Bethel Church in Redding, California, has launched a 24/7 prayer campaign for co-pastor Beni Johnson and her ongoing battle with cancer, specifically encouraging prayer for breathing and sleep.
“As many of you already know, Beni Johnson has been on a health journey of overcoming cancer,” The megachurch wrote on its Instagram page Wednesday.
“We’ve been praying consistently, and she has experienced a measure of breakthrough. Now we feel led by the Lord to invite you, the local and global church, to join us in contending for her full physical healing,” the post stated.
The charismatic ministry, known for its spirit-filled music and their bold prayers of faith, asked supporters to join them to pray for their leaders around the clock.
“Stand with us as we intentionally press in for victory for Beni, and sign up for a 15-minute prayer slot,” the plea continued. “Let’s see prayer happen around the world—24 hours a day—during these coming weeks.”
During last Sunday’s service, Lead Pastor Dann Farrelly and other leaders led the church in 10 minutes of prayer for Johnson. Farrelly prayed for “breath that is without problem” and “sleep that is deep and beautiful.”
“This is a serious situation. Beni’s health is a serious situation,” Farrelly said, adding that he received a text from Johnson's husband, Bill Johnson, the night earlier saying, “Last night was a tough night. She didn’t sleep too well. She is not breathing too well.”
“Listen, beloved, this is unjust that our matriarch, that Beni is being robbed of her sleep and having difficulty breathing,” Farrelly added. “This is not as it should be.”
“We ask for those two breakthroughs to happen today,” he continued. “We know she has been in a bit of a holding pattern. But we say no more to holding patterns.”
The church’s website allows users to pick a timeslot to pray for Johnson over the next three weeks.
The Christian Post reached out to Bethel Church for further information on Johnson’s status. An immediate response was not received.
Johnson first revealed that she was being treated for cancer in 2018. At the time, she said the diagnosis “shocked” her.
“When this all began in March and I walked out of the doctor’s office shocked. I asked Jesus, ‘what do I do now?’ I heard Jesus tell me, ‘just love me’. I said, ‘I can do this’. There has been so much peace and at times those decisions that have to be made the peace has helped me navigate through,” Johnson revealed in a series of Facebook posts at the time.
Since her announcement, the church leader has held to the faith that she would be “healed of cancer” after having several tumors removed from one of her breasts. During that season of surgeries, it was discovered that Johnson had a mutation on her BR2 gene, which puts her at a high risk of developing breast, ovarian and other cancers.
She had received “holistic treatments” in Spain because “many of the treatments are not allowed in the US.”
The recent prayer request broke down several prayer points for those looking to support Johnson during this cancer battle. A slideshow of photos asked supporters to pray for complete total victory over cancer, that Johnson would be able to sleep daily, that she would have consistency and strength in her breathing.
The request also asked people to pray for her doctors and medical teams to have wisdom and that her DNA would align with God’s order for every cell of cancer to be eradicated from her body. Another prayer point was for grace and courage to be with the Johnson family, among other things.
Bethel reportedly has 11,000 members, including students at its School for Supernatural Ministry.
The school is said to be led by “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” and has also been the source of much criticism. The church is sought after for its “healing rooms,” which have also attracted controversy.
Testimonies of people being healed from cancer can be found on the church website. In April 2017, Johnson revealed that her encounter with Jesus in the spirit gave her access to healing power over cancer. She encouraged the crowd to grab the healing power for cancer out of Heaven.
“If you’re in this room and you have cancer, we declare to you, ‘No more.’ We’re grabbing out of Heaven the healing power,” she said. “Don’t pray; declare. This is a time, this is an open Heaven right here and we’re calling down the healing power of Jesus over cancer.”
Bethel made headlines in 2019 for doing something similar. Bethel Senior Pastor Bill Johnson, Beni Johnson’s husband, asked the congregation to pray for the resurrection of one of their worship leader’s 2-year-old daughter.
He said at the time that he and his church family believed God called them to follow the precedent that Jesus set forth by commanding His followers to raise the dead. The young girl was not resurrected, but many people were encouraged by the ministry’s position to believe in God for the miraculous.