The Power of Prayer in Healing

A stern yearn for God’s power to be known presses me, as I bid on right words to express my heart…

Recently, I read an article that stirred my hatred for narrow-minded deception.

The author, perhaps blinded by bias and partiality, declared prayer to have a neutral effect on the sick. Though he refrained from a bigoted attack, his approached carried a lifelessness that managed a potent sting. The study at the center of discussion carried a $2.4 million price tag and involved a staged experiment exploring connections between theology and science. Three congregations participated: St. Paul’s Monastery in St. Paul, Silent Unity in Kansas City, and the Community of Teresian Carmelites in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Now, trust me, folks. I understand the wisdom in steering clear of selective venting. I dare not challenge the quality of spiritual fervor in these Christian hubs, though I won’t deny my internal skeptism concerning these flocks’ prayer life. My main itch is the likelihood of non-organic submission to God. You can smell it right off the page as you read the link. Can we trust man to genuinely yield to God when the thrust of perpetual surrender is the ship of scientific discovery? I feel mixing in modern science with an abandoning heart is like forcing a frail fishing boat into the eye of a hurricane. I don’t believe in separation from church and state, church and science. I do believe God delights in any effort to tap into His knowledge more, with science as a vehicle. But launching an investigation that is seemingly bent on checking faith? Call it a mere vibe. I can’t help but cringe at what very well could be the driving nature of this author’s message.

You just can’t impose ungodly parameters on mountain-moving faith. Either you have it or you don’t. Am I extreme for thinking several million buckaroos went to waste on this study, when it could have gone directly to medical funds benefiting the ailing? Oh, the brutal misery when I consider the possibilities…

And yet, despite the letdown, I discover a mysterious calm that takes over as I process the read. Through means of grace, we can (and should opt to) burn righteously – blazing to see holy glory revealed AND satanic schemes destroyed. Granted a fire for God is never detached from discernment, so it’s essential to not overdo zeal to the point of madness. Like a good journalist, all sides must be taken into account before sharing any perspective.

But to burn is to defer to God; deferring is an act of dependence and probing further, we find that it keeps childlike faith alive and active. So I suppose what really irks me about this article is the complete absence of such faith – the kind that acknowledges supreme infiniteness and omnipotence. Again, research is not the problem. It’s the heart of it in this case that bothers me - the capped boundaries that prevent a honest outcome concerning God’s nature and our communication with Him.

So judge the lines and test science, not God. The problem with scientists these days is they convert absolutes into variables. Everything is subjective because spirituality is religiousness. But I don’t agree. My relationship with Christ is NOT a religious issue as compared to a governing spiritual reality.

“We admit, O God, how badly we've lived...we've all sinned against you! Your reputation is at stake! Don't quit on us! Don't walk out and abandon your glorious Temple! Remember your covenant. Don't break faith with us! Can the no-gods of the godless nations cause rain? Can the sky water the earth by itself? You're the one, O God, who does this. So you're the one for whom we wait. You made it all, you do it all.” ~ Jeremiah 14:19 (The Message)

A penny for your thoughts, my friends…


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