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Bethel stop resurrection prayers for toddler as 'breakthrough doesn't come'

by Heather Preston

Bethel Church has announced its decision to stop praying for the resurrection of a toddler who died and move forward with funeral plans.

On Monday, Bethel worship leader Kalley Heiligenthal asked "the global church" to join her in praying for "resurrection power" after her two-year-old daughter Olive was "unexpectedly" pronounced dead on Saturday after not waking up from her sleep.

Following her appeal the Redding church in California began hosting daily prayer and worship services asking God to perform a miracle and raise the child from the dead.

On Saturday morning a message was posted on the Bethel Redding Facebook page giving an update on the situation.

The post confirms the Church's belief in the sovereignty of God and his power to do the "unreasonable and impossible".

"We have been asking God to fulfill our hearts desire to see His kingdom manifested in great power. When you are a friend of God and know that He is your heavenly Father, you trust Him and ask for big, outlandish miracles. As a church, we have been contending for, singing about, and witnessing God's power to save, heal, and deliver for over fifty years. It is normal for us to ask for things, trust Him, and then glorify His name regardless of the outcome," the post reads.

Bethel went on to address criticism over the motives for its prayers, stating: "grief has not been avoided, as we have all been grieving from the moment we heard the news. Faith isn't denial of the facts or of our emotions, it is knowing that God cares and intervenes in the midst of them."

The statement went on to say the church will not be continuing to pray for God to bring Olive back to life but will instead move forward with funeral arrangements.

"Olive hasn't been raised. The breakthrough we have sought hasn't come. With the same heart of confidence in God's goodness, we receive the comfort of the Good Shepherd as Andrew, Kalley, and Olive's big sister Elsie, their family, and our church walk together through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23). And so, we are moving towards a memorial service and celebration of her life," it says.
"The joy of our faith is that, though we haven't seen the miracle of Olive being raised, she is alive in the presence of God. Her mom and dad will see her again, and we too will join her in resurrection one day."

Bethel Redding has offered it's thanks to all those who have supported the Heiligenthal family in prayer.


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