The booklet you hold in your hands is
one in a series designed to help you with
practical “hands-on” information in your
personal search for a better life and to
help those you care most about.
No matter who you are or where in life
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Copyright © 2011
PROJECT: Steps to Christ, Inc.
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Printed in the USA
Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,Inc. Used by permission.
All rights reserved.
y Victor Parachin
Our oldest child had a brush with death,”
recalls Peggy Dunn of Barberton, Ohio.
His flu-like symptoms were serious
enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. There,
a doctor told the family that Greg was in septic
shock and his condition was critical. As the family
huddled around, one member cried out despairingly,
“He’s going to die.” However, Ms. Dunn felt
strongly that God could help heal her son. She
called on family and friends to pray, in earnest,
for her son. As the days passed, an army of prayer
partners, including strangers, prayed for Greg’s
healing. At one point, his toes turned black and
the doctors said they might have to amputate.
Greg’s aunt, a woman of deep faith, began to focus
her prayers specifically on Greg’s toes; and within
hours the healthy pink color returned. Greg spent
20 days in the hospital “but he is the picture of
health today, and I thank God everyday,” says
That case, while dramatic, is hardly unusual.
More and more doctors and medical scientists
are seriously studying the role which faith plays
in healing. In recent years more than 200 studies
have been done, and the evidence demonstrates
clearly that there is a beneficial link between faith
and health. For example, a landmark study in 1984
led to the resurgence of scientific evaluation of the
effect of prayer on healing. In that study, 393 patients
admitted to the coronary care unit at San
Francisco General Hospital were computer assigned
to either a 201-patient control group or to
the 192 patients who were prayed for daily by five
to seven people in home prayer groups. Neither
patients, nurses, nor doctors knew which group
the patients were in.
The results were amazing as...
• Those prayed for were five times less likely to
• They were three times less likely to develop
pulmonary edema, a condition in which the
lungs fill with fluid;
• None of those prayed for required the insertion
of an artificial airway in the throat, compared
with twelve in the control group who
required the treatment;
• Those prayed for experienced fewer cases of
pneumonia and cardiopulmonary arrests;
• Fewer patients in the prayed-for group died.
That study, and others like it, confirms what
spiritual teachers and people of faith have known
across the ages, namely, that prayer is effective
where there is illness and disease. “As a physician,
I have seen men, after all other therapy had failed,
lifted out of disease and melancholy by the serene
effort of prayer,” writes Alexis Carrel, M.D., winner
of the 1912 Nobel prize for Medicine.
Here are some ways to tap into the
faith factor for health and healing.
Focus on God
“There are a few reasons people do not receive
God’s help. One is that they really do
not expect it,” notes minister and author Norman
Vincent Peale. However, those who place their
complete focus on God and trust God wholeheartedly
learn that He can be counted on to help.
This was something Pastor Peale discovered himself.
He tells of a time several years ago when he
was traveling through central Ohio by train. “For
some time, I had been under great strain. Worries
and fears were haunting me by day and disturbing
my nights. To add further to my unhappiness,
a profound sense of failure had cast a heavy pall
upon my spirit,” he recalls. He was working on
his Sunday sermon but had no enthusiasm or
conviction for the project. In desperation he quit
writing and bowed his head in prayer.
“In my prayer something wonderful happened.
In a moment of illumination, like a sudden
flash of lightning of a dark night, revealing in
clarity a hitherto hidden landscape, I saw into the
secret of spiritual power. More importantly, I felt
under me a vast power, like a full, incoming tide
lifting a stranded vessel from the shallows.
“It was overwhelming and awe inspiring. A
great peace settled on my heart, a realization of
the presence of God as the source of strength…
I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that in that
moment, God touched my spirit and took away my
weakness, fears, and sins, and gave me strength.”
Looking back at those moments, Pastor Peale
concludes that the reason for such a powerful
answer to prayer was his complete focus on
God. “Weary and discouraged by living upon my
meager power, I threw myself upon God, saying:
‘Anything you want to do with me is all right. I give
my life to You. I am in Your hands’. I had said that
often before, and had meant it, after a fashion. But
the surrender was not complete,” he says.
