Saturday, November 2, 2013

Healing Prayer: A Sunday Short

HEALING
 PRAYER

Not a week goes by that I don’t see a request for prayers on Facebook or via email. Pain and suffering touches every one. People of all ages. 




Growing up in UK and US Pentecostal churches, I learned that people pray for healing.

     There was anointing with oil.
          Loud pleas for healing
               Reminders to God, that he promised healing
                    And there were stories of what God had done.

As I grew and decades passed, Pentecostals got older
Pain and suffering persisted
      People found relief through medical care
           But they continued to pray and hope
                Prayers for healing spread beyond Pentecostal churches
                                 Stories of what God had done continued

But for many Christians, the prayers changed. Now people pray
     God, guide the hand of surgeons
          Give wisdom to the physicians
               Speed the recovery
                    God’s will be done
                         As long as he wills healing and a longer life

Where’s there’s oil and hands-on prayer there’s also medication, medical devices, surgery recent or planned. God is mixed in with human hands. Westerners hedge their bets now.


But when relief doesn’t come soon enough, the anguished continue their quest to alternative clinics. Anything to get relief. There are doctors with diets, vitamins, supplements, and more. And there are stories of who is the best. What worked. And how to save money when going overseas.

But still there’s some who seem at peace. They want relief. They pray. They follow doctor’s orders. They trust. They accept. They are not the frantic sort. They pray for grace for the journey. They value a friendly face. A face conveying
                           mercy,
                      compassion,
                   comfort
                Some see Jesus in human faces.

           
I reviewed a book for Encounter on testing prayer: science and healing by Candy Gunther Brown. The review is a free download and offers more details of her research.


Do you have stories of prayer and healing? Share in comments.

Constructive comments welcome. Most approved.

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