Naturally we cannot change God with our prayer, but we can open our hearts and minds with prayer so that we can experience God’s manifest power in our lives better and more clearly.
by Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D. | Source:
This article is the fifth and final one in this series dealing with wellness and healing. For those wishing more information on healing, how you can apply these principles to your life or if you wish to investigate how you can become equipped to offer healing classes, workshops, or retreats on healing consult Dr. Johnson’s website: www.Catholics55plus.com
In a recent Newsweek
feature article, “Is God Listening?” the authors claim that 54% of all Americans pray each day. This is both heartening and surprising – heartening that so many do pray and surprising that so many don’t! What are we looking for when we pray? Jesus urged us to pray always: “Seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened for you.”
The mysteries of prayer are many, yet how do we know if God is listening? Should we pray for some things (favors) and not others? When we pray for healing, what are we praying for? A cure of our sickness or strength and insight so that we can come to know better who we really are? We pray that God’s will be done.
We all need transformation (literally, to go beyond form), and prayer is transforming. Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D., has well documented the profound effects of prayer. In his book Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine
(Harper San Francisco, 1993), Dr. Dossey asserts that “Prayerfulness allows each of us to reach a plane of experience where illness can be experienced as a natural part of life, and where its acceptance transcends passivity” (page 27). Prayer does give us a means of transcending the physical plane without forgetting the fact that we are “in the world but not of it.”
Prayer is talking to God. It is the means – perhaps the primary means of developing a closer relationship with God. Naturally we cannot change God with our prayer, but we can open our hearts and minds with prayer so that we can experience God’s manifest power in our lives better and more clearly.
Prayer comes in many forms. There is prayer of petition, where we make request of God’s intervention into our own lives. There is prayer of intercession, where we seek God’s favor for someone else. There is prayer of praise or adoration, where we express our great appreciation for the perfection of God. There is prayer of confession, where we offer ourselves in contrite heart and seek God’s forgiveness. There are prayers of thanksgiving, where we offer gratitude for favors granted and for life itself. All these various types of prayer seek the same open communication with God. God is always there; we simply need to open the door to our hearts.
Prayer helps us to open our eyes to faith. Through faith we can learn to see healing not simply in the realm of somatic or physical restoration of bodily function, but to take a larger view of healing where we come to regard our relationship with God and our willingness to live every day loving as best we can, rather than judging all that we can’t be, as the sole goal and function of our lives right now!
Insight Activity: Healing Prayers
Since prayer of all types and sorts is critical in our healing journey, it’s most important that we devote time and energy to prayerful activity throughout our day.
Write three prayers in the spaces provided. In the first space write a prayer of petition asking God’s help in some area of your life. In the second write a prayer of intercession, seeking God’s assistance for someone else. In the third space write either a prayer of thanksgiving or a prayer of praise. Be as specific in your prayers as possible. Try to use genuine issues that you are concerned with in your life right now.
1. Prayer of Petition...
2. Prayer of Intercession...
3. Prayer of Thanksgiving or Praise...
4. Look up these Bible citations and explain what each means for you in your life right now with regard to healing prayer.
Dr. Richard P. Johnson is founder of Catholics 55 Plus. Log on to the website
1) How to become a retirement mentor.
2) How to help maturing adults gain a new, expanded, and positive view of the grand spiritual adventure of later life.
3) How to jump-start your own faith development in your 55+ years.
Because our spiritual pace quickens as we mature!