Focus on Scripture
To prepare your mind and body for healing,
read, recite and review some of the many
scriptures which affirm that God’s intent for us is
to be healthy and whole. Some excellent passages
include the following:
• Exodus 15:26—“I am the Lord who heals you.”
• Jeremiah 30:17—“I will restore health to you
and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord.”
• Psalm 147:3—“He (God) heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.”
Focus on Jesus
The New Testament reports many incidents
in which Jesus was involved
in healing the sick. Two examples include
Matthew 8:16—“[Jesus] healed all who were sick”;
and Mark 1:34—“He [Jesus] healed many who
were sick with various diseases.” In his book, The
Bible Cure, Reginald Cherry, M.D., notes: “The
ministry of Jesus has, as a primary focus, the
restoring of health to diseased bodies and tormented
souls. Everywhere Jesus traveled in the
Gospels, He acted like the Great Physician. In the
four Gospels there are forty-one distinct accounts
of physical and mental healing (with a total of
seventy-two accounts in all, counting all duplications).
In many stories, not just one person, but
multitudes were healed.”
Like the people of the New Testament, place
your focus on Jesus and invite Him to bring you
healing. Here is a simple prayer to utilize: “Dear
Jesus, I know you ministered to all who came to
You in earlier times. Today I ask You to look with
compassion upon me. Heal me and restore me
to complete health, according to Your good and
perfect will. Just as those in times past turned to
You for help and healing, I turn to You asking You
to bring me health and wholeness in Your perfect
time and in Your way.”
Focus on the Emotional
as Well as the Physical
Some physical problems may actually have
their roots in emotional issues. Before praying
directly for a physical healing, do an internal audit
to determine if there are past emotional issues
which manifest themselves in physical ways. Ask
God to heal those memories and emotional hurts.
Agnes Sanford, an authority on prayer and healing,
discovered that there are times when healing
of the mind must take place before there is healing
of the body. She tells of visiting an army hospital
shortly after World War II. There she encountered
a German born American soldier who had
been bed bound for two years. His leg, riddled by
shrapnel, was so weakened that it broke easily and
frequently. After numerous hospital visits, it was
determined that he had a permanent disability
and would never regain proper use of his leg. As
Sanford befriended the man she calls “John,” she
explained to him God’s healing power and asked if
she could pray with him. “I prayed for the healing
of his leg. At first it seemed that God touched him
in a most wonderful way. Within days the doctors
were speaking of a change that had begun to take
place,” she recalls. Before long he was walking and
dismissed from the hospital.
However, a few months later, Sanford found
him in another hospital ward, back in traction.
“I broke my leg again,” he explained. As she pondered
and privately prayed for the man, she realized:
“There were wounds in John’s mind deeper
than the wounds in his body. I began to suspect
that unless we were able to reach these mindwounds
and heal them, John would forever be
breaking that leg.”
One issue the man had was anger management.
He told Sanford that for reasons unknown
to him, he would fly into uncontrollable rage from
time to time. As she probed, she learned that he
had grown up in Nazi Germany, that his parents
were taken from him and placed into concentration
camps, that he himself was frequently the
target of Hitler Youth. With that information,
Sanford began to pray asking God to heal John’s
memories from his youth. Shortly after she began
praying this way, she heard from John who
explained: “What has happened to me? All of a
sudden I feel entirely different. And somehow
I know that those old feelings of rage will never
come back.” His observation was correct. “In spite
of the usual ups and downs of life, the rage has
never come back, and neither has he broken his
leg again,” she says.
Focus on Prayer Partners
When asked what advice he has for people
who learn they have a serious illness, Dr.
Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Words:
The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine,
simply states: “Get on as many prayer lists as
you can.” As a physician and researcher into the
link between prayer and healing, Dr. Dossey is
convinced that the prayers of others are instrumental
in the healing process. This, of course,
is not only a scientific view, but one found in
Scripture. Writing about the prayer of faith, the
apostle James says: “Is anyone among you suffering?
Let him pray.… Is anyone among you
sick? Let him call for the elders of the church,
and let them pray over him, anointing him with
oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of
faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise
him up”(James 5:13-15). When you are in need
of healing, don’t hesitate to ask others to include
you in their prayers.
