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07/22/2010

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Jim Martin

The problem most people have with Intercessory Prayer is that they are trying to determine the outcome by specifically praying for a particular solution to the problem, i.e. physical healing instead of whatever healing God might have for the person in question. Healing comes in multiple ways and forms - physical, emotional, relational and the most complete healing - death - where there is no more crying or pain anymore. Intercessory Prayer is not really about reminding God of what God should do or not do, but laying bear the soul of the person being prayed for as well as yourself with all of your hopes and fears. Further, it is directing your energy towards the individual being prayed for - energy that can give them strength in a time of great physical and emotional need.

Donna Stepp

I have stopped asking for particular outcomes when I pray for others. Instead, I ask that they be surrounded with love (from God and other people) and that they be given the strength (physical, mental, emotional) to face whatever life has in store for them. I know from experience that it is uplifting to know that others are praying for you. I like the idea of your "spider" prayer. I think I will try to do that. I will also continue to pray for particular people when they are in special need of that "uplifting."

Dee Dee Allan

Like you said you did several years ago, I stopped praying for others as well. How arrogant of us to believe that our prayers can somehow sway God to heal this person, but that another person is not "worthy" of God's attention. I just could not make sense of this, so I stopped praying. My friends kept telling me I was wrong, that I should still pray, that sometimes God's healing comes in ways we don't understand (ultimate healing i.e.death, etc), that I'm denying the mystery of God, that God is bigger than my little human problems. Baloney I say! As the mother of said young cousin who died of brain cancer, I did plenty of praying as did hundreds, maybe thousands of other people. Was Robert healed? NO! Were our prayers not good enough? Had I sinned and not asked for forgiveness before praying? Did God need Robert in heaven? No, he had a horrible disease that modern medicine was unable to cure. That's it. Nothing supernatural. Just nature at her worst.
I do believe very much in sending out good thoughts to people who are in pain, having problems, sick or troubled. I do think that knowing that people care and are wishing the best for you can lift you up and give you strength. This is the benefit I receive from prayer.
If anyone wants to try to convince me I am wrong, have at it.

Karen Richter

Thanks for the comments everyone. Dee Dee, I felt a little arrogant myself, writing about Robert. So since I've already bitten off more than I can chew with this subject, I'll say more. It's been helpful to me to differentiate between 'curing,' which is purely physical and 'healing,' which is social/emotional/spiritual and sometimes physical. Ultimately, we will all be healed. Love you all - thanks for reading.

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