Saturday, March 10, 2012
Why Controversy about Healing and Prayer?
I have been involved in prayer and healing activities for several decades. I did not ask God to do that to me, but He did not ask my permission so here we are.
It started in a big way in 1968 when my Father had a bad accident and was near death. My older brother and I were in his hospital room at Good Samaritan in Mt. Vernon, Illinois where dad was thrashing around trying to remove the tubes from his mouth.
I started praying for the Lord to touch Dad and all of a sudden, the room became brighter and Dad relaxed. I just knew he was better. Dad, despite the pessimism of Dr. Alexander and others, lived another ten years. I was stunned.
When Karen and I returned to Cincinnati, I happily related the story to my Pastor and friends. My enthusiasm shocked and confused many of them. Since they disbelieved in healing prayers, this new information was difficult to process. Some looked at me and said things like, "Uh, good. I am glad to hear it." There was not the same kind of excitement that they would have shown if Dad's healing had occurred with surgery. It was confusing.
Then the sermons attacking prayer for healing came along. Some were downright hostile as though I had intentionally done something wrong. Despite my innocence I was seen as guilty of disrupting the anti prayer position of the church.
Perhaps that is unfair but at least the anti healing prayer positions. We prayed for the sick but we never prayed for them to get well. My new position was not well received.
Then I shared my faith with colleagues and teachers at U. C. where I was getting a Doctorate.
I was attacked again for being too religious/ mystical/spiritual/etc. One prof told me in class that "Faith healing was not real healing but just healing by convincing people they were better. It is nothing but a mind game."
I replied, "I am in a Doctoral program trying to learn from psychology and sociology how to help change pessimistic minds to optimistic minds so the will get better. If you had a way through psychology to help people get better you would sell it for millions. So, why do you criticize us for doing the same."
So, my church and my profession both rejected my new found faith, little as it was. It is 2012 today and many decades after 1968 when God's healing touch and my spiritual/mental/faith touch occurred. I still believe in healing prayer. Faith in God is on every page of the Bible. God's love and power and truth still reign today as they did 2,000 years ago.
It makes no sense to me that any Christian would disagree. Why turn down easy, free treatment with no bad side effects? Why refuse to glorify God? Personal experience plus most research shows prayer helps people get better. Why would anyone resist getting better?