Healing, Faith and Prayer

 

            For many years, long before written records, as word of mouth passed from generation to generation, stories have been shared about the power of prayer and miracles of healing.  Not only does the New Testament discuss time and time again of the Lord’s healing power to bring health and life to the sick, but the power of healing stretches ages back into the Old Testament to the beginning of time.  As these influential stories of healing miracles have been shared through the generations and into these modern times, and as science and medicine have evolved to become a dominating force around the globe, many people have become accustomed to seeking natural and synthetic formulas for cures to illnesses and diseases.  However, the spiritual aspect of things remains prevalent, and in that the world now questions our need to return to the dependency of faith in the power of God and His ability to do far more than we could ever imagine.

            Over the last century as healthcare services became more accessible throughout society, the number of people who decide to utilize those services has increased significantly.  Recent studies show that the decision to seek treatment has been encouraged by the extent and severity of symptoms, but also through the encouragement of concerned family and friends, (Weiten, W. et al., 2004, p. 155).  Health care practitioners are also more often encouraging their patients to seek medical intervention in the early stages of symptomatic episodes as a way of facilitating effective treatment early on in order to prevent the spread of disease within the body as well as containing the potential spread of illness to others if contagious.

            However, even with the increase of individuals who are seeking medical assistance, whether urgent or mild, along with an increase in the number of medications prescribed by doctors across the world, we are also seeing an increase in the number of patients who have healed after doctors have insisted there was no easy cure, if any at all.  When questioned, many of the patients have attributed their healing to prayer.  The number of patients who credit their healing to the supernatural powers of the One and Only true living God has increased considerably over recent years to such an extent that cannot be ignored.  Because of this, researchers have begun to delve deeper into the numerous accounts of miraculous healings.

            Studies have been conducted on controlled groups to see whether or not the patients received healing after being prayed for.  Some groups allowed for the patients to be aware they were being prayed for, while other groups kept the prayers private and only released the name of the person who needed prayer to the intercessory groups, which are groups of Christian praying people who believe in praying together for others, interceding on their behalf as we find in the New Testament Book of James 5:14-15 NKJV, “14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (Nelson, T., 1982.)

            An article located in Newsmax Health states:

Now, more and more medical research from leading hospitals and universities across the U.S. has shown conclusively a belief in God really IS good for you, making you healthier and happier, and helping you live longer.  Studies have shown prayer can prevent people from getting sick — and when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster,” Duke University’s Harold G. Koenig, M.D., tells Newsmax Health.  An exhaustive analysis of more than 1,500 reputable medical studies “indicates people who are more religious and pray more have better mental and physical health,” Dr. Koenig says.  “And out of 125 studies that looked at the link between health and regular worship, 85 showed regular churchgoers live longer.  There’s a lot of evidence out there.” (Newsmax Health, 2017.)

While most of the studies are certainly on the effects of spiritual faith and prayer, many of them are scientifically based, therefore much of what we may find is likely to be biased against faith, unfortunately.  For example, according to a Brandeis University research study conducted on faith healing and intercessory prayer dating between 1965 and 2006, sociologist Wendy Cadge began to study the power of intercessory prayer on various patients throughout those decades, according to the research conducted by physicians and scientists from those times.  It was noted that many patients were believed to have received spiritual healing by praying for either themselves or through receiving prayer from intercessory groups, (Phys Org, 2017).

However, the very same article also argues there were many cardiac patients that did not become well after prayer.  In those cases, any Christian could counter-argue by using the very word of God.  Matthew 21:21-22 NKJV reads, “21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Nelson, T., 1982.)  Clearly the Word of God tells us that we are to pray in faith, having no doubt, then what we ask for we shall receive.  Therefore, if the patient is not a believer in God or His power, they are much less likely to receive the healing power of the Lord because essentially they are rejecting it.

So while there are some who may not have fully recovered after prayer, the evidence linking faith and prayer to supernatural healing is very substantial and has been so overwhelming that physicians and scientists continue to find it worthy enough to investigate and study.  This is something that has been occurring for centuries, so even with the nay-sayers there is simply too much evidence of healing received after prayer that simply cannot be denied.  I call that Truth.

 

© URWM  March 21, 2017

 

References

Brandeis University, & Phys Org (17 June 2009). The Power of Prayer?  Retrieved from         https://phys.org/news/2009-06-power-prayer.html

 

Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.  Retrieved       from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+5%3A14-15&version=NKJV

 

Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.  Retrieved   from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2021:21-22

 

Newsmax Health (31 March 2015). Science Proves the Healing Power of Prayer. Retrieved   from http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Headline/prayer-health-faith-medicine/2015

 

Weiten, W., & Lloyd, M. A. 1. (2004). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the   21st century (7th Ed.). Australia; Bangalore: Thomson/Wadsworth.

 

 

 

 

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