Prayers for healing have been part of the Christian tradition since the time of the New Testament. One Sunday each month I offer special prayers for healing as part of our worship. Even though I have done this for many years and it has been a meaningful act of worship, it seems as if in the past few months, I have gained insight in a new way with regard to healing. I would like to share some key insights here.
A prayer from The United Methodist Book of Worship suggested for use at services of healing includes this line: “May the power of God’s indwelling presence heal you of all illness—of body, mind, spirit, and relationship.” This suggests to me that healing energy tenaciously moves toward health and wholeness.
It appears to me that healing is often a matter of being restored to health and wholeness that you already possess. Sometimes it is a matter of removing obstacles or accumulated conditioning and then letting nature’s healing power move through you.
Further, it appears to me that to acknowledge the life force within and to give thanks for its tenacity to bring health and wholeness in itself has healing power.
I have found it surprising that something always happens. Sometimes the seeker is aware of changes immediately, sometimes after passage of some time, sometimes never. I encourage my congregation to receive the gift; be open to receive whatever comes.
As I reflect on what happens, I can summarize under three headings the possibilities.
One, things can remain the same or two, things can get worse. In either case, we can be aware of God’s presence to walk along side. Three, things can change for the better. Of course that’s what we would like to have happen.
In this regard it is clear to me that prayers for healing are not magic, “magic” in the sense of its root meaning to bend the laws of nature to conform to our desires. In fact, we may need to change our expectations and accept what is.
Healing and cure are different things. In the end, it appears that healing is not an end to achieve. It is a path to walk. And, this very body, with its aches and its pleasures is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, and fully alive.
This article was published 2/18/15 in the Newberg Graphic