Heal With The Lord All Mighty

1298 words - 6 pages

Spiritual healing is very broad topic because there are infinite ways that the spiritual component of the individual can be cultivated. These approaches span all cultures, ethnicities and religious affiliations. Specific approaches to spiritual healing present in diverse forms including: faith healing; healing liturgies; anointing with oil; music; meditation; and the laying on of hands. Because of these complex and diverse presentations, spiritual healing pervades into many different disciplines including the arts, theology, psychology, biology, neurology, and sociology. Because there is such a large scope of information pertaining to spiritual healing this paper will frame the analysis ...view middle of the document...

As the public increasingly begins to question the medical model, there has been a dramatic increase in seeking alternative therapies ranging from magnets, and homeopathy, to mega-vitamins. A study conducted by Dr. Eisenberg, a noted researcher in alternative medicine, and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association documents this dramatic increase in alternative medicine within the last decade.[2] His study estimated that in 1997 alone there were 629 million visits to alternative practitioners, with out-of-pocket expenses of at least 27 billion dollars.[3] Statistics like these suggest that "alternative" medicine has become much more mainstream as the public seeks alternatives to the allopathic medical system.

One of the popular alternative therapies being used today is spiritual healing. A Time poll in 1996 found that 82% of the U.S. population believed in the healing power of prayer, and 73% believed that praying for someone else could cure their illness.[4] The public seems to be shifting away from seeing prayer as merely petition or supplication - to a belief that prayer may have tangible therapeutic effects, as attested in David's testimonial. Therapeutic prayer used specifically for physical healing encompasses a wide range of styles from absent treatment by a spiritual practitioner to active participation in prayer groups.

The public's growing interest in spiritual healing has encouraged the medical community to consider prayer as an effective therapeutic method. As physicians respond to public interest, they are attempting to translate the effects of prayer into scientific terms and empirical figures. This has encouraged a dialogue between the medical and religious communities, with scientists learning about “theodicy,” and ministers becoming more familiar with terms like "random sample." In his book, Consilience: A Unity of Knowledge, Edward Wilson puts this dialogue between science and religion into a historical context. He explains that during the Enlightenment there was a quest for unity of knowledge across many disciplines. However, as Enlightenment thinkers increasingly put all of their faith in the scientific model -- science eventually took a front seat within academia. With such an increased focus, science began to split into many sub-categories including biology, microbiology, physiology etc. This ultimately led to increased specialization, and compartmentalized knowledge. Today, scholarship has become so specialized, it is nearly impossible to foster dialogue between disciplines.[5] Spiritual healing certainly illustrates this push for "consilience," as the fields of science and religion attempt to join one another in studying the therapeutic efficacy of prayer.

Scientific studies conducted within the last decade on spiritual healing are in the infant stages, as researchers fumble with new terminology and research formats. In 1999, Dr. W. Harris published one of the most concrete studies of...

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