Consider the case of Keith Mullins, a California
businessman. While on a business call another
driver collided head-on into his car. Mullins was
left in a coma that stretched on for weeks. While
in a coma from January through February, hundreds
of family, friends and even strangers began
to pray for a miracle, which finally came on February
27th. That day Marilyn, his wife of 32 years,
held up a photograph of the couple. Mullins slowly
reached out and brought the snapshot to his
eyes and kissed it. That was the beginning of his
recovery, which would take several more months
to complete as he learned how to speak and move
again. “All the medical staff here said that, ‘if he
woke up, it would be a miracle,’” Marilyn remembers.
“It has been prayer, prayer, prayer that made
this miracle happen!”
* * *
Although much is being researched, studied
and reported on the connection between prayer
and healing, ultimately the matter is one of faith.
Human reason alone can never fully explain why
or how God heals. Our responsibility is to call on
God to do the healing and then leave the results
up to Him.
The Three Foundations for
In their book, The Faith Factor, authors Dale
A. Matthews, M.D., and Connie Clark, cite the following
as the three foundations of biblical healing:
1. God Is Love
The very nature of God is love. According to
the Bible: “God is love, and he who abides in love
abides in God, and God in him”(1 John 4:16).
2. God Loves Us
The Bible tells us that God loves us as parents
love their children. He yearns for us, broods
over us, delights in us—even when we neglect or
3. God Wants to Heal Us
Because God loves us so much, He wants
to give us gifts, including health and well-being.
Healing is so much a part of God’s nature that the
Hebrew word rapha, which means “to cure, to
heal, to restore health,” is one of the words used
to describe God in scripture; Yahweh-Rapha is a
name for God as healer. In the New Testament, the
same Greek word, sozo, is used for both “healing”
and “salvation,” thereby linking earthly healing
with our heavenly destination.
Prayers for Healing and Wholeness
“O God, I try to keep a stiff upper lip when I am
with others, but secretly I am afraid, dreadfully afraid.
“For the moment, I am in a dark valley, a
very dark valley. I know that this is where my
faith and trust are being tested. I remember that
Your beloved and loving Son sweated blood
when it seemed death was near, but prayed that
the cup might pass if it should be Your good and
“Father, I pray that prayer with Him and trust
with Him that You will be with me and that nothing
can snatch me from Your hand.”
—Bishop George Appleton
Almighty and most merciful Father, whose
loving kindness is over all Your works; behold,
visit and relieve this Your servant who is grieved
with sickness. Grant that the sense of her weakness
may add strength to her faith, and seriousness
to her repentance.
And, grant that, by the help of Your Holy Spirit,
after the pains and labors of this short life, we may
obtain everlasting happiness, through Jesus Christ
our Lord: for whose sake hear our prayers.
—Samuel Johnson’s prayer offered
during a farewell visit to a friend.
“Let Your healing light shine, O God. Give
doctors unusual skill in the healing arts. Give researchers
success in curing diseases. Give counselors
insight and healing love. Give pastors discernment
and tender compassion. Give social workers
courage and boundless hope.
“Let Your healing light shine, O God.”
“Lord, in Your mercy and grace, reach out
Your hand and heal those that are sick. Restore
them to health, deliver them from the sickness
they now have.
“Heal them in the name of Your only Son; let
His holy name be their cure; may it restore them
to health and wholeness; by Him may power and
glory be Yours, in the Holy Spirit, as they shall be,
age after age.”
—Serapion of Thmuis
“Lord, look down on my infirmities and help
me to bear them patiently.”
—St. Francis of Assisi
Additional Scriptures for
Isaiah 43:1-3—“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be
with you; and through the rivers, they shall not
overflow you. When you walk through the fire,
you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame
scorch you. For I am the Lord your God.”
Exodus 14:13—“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and
see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish
for you today.”
Philippians 4:13, 19—“I can do all things through
Christ who strengthens me.… And my God
shall supply all your need according to His
riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Other titles available in
the Peacefinder book series:
You Can Stop Smoking
Ten Ways to Improve Your Marriage
A Dozen Ways to Defeat Loneliness
Hope in Times of Trouble
Survival Tips for Single Parenting
Living with Loss
The Healing of Sorrow
Life After Death
Gentle Ways to Ease Depression
To order additional titles, visit our online
bookstore at www.peacefinders.org
or call 1-800-728-6872.
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