An impassioned prayer answered 21 years worth of questions for a Hannibal man and sparked a personal book and a new mission for him and his wife.

An impassioned prayer answered 21 years worth of questions for a Hannibal man and sparked a personal book and a new mission for him and his wife.

“I prayed to God, if He would heal me enough to sing Your praises and tell about You, then I would,” Cumberlidge said.

For 21 years, Cumberlidge asked why God brought him back to life at the age of 42 from sudden death syndrome with lingering illness — his heart continued to stop, and he was in and out of the hospital through the years. Cumberlidge's questions were answered on a Sunday in 2005 after his earnest prayer — he said he no longer needed the oxygen tank he had been pulling along following a massive heart attack, and his voice was restored from a faint whisper. Cumberlidge recalled how God told him to share the autobiographical testimony about the power of faith and healing in June, with encouragement and support from his wife, Ellie.

By the end of the month, the completed the handwritten manuscript for “Empty to Fullness,” and it was ready to move on to the editing and publishing stages.

“The Lord told me, 'you must write the book — you are to tell the world of what He has done for me, so other people would know that it's possible today,'” he said. “So many churches do not believe that there is no healing — that God does not heal today — but he does, and that book is proof of it.”

Cumberlidge said he raised his voice up during sermons and hymns of praise. Since at churches across the nation and throughout Hannibal, going “where God calls me.” During those years of sickness, Cumberlidge remembered how his faith healed him from conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's disease and a cancerous tumor in his chest — he recalled that when the time came for operation, the surgeon couldn't find any traces of cancer.

With his book, Cumberlidge hopes to help those who are ailing by offering encouragement that they can be healed through faith. And he said God's plan for him and Ellie is still going strong — he hopes to set up a prayer group for people suffering from fibromyalgia, and he senses that a second book will be coming soon.

“When He wants it done, it's done,” he said. “But I had to experience those things so I can do what He's called me to do now.”

Copies of “Empty to Fullness” are available for $10 at Greater Days Restaurant, 111 N. Main St. They are also for sale on Amazon's website as a paperback book for $9.95 or as an e-book for Kindle for $4.99.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com