By Dr. Jay Zinn
I first saw Shara Pradhan at a Christian conference a few years back in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She was one of the speakers among some very well-known names. But she stood out. Not because she wowed the audience with a profound message. No, she got on her knees and buried her head in her hands and started to pray. And as she continued for an awkwardly long time, you could feel the power and presence of the Lord start to move throughout the auditorium. Something I didn’t experience from the other speakers. And you know what? I was moved deeply in my spirit. I mean really moved by what I saw, and convicted not by her words, but that she prayed. I mean she ignored the rest of us and forgot her surroundings and decided to leave the place (while remaining on stage) and go have a visit with the Father and talk to him about us. To this day, I don’t remember what the other speakers said, although I’m sure all the messages had an impact. But I still have that indelible impression in my mind of seeing this young woman from India pray her audience into the throne room of God. So here’s how Shara opened her interview with me for KRC. - Jay Zinn
Shara: Father, I thank you God, for Jay. Father, I thank you for your heart to manifest your character, nature and your personality to the ends of the earth. Father, I thank you that we can live for the fame of your name. Father, I thank you that when you are lifted up, all men draw near. I ask that in this article you would be lifted up. Father, one touch of your garment and you heal people. Just one touch, one touch is all it takes from you. Father, I am asking, would you give just one touch of your garment? Would you release your healing virtue in this article? We love you so much. We just love you Jesus. Anoint this time, God. Let your Holy Spirit come. Father, anoint this interview. I pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thank you, Shara. Okay, in this issue we’re focusing on the supernatural and I know that you’ve seen some pretty amazing things. Could you tell our readers about some of the most significant miracles you have ever witnessed firsthand?
I have seen the Lord heal a family of Muslim prostitutes with AIDS, which is an amazing story. I have seen almost every kind of creative miracle: eyeballs form out of completely empty sockets, I’ve seen limbs grow, and I love hearing deaf babies say “Mama” for the first time and watching the mothers become elated with joy. But actually, the greatest miracle I’ve seen is what God did for Rolland Baker [founder of Iris Ministries]. A creative miracle of restoration that God did in healing him, gives me faith that all things are possible. God had completely restored his mind and healed his eye. It’s so beautiful because I had fasted and prayed with Heidi and Rolland Baker during the four-and-a-half years I had been with them. Just last April, when Heidi and I were about to minister at Princeton University, she said the doctors advised her to fly the family back home because Rolland was dying. But just getting an email from him this week, and hearing from Heidi this past week, it’s like the Lord did a creative miracle with his brain and just everything. It’s almost like he came back from the dead. I just think it’s incredible.
What was Rolland healed from?
I don’t know the official diagnosis, but I think at one point they said Cerebral Malaria. He just had years of being really sick. He had gone to the Congo in October 2006 and, at that time, a lot of the pastors were being martyred and women were being raped. It was a full blown war. After 30 years of mission work and not taking a break or a Sabbath, he just got sick, basically, for years and years—really sick. And now he’s been totally restored by God.
Any other miracles that you’ve witnessed?
My favorite is the story of the prostitute healing. The first healing mission trip I ever took was with Todd Bentley’s Fresh Fire Team in June 2002. I think there were 120 of us, and we went to partner with Iris Ministries [Heidi & Roland Baker] to feed about 100,000 people for four months during a famine.
I had been in IHOP [International House of Prayer] back in the early trailer days, and had done the first Fire in the Night internship, which was praying all night. I had become the personal ministry assistant of Jill Austen, a prophet here in Kansas City, who went to be with Lord this year. I went on the ministry trip, and I had never really prayed for the sick that much. So here I go with Fresh Fire Ministries and I remember the first day we went to a hospital and the team prayed throughout the hospital. The entire hospital ward closed down [because of all the healings] and the doctors and nurses asked to join the crusade. It was an explosion of power. I don’t think I’d ever been on a trip that had that kind of power on it. That was the trip where God supernaturally connected me with Heidi Baker. The Lord said to me, “Within a year you’re going to move to Mozambique. You’re going to be Heidi Baker’s personal assistant.” I didn’t even know who she was then, when he said this to me.
In that healing crusade, Fresh Fire Ministries took us all to a school one day. I had been ministering to all these kids when the Lord just spoke to me and said, “There’s a Muslim girl here I am pursuing and she desperately wants to be saved. But she’s afraid because her family is Muslim and the moment she gives her life to Jesus, she fears her family will persecute her, reject her, and her life will be in danger.”
