Healing By Prayer: What Is It And What Are Its Ramifications?

1122 words - 5 pages

Healing by Prayer: What is it and What are it ramifications?
Healing, that is the process of restoring health to an organism, literally to make whole again. This is a process that has been performed for many years, by many different means. Since before time was recorded people have been finding new ways to heal each other. A person gets sick or broken, and they want to be healed. That is the way of human nature. Healing can happen in almost every tissue of the body, and is a vital part of life. So why is it such a huge conflict? Because of the means by which people choose to provide healing. Some may choose to seek medical attention and guidance for every minute problem, others, however see it fit that they only seek medical help when absolutely necessary. This is where the conflict lies. In the choices made about seeking medical attention. This conflict is old, but to be specific, this conflict between people of faith and the scientific community, is centered on prayer, and the use of prayer as a supplement to, or as a replacement for, medical treatment. Should prayer be used as the only means of healing? Should people that keep their children from medical assistance, resulting in the worsening of their condition, be punished? Are parents that do the things mentioned above, in fact, making martyrs for faith out of their children? As research on this topic is done and new facts are found eyes are opened to things such as these, and the conflict is becoming more and more prevalent and urgent. This is something that doesn't seem like it should matter, but it does, it matters a whole lot to a whole bunch of people.
To a believing person prayer is powerful, it is a means of communication between a person of faith and God. Prayer is believed to be the only appropriate way to seek healing by many. Many such as those described in the first pages of Shawn Francis Peters book, When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children and the Law, believe so strongly that they are willing to risk the life of their child in order to follow what they believe to be doctrine. In Peters' book he gives an example of the Heilman family who called their pastor, Charles Reinert, when their son cut his foot and was bleeding profusely for days, believing that, “the best way to prevent their son from bleeding to death was to have Reinert lead them in offering prayers for his recovery (Peters 4).” The family stated that they believed that when believers are sick they don't call emergency services or go to the doctor, but turn to their faith in any and all circumstances, even when it hadn't worked in the past. Peters' book goes on to say that the boy in the aforementioned story had experienced previous problems in which he was bleeding profusely, and his parents chose not to seek attention in those instances as well. After extensive investigation, and an autopsy, it was determined that the boy was a hemophiliac, and that was the reason behind his bleeding out (Peters 5). This boy...

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