This post is out of the ordinary for this website, but one that I felt compelled to write. I actually don’t think there is necessarily a one powerful prayer for healing. But I believe that God answers prayer. I believe He is the power for healing. So perhaps that title should be, “The Powerful God of Healing”.
Throughout my Chrisian life I have been challenged to be active in prayer. I have made prayer lists and prayer cards. A few times I spent an afternoon in prayer and meditation. This is not to toot my horn, but to establish that I have experience in this topic. Prayer isn’t easy. It is hard work, a battle, if you will. In fact there is a book called The Fight by John White which is a practical guide to the Christian life with a section about prayer. I recommend it for those new to the Christian life. Or to those who want to know more about prayer and Christian disciplines.
Friends and family know that I will pray for them if they desire. I am saying this because I believe it is important for us to pray and I want to show you that I do it because I believe I am commanded to do so. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 tells us to, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing…” So prayer is an important activity that has been practiced for ages. Seems to me that gives it some validity.
But I do it believing in the God that answers prayer. Which is the basis of powerful prayer for healing.
Is Prayer a Natural Remedy for Pain?
Everyday I pray for someone who is dealing with pain, illness, emotional or spiritual struggles. That is what it means to be a Christian and be involved with people. So how does this fit with natural pain remedies?
Well, it’s natural! And God answers prayer. Hence, prayer can be a natural pain remedy. It benefits the one that is prayed for and it benefits the pray-er.
Let me get the theology right first of all. It is not the prayer itself that is powerful, or that “prayer works”. It is the creator of the universe that answers our prayers as we “ask anything according to His will.” 1 John 5: 14. What, you may ask, is God’s will? That’s the question! The Westminster Shorter Catechism, made up of 107 questions asks it this way; Q. What is the chief end of man? A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
But you ask, how is that accomplished? How does God receive glory? My simple explanation is that in all our thoughts and actions, God receives the honor, thanks and worship that he is due. And if through prayer, God is glorified, then the activity of prayer has fulfilled one of the purposes of man’s existence. And if a person is healed or relieved of some suffering, then there is more reason to thank God and continue in prayer.
Should You Pray?
Yes! I am not of the belief that if you pray hard enough and believe hard enough that you will be healed. There are some that believe that and practice that. But I don’t really trust them. I know too many mature faithful Christians that have pain and suffering in their life. Even the apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” that wasn’t removed, although he prayed to God for it to be removed. (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)
But I do believe that we should ask God for healing, and if it is His will, then He receives the glory when that happens. Prayer puts our focus on God, to view things from another perspective. And as we pray, especially if the person is right there with us, we are adding blessing in their life.
Some Research About Prayer and Healing
There is research that has been done in the recent past that shows that prayer can have a healing effect on a person. See this article from WebMD, called Can Prayer Heal? It has scientific information about prayer and its effects. Very interesting.
Also, see this article from USA Today that has some personal stories. Titled, Does Prayer Have the Power to Heal? I like that this pastor said praying, talking and comforting were important parts of his ministry. I would agree.
However, the NIH weighed in on an article published by Indian Journal of Psychiatry, with the conclusion, “For a multitude of reasons, research on the healing effects of prayer is riddled with assumptions, challenges and contradictions that make the subject a scientific and religious minefield. We believe that the research has led nowhere, and that future research, if any, will forever be constrained by the scientific limitations that we outline”. If you are interested, see the full report here. So their conclusion is that we can’t make a definitive statement about prayer and it’s efficacy.
Taking all those articles into consideration, I have to conclude there isn’t enough data to state outright that prayer brings about healing. But part of the reason is because it is difficult to make objective measurements of these concepts. At least the sceptics aren’t discounting it. I intend to fall on the side of faith and practice what God commanded and leave the results up to him.
Other Natural Pain Remedies
If you want to research more options of other natural pain remedies, I suggest you look at some of my other articles. It will take some time and effort on your part to determine what might work for you. I tried most of the options I recommend; some worked, some didn’t. But that is just me. It is my hope that something might provide relief for you. If you do experience some relief by trying something I recommend, please let me know! Leave me comments. Other people might benefit from your interaction.
To get you started here are some links to my other posts.
There are other articles. Please check them out. I hope that one or two will help you.
A Personal Challenge
I’m going to challenge myself with this next statement. If you want me to pray for you, please let me know in the comments. I try to check my comments daily. I will pray for you. I only ask that you keep me updated as to how you are doing. I’ll pray as long as you need me to. If I find I can’t keep this up, I will change the post and let you know. But in the long run, it will be a blessing for me.
This is part of what I believe is the community of pain sufferers. We need each other in so many ways. And praying for each other is one of them.
Some Helps for Prayer
If you desire to have a prayer life and need some help, I would recommend starting by reading a Bible. If you are not familiar with where to start, I would recommend the Gospel of John. This book of the Bible was written so that the readers would believe in Jesus. It has an influence from the Old Testament as well.
Need a recommendation for a Bible? I use two criteria for choosing a Bible. One is a readable translation. The other is one true to the original languages in which the text was written. The translations that fulfill those requirements are the English Standard Version (ESV), the New American Standard Version (NASB) and the New International Version (NIV). You can find ones with leather covers, large print, extensive notes. If you want to get some good theology with your notes I recommend the MacArthur Study Bible.
You might find it helpful to use a Prayer Journal. Interestingly, there are more journals made for women than for men. I wonder why? Does anyone have an answer? Most of the journals aren’t anything fancy, just a nice bound book with scripture. So really, you could just use a spiral notebook. But I do like this one I found that has a format for 52 weeks of prayer, gratitude and goals. (Which are things I try to practice every morning.) It’s called Prayer Journal: 52 Weeks Prompts to Write In the Morning.
It is also a good idea to pray with someone. This helps you stay accountable and disciplined. This is also an important part of pain relief; having someone else share your struggles with. Giving and receiving empathy is a powerful force for comfort. Praying together is a very intimate activity, and can bond you to a friend. I highly recommend it.
Bottom line: Prayer is work. It takes discipline. And like anything that is a challenge you basically just have to get down to it. Just Do It!
How To Pray?
I am not going to pretend that I know the perfect powerful prayer. No one has that power. But Jesus gave us an example with the verses in Matthew 6:9-13. It is a great place to start. Prayer is really talking to God. Just like you would to a friend. Be honest and open with God. Confess your sins. Ask for forgiveness. Thank God for listening, and for other blessings you have.
Throughout the day, go back to God with even just a silent prayer. End your day before sleep with a heart of gratitude for another day that you experienced. Or if you are still having a hard time, call out in your pain. I have gone to bed in tears some evenings when the pain was too much. It’s okay to do that.
Here’s a short video from a dear Christian woman, Joni Eareckson Tada, who has inspired me.
I believe prayer is an activity that can lead to healing. And there are other benefits to prayer such as focusing on God, empathizing with one another and practicing discipline. But what about you? Do you agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear from you either way.
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