So here I am, at this big outreach for children, and I’m thinking, “How am I going to find one Muslim girl?” I look over this ocean of children in bright blue uniforms, asking myself, “Where is this girl? Where is this girl?” It’s like the Father who leaves the 99 to run after one, or who searches for that one lost coin, the Father who throws a party in heaven when one soul gets saved. Then he just highlighted this girl to me. So I started talking to her and realized that this girl is the one the Lord gave me a word of knowledge about. But she started to get shy as we talked because the other kids were watching this American missionary pour all of her attention on to this girl. The Lord then said to me the girl was afraid to give her life to Jesus in front of all these people so take her onto the tour bus of the Americans. So I literally smuggled the girl onto the bus and talked and talked about the Lord. She didn’t want to receive Jesus right away. She wrestled and struggled, knowing that the moment she decided to become a daughter of God and give her life to the Lord, the moment she surrendered to his glory and received the gift of salvation, she would face being thrown out from her family. Finally, in the last few minutes, while the team was approaching the bus, she radically surrendered her life to Jesus. I cried, she cried, and suddenly I realized, “Oh, my gosh, she is going to go home and get killed.” I was really upset and asked, “Lord how can this be?” After she got off the bus I remember putting my arm outside the window to reach for her. We just held hands, I was crying, she was crying and I was never going to see her again because she’s going to get killed. As the bus began to pull out, I yelled out to her to come to the healing crusade at six o’clock. But I couldn’t tell her where it was, I only knew it was on a soccer field in some neighborhood.
We went back to our hotel to prepare for the crusade and I started to travail in intercession in my room. God, how could you allow this? Where is your goodness in this? Here is this newborn Christian going home to utter rejection. I experienced this with my own family so I was feeling the Father’s compassion. I stormed heaven for her in prayer thinking I’m never going to see her again, totally distraught, totally despondent. Even in my intercession I wrestled with God over the issue of his justice, asking him to remove every hindrance of love with this girl who would instantly face persecution.
When we arrived at the healing crusade there were 100,000 Malawians; a blanket of smiling African faces swarmed the bus as we pulled up to a little, wobbly, wooden stage. Who was standing there waiting for me but this girl, among 100,000 people. She had found her way to the soccer field and brought her Muslim family—her little sister, her momma, and her grandma. Three generations and they all had AIDS. Her grandmother’s condition was so bad that she lost her vision. We prayed and prayed, and I asked the Lord for a sign of healing for the grandma to give them all the courage to get a blood test to see if the AIDS had left their bodies. As I prayed I spat in the dirt, like Jesus did, and made mud. I tried everything I knew to do; every healing method I could remember seeing others do. Nothing worked. The woman was still blind. So I went up to the stage and did the only thing I knew to do. I dropped to my knees and started worshipping. I worshipped and I worshipped; wept and wept for this family. Suddenly, I heard a word of knowledge dropped into my spirit from God—prostitute.
“Oh, my gosh!” I thought, “I can’t ask them if they’re prostitutes. This kind of evangelism will not go well. It will kill it.” But I stepped out of the boat, took my Father’s hand, and obeyed in childlike faith. I asked them if, by any chance, there were prostitutes in their family? The girl started crying and said, “Well actually, before our father left us, he sold the entire family into prostitution.” Then I talked to them about Jesus and told them how he saw them through eyes of purity. I told them how he would go to the prostitute and make her a bride with him to forever rule and reign together—once she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I went on to share a little about the bridal paradigm, and the family repented of their prostitution and made Jesus the Lord of their lives. It was then that they were all healed of their AIDS and the grandma received her sight. It was all verified later by the doctors.
That’s amazing! How did ministering alongside Heidi Baker impact your faith level in miracles and supernatural?
I’ve experienced a lot of the supernatural and it‘s kind of one of those things where the more you eat, the hungrier you get. The more you see God, the more bankrupt you feel, and the more desperate you become. As you grow up in the Lord, you break down into becoming more like a child who is 100 percent dependent on your Heavenly Father. The more you feast you feel like it’s only breadcrumbs under the table. And that’s what is so awesome about the kingdom. It is ever expanding in the knowledge of Him and we just dive into eternity.
The way I met Heidi was actually the night before that miracle for the family of prostitutes. We had been in a meeting where I watched her minister. I had heard about her before. So I watched this woman, this little blonde lady as she spoke at the healing crusade. She had this huge reputation, but she refused to sit on the stage with the other speakers because she wanted to be among the people. So there was this little blonde woman that totally stuck out, white and beautiful, and I watched her as she kissed a deaf baby and her ears popped open to hear everything. Heidi didn’t even pray. She just let the love of the Lord flow through her. And then she walked up to me on the stage, gave me her jacket and said, “Will you carry my jacket for me?”
