CA — 1986


In addition to meeting on Sunday mornings, our church met for services on Wednesday evenings. One night I invited the people to take a few moments to pray about the issues we had dealt with in the sermon. As heads were bowed, I waited silently. I felt impressed that before we dismissed, I should ask if anyone needed prayer for healing.

“Folks, I know it’s Wednesday and many of you need to get home,” I said. “But I feel like God wants us to take a moment and pray for anyone who is sick or in any kind of pain. If you need prayer, please come to the front.”

I was amazed when more than a dozen people came up and made a line across the front of the church. I approached a small boy of about eight years first. His parents stood behind him solemnly. I did not know them, this family was visitiing our church for the first time.

I looked up at the boy’s dad. “Sir, do you want me to pray for your son?” The fellow nodded.

“Okay, what seems to be the problem?”

The man stared at the top of his son’s head. “Allergies.”

That was it. Allergies. I had prayed for sinus problems, colds, and flu. This was new. I wasn’t sure how to pray.

I stalled. “What’s the little guy’s name?”


I looked back at the boy. “Well, Mark, I’m happy to pray for you. Do you believe Jesus will heal you?”

The little head nodded. His bright blue eyes looked up at me with innocence and expectancy.

I hadn’t bought myself much time. It was time to pray. I laid my hands upon the little boy’s cowlick. I began to pray under my breath. Then I found myself saying quite boldly, “You allergic spirit! Come out of the boy right now, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth!”

Both parents looked up, a little dubious. I smiled at them and they pushed little Mark back toward the seats. I moved on down the line. Outwardly I appeared to be full of faith and power; inwardly I was thinking, What in the world did I just do?

Then I reminded myself that Jesus spoke to deaf spirits, blind spirits, mute spirits, and unclean spirits. He even spoke to a fig tree once. Why not speak to “allergic spirits”?

Jim, who led our children’s ministry with his wife, approached me after the service.

“Pastor, Mark and Joy—that couple with the little boy—they are old friends of ours. We invited them tonight; they used to go to church with us somewhere else. They got discouraged for various reasons and dropped out. I was hoping they would talk to you tonight.” He looked down as he continued. “I hope all that praying for the sick wasn’t too much for them. I spoke to them before they left and asked them to come back Sunday morning. They didn’t say much.”

I was uncomfortable. Obviously Jim had placed his hope for his friends in the impression that the church—and my ministry, in particular—would make on them. Now he seemed to have doubts about that.

When I got up to speak the next Sunday, I looked out to see if Mark and Joy had returned. They had not. I looked toward Jim who had invited them he was at the back door serving as an usher. He avoided my gaze and focused on the service bulletins in his hand. He was obviously unhappy.

That Sunday evening, we had another service. Jim was ushering again. During the first song, Mark, Joy, and their son bustled in and sat in the back. Jim welcomed them and beamed. He seemed to know something I didn’t. After a while, I asked if anyone had a special prayer request so we, as a church, could pray for him or her. After several people spoke, Mark, the father of little Mark, raised his hand high.

He said, “Pastor, would it be okay if I say something?”

“Sure, Mark. We’d love to hear what you have to say.” I hoped I was right about that.

“My son has had severe allergies. From birth, he has been allergic to milk products. He has never had a burger with cheese or a milk shake. Also, he had the same severe allergic reactions to anything with tomatoes or any kind of seafood. Those foods caused his throat to swell shut, his lips and tongue to swell, breathing issues, and other problems.

“I don’t know why I brought him up for prayer the other night. I really didn’t know if God would heal something like this. Actually, my faith was pretty flat in every area. But when you demanded the allergic spirit to go out, it looked like you believed it. After the service, we were driving home and Mark asked me if I believed he was healed of his allergies. I said I didn’t know. He said he believed he was healed and wanted to stop at McDonald’s. He told me he wanted to have all the things he’s been missing. A milk shake, a fish sandwich, and fries smothered in ketchup. On the one hand, we thought if we actually did that, the next stop would be the hospital. But we wanted to believe again, and we didn’t want to crush his faith. So, we took him to McDonald’s. He gorged himself on all those forbidden things. He had no allergic reaction at all. Since Wednesday, he has put ketchup on everything and washed it all down with milk.”

Mark was ecstatic. His wife began crying. Mark hugged his son, who looked embarrassed. This family became a beloved and valued part of our church from that time on.

After this I never hesitate to pray for someone with food allergies.

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A couple of years after this I was preaching a series of 'revival' services at a church in Glendale, Arizona. The pastor's daughter was the daughter of another pastor, a friend of mine. In a sermon one evening I mentioned little Mark's healing. Later I invited people who needed healing to come up. Michelle, the pastor's wife, was the first person to respond. She told me that she was born allergic to milk and all milk products. She said that never in her life had she even tasted ice cream.

Again, I prayed a simple prayer commanding the allergic spirit that was robbing her of enjoying all that God has made to leave her. When the service was over my wife, Leia and Jeff and Michelle went out for dinner. After dinner the waitress asked if anyone was having dessert. Jeff, Leia, and I quickly elected not to look at the dessert menu. Michelle, however, piped up... "I'll have a hot fudge sundae!" A sharp look, accompanied with a smile, quickly cut off her husband's cautionary protest. "Jeff," she said, "I believe I'm healed, and I want that sundae!"

She had no allergic reaction. I saw her again at a Bible Conference several years later.

"Pastor Schulze, look what you've done to me!" But, she was laughing as she said it.

"What do you mean?"

Since you prayed for me I've gained and lost forty pounds, then put back on twenty! It's all that ice cream I've been eating. I missed so many years of dessert... I guess I feel entitled to eat a lot of ice cream now!"

We had a good laugh together and gave God the glory.

Moving forward several more years (1999) , I was doing similar revival services at a large church in the Orange Park area of Jacksonville, FL. Again, mentioned the 'little Mark story'. At the end of the service, again, I offered prayers for anyone who needed healing in any way. To my surprise there were several African-American sailors from the nearby Mayport naval base, a few civilians who all were all allergic to shellfish, ie. shrimp, crawfish, and etc. While I prayed for other people I had these 'food allergy' folks stand apart as a group. I made that look like some kind of strategy. Well, it was. It was my strategy of delaying while I tried to understand what God would have me do. God 'let me know' that I should be very bold.

I returned to the group, who were earnestly praying. I told them I would pray for them if they had the faith to go out as the same group and order all the popcorn shrimp they could eat after the service. Not only were they willing, they were excited. So we prayed.

The next night of the revival they all came back and told, with great joy, how they had stuffed themselves on shrimp and all the other seafood they had been unable to eat. The church erupted in praise and I joined in on the outside, but on the inside I bowed in awe of our wonderful savior.

Since those days, I have prayed for scores of people all over the world who have had various kinds of food allergies. In almost every case, I’ve seen them healed.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: I hate to issue a 'disclaimer'. But, please realize that in all of these cases I prayed out of my personal faith, revelation, and relationship with God. Also, in each situation the people prayed for were not manipulated or overly encouraged to do anything. They also prayed and acted out of their own personal faith and took personal responsibility for the possible consequences of their action of 'eating in faith'. Please understand that neither Tyndale House Publishers nor myself are in any way responsible for your faith, prayers, or for any actions on your part in responding in any way to these true stories. You are responsible for your own faith and relationship to God, and your own confidence in obedience to those convictions.)


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