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March 17, 2019: All Souls Pray • Healing Prayer

by Al Muller

Nearly a decade ago, I was invited to join the All Souls healing prayer ministry. As a retired physician, I was reminded that medical students are taught the value of "laying on of hands," and of developing a good “bedside manner” through empathy with the patient. They say that when all other medicine has failed, there remains the "medicine" of a caring physician. So too as healing prayer ministers, we try to reassure by our touch and our prayers of loving support.

When I ask a parishioner, "For whom do you ask healing?" the person makes a request either for him- or herself, or for a friend or relative. The person needing healing may be facing a challenging situation, struggling with serious illness, or mourning a recent death. I hear requests arising from fear or pain. Being asked to pray for someone is a very humbling and often very emotional interaction. It has become the most spiritually satisfying experience for me at All Souls.  

While each healing prayer minister has his or her own style, we all seek to convey two messages through our words and our laying on of hands. First, that the supplicant, or the one on whose behalf they ask healing, is not alone. And second, that they are loved. We healing prayer ministers merely try to be good conduits of God’s love, and to give people hope and strength to continue, for love can be more powerful than fear. And I always encourage those who ask for healing on behalf of another to let that person know they love them and care about them. It is a powerful medicine that we each can give, without any medical degree required!

In reflecting on my experiences as a healing prayer minister, I re-read emails I exchanged years ago with an old friend, Landis Vance, who was a key part of founding the All Souls healing prayer ministry, and herself died from breast cancer. She said to me, "There really is a fabric that is woven by the intention, prayers, and thoughts of all who participate in lifting me up. I can feel it especially on those days when I can barely pray on my own behalf." If you feel in need of healing prayer for any reason, please do not hesitate to come to the side chapel during communion on the first Sunday of every month, or every Wednesday at the noon Mass.

Last Published: March 13, 2019 3:26 PM
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