Right then, the Lord said to me, “I’m asking you to lay down your life and ministry and serve her. Carry her mantle. Just serve her.” So I heard the call to lay down my life to help Heidi more on a personal level at Iris Ministries in Mozambique. I wasn’t like someone who had dreamed about moving to Africa, the thought never crossed my mind. In fact, I wept at the airport when I left Kansas City, because I loved being in the International House of Prayer. I wasn’t this GI Jane. Everyone made fun of me for wearing makeup in the bush. This didn’t seem right. I didn’t even know how to set up a tent. I grew up with drama and creative arts.
In that crusade, the Lord came to the meeting and walked through the crowd. Wherever he went, people parted to the right and the left and they were instantly healed. You just see this invisible figure walking and everyone falls out without anyone touching them and they are healed. That’s when the Lord really spoke to me. He said, “Within a year, you will move to Mozambique. You will lay down your life to serve Heidi for a set amount of time.” And at that point, I never had a conversation with her about it. I was someone else’s personal assistant at the time and she had one herself. But two weeks later I was in another country in the airport and who walked right by me, but Heidi Baker. The Lord just sovereignly did it.
I would definitely have to say, even more than a gifting of power, what impressed me the most about the Bakers was their Christ-likeness. They took Jesus’ words of the Sermon on the Mount literally. I have watched the Bakers write checks to people who have robbed from them, and slandered them and almost taken away their ministry. I watched Heidi not only bless her enemies but build them a home. I witnessed more than stories of power, I saw radical forgiveness in the midst of great darkness and pain. It makes me cry. It’s one of the most beautiful things. They are the some of the most Christ-like people on the planet. It was a great honor to be around them. I would accompany Heidi on Thursday night healing outreaches, where we camped in the bush. I would go out with her Mozambique sons and daughters to do dance and drama.
What places in the world have you witnessed the greatest faith in people for the supernatural?
I would say, China where I personally smuggled teams into an underground church during the Olympics. I would say in Africa among the poorest of the poor because of their desperation. I’ve also seen a lot of desperation in Asia. I ministered all over Asia with the Bakers and on my own.
I also see that desperation here in IHOP or out in Redding, CA at Bethel Church, or in other hot spots in America. Also, in Canada at Toronto. I spent a lot of time out there this year. But you don’t have to be poor to be desperate. It’s the posturing and positioning of your heart to receive and agree with all that God wants to do for the human race in this moment for fullness.
In Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth, he couldn’t perform any miracles because of their familiarity with him. Is this attitude similar in America and other places you’ve been and, if so, why do you think that is?
I don’t know why it is. But it makes me cry. I definitely think that’s true. I don’t know why? It’s the same God and he loves his people. And it’s not like he’s withholding his goodness or his virtue to punish us or teach us a lesson.
Do you think it could be a lack of desperation like you referred to?
I think there’s more of a religious spirit that operates in places where you’ve seen a form of godliness and no power. If you go to unreached people groups, they are never taught that God doesn’t heal. They don’t have to unlearn their unbelief as much. Children believe, until someone tells them they cannot do it, that the world is full of endless possibilities. But I don’t want to paint a false picture and exaggerate. For every miracle I’ve seen, I’ve probably spent hours and hours laboring over tons of people that I just hugged. Heidi always taught me, “Your job is to love. The Holy Spirit’s job is to heal.”
It has been pointed out that while young people are comfortable with the supernatural, at times their lifestyle doesn’t seem to measure up. In other words, they pray for the sick (who recover) but their lives don’t reflect holiness or a fear of God. Have you seen any of this?
I do think it has touched some. The responsibility of their falling wasn’t just on the person, it was also on the church not operating in a family with a spirit of adoption, like with spiritual mothers and fathers. So when someone is used mightily in God and then becomes idolized, because of that idolatry, they get isolated and they fall. Also, we live in a culture that worships people sometimes more than they worship the beautiful man, Christ Jesus. Our eyes are often on people instead of Him, which sets us up for disappointment, almost like the Israelites looking for a king instead of the King of kings.
I also think we live in a time where man tends to look at the outward appearance. God judges according to the heart, and we realize that God judges according to our motives so we can be in stadiums and then have our treasure on earth. God wants us to be in stadiums, but he doesn’t want our identity and our affirmation to be the applause of man, but rather the audience of one—Him. Still he wants to create a powerful generation that walks in the fullness of Jesus who was the exact representation of the Father. He wants us to be a bride equally yoked in love, ruling and reigning, the exact representation of Jesus, the very love that the Father has for the son, he wants to be in us.
