Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

The Medical Benefits of Prayer

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By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird  

Many of us put prayer in one category, and medicine in a totally separate category.  What if they could work together to help people become healthier?  There are a few misguided people who have suggested that we should only rely on prayer, and not go to medical doctors.  They forget that two of the books of the Bible were written by a medical doctor, St. Luke the Physician.  Luke included many specific medical terms in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.  Other people think that with advances in medical science that prayer is no longer relevant.  Both attitudes are short-sighted.  When we are battling serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, we need all the resources working together for our healing.

                Many churches regularly pray for those who are sick.  At St. Simon’s NV, we often give thanks for answered prayer, particularly in the area of healing in body, mind or spirit.  Healing prayer is mysterious in its effect.  In recent years, there have been a number of studies on the effects of healing prayer.  Dr. Candy Brown wrote a ground-breaking book entitled “Testing Prayer” which gave preliminary indications that there is a measurable impact in healing prayer.  Her research involved the ethnographic approaches of participant-observation, written surveys and oral interviews, clinical measurements and statistical tests, and narrative analysis and archival research.  Dr. Brown’s team of researchers used audiometers and vision charts to test hearing and vision before and after times of healing prayer.  Many but not all participants in healing prayer showed significant improved function in the post-prayer diagnostic tests.  Dr. Brown suggested that the empirically observable effect deserves more research and followup, involving larger-scale more-refined clinical trials of the effects of healing prayer.

               Science cannot prove why healing prayer works, but it can measure its effects in helpful ways.  The founder of Christianity, Jesus, was consistently involved in teaching, preaching and healing the sick.  His early followers regularly participated in healing prayer.  For over two thousand years, healing prayers have been offered up for those in need.  It is encouraging that careful research is being done, indicating that healing prayer makes an empirical difference.  My expectation over the next number of years is that many more scientific tests will be done, that will teach us a lot more about the empirical nature of healing prayer.

                Through decades of healing prayer, I have seen many people transformed in body, mind or spirit.  My prayer for those reading this article is that many of us will see similar breakthroughs in our areas of need.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s Church, North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-an article for the July 2013 Deep Cove Crier

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide

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Author: edhird

I am the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C., having served there since 1987. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was the Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials http://www3.telus.net/st_simons/arm05.htm For the past 26 years, I have been privileged to write over 400 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to lead conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Toronto. My new sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx . In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx . It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook). Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus' healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life. In order to obtain a copy of the prequel book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', please send a $18.50 cheque to 'Ed Hird', #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. For more info, please click on www3.telus.net/st_simons/nsnews030.html

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