I think it’s really, really sad. We are doing a disservice by not having an eternal perspective like the underground church in China that had to develop its own theology of suffering. We must come to realize that we are not living for a perishable crown, but an imperishable one. We are living for one day when we see him face to face and that reward he’ll give us forever and ever, no one can rob, kill, or destroy. Our reward in this life is nearness to him. He is our portion. He is our exceedingly great reward. My greatest desire is just to be close to Jesus someday in heaven. I’ll do anything on earth. I don’t care if He sends me to the highways and byways. He can have me hide in a closet praying, or preaching to millions. I just want to be close to him in heaven.
In your opinion, Shara, what foundations are necessary to see more of the supernatural works of God called signs and wonders?
I think it begins with us returning to union with God. Knowing the Father, knowing the Son, knowing the person of the Holy Spirit.
Is that the path that you’ve been taking?
Yes, like even this year, I was leading an outreach into India for Iris Ministries. I got hospitalized and thought I was going to die; contemplating eternity at the age of 30. I had radically given my life to the Lord since I was 13. So there I was, lying in the ICU bed in Bangalore, India thinking, “What if I die? How much of my life will count in eternity?” I was weeping in my hospital bed. All I could think about was that I wanted more time just to be with God. I wanted my own family to be saved.
At that point in February I was booked to preach with the Bakers for a year all over the world. After serving with them for seven years and starting to lay everything down, my big reward was to be launched into my own ministry. But at the height of all that, before I was to be released, the Lord literally just benched me. I was in need of some intense healing and reconciliation in my own family members, who weren’t Christians. I was benched to rest, spending hours and hours with him— just with him. Look at the disciples in Acts 4:13. When the religious leaders saw these were uneducated and unlearned men, they realized that these men had been with Jesus. Whether it’s in the school of supernatural training, or sitting in the house of prayer for hours and hours a day with your Bible, or whatever radical pursuit for the face of God, the marking of the supernatural is really the marking of seeking his face above everything.
Who are your heroes of faith in literature and those who walk among us, those who have inspired your journey in the supernatural?
I would say that the people who have impacted my life the most are Heidi Baker, Mike Bickle, Lou and Theresa Engle, Stacey Campbell, and Bill Johnson. I have been radically impacted by each one of them. I also met Mother Teresa when I was really young. It was the first time I heard the voice of the Lord, when I was sixteen. I had a divine encounter when I was at her mission in Calcutta and it was right before she died. We went to meet her with my family—my dad was an atheist, and so was my sister. We didn’t believe in God but for some reason my family wanted to go see Mother Teresa. So we went and waited for hours to meet with her. I was kind of disillusioned because it was really touristy and it was about the dying.
“What is this?” I thought, “because there is no Disneyland in India, everybody comes to Mother Teresa’s place?” I didn’t understand. I was actually kind of critical now that I think about it. But I met Mother Teresa and she prayed over me and blessed me and then she took off her necklace and gave it to my mom who gave it to me, her very own personal necklace. I remember what marked me most about Mother Teresa. Her feet looked like saucers. They were like these huge plates and she never wore shoes. Her feet did not look like normal people’s feet. So it made me realize she just chose the Beatitudes. She chose humility. This was her secret of greatness.
Misty Edwards [IHOP singer/ songwriter] calls it the inside, outside, upside-down kingdom. Where you lose to gain and you die to live. Jim Elliott said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” The funniest thing was— I went outside of Mother Teresa’s mission right after I had this divine encounter with her. I was attacked by all these begging children; which happens all the time in India. I gave everything away. My sweatshirt, my earrings, and a few rupees I had until I had nothing left to give. Still the hands are reaching for me, everywhere I look there are hands, hands, hands. That’s when the Lord spoke to me and said, “Share the one thing that never runs out.”
Now I’ve seen food multiply, but there is still a cap to that resource. I watched the Bakers, or Mike Bickle, give so much money away. But that is limited, too, even money. And the Lord just said, “My love.” I knew in that moment, among those little grasping hands, that my life’s calling was to give his love away. That is the one thing that never runs out. Because he died, there is always enough. His love is so…[pause]. I’m sorry it makes me cry. I just remember that time with Mother Teresa—that was when I felt the Lord commission me. I just knew that was my life’s calling.