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Prayer for health in human life
Faith in the healing power of prayer is found in all religions and cultures. In all religions it is also different from magical practices: prayer does not work automatically, but it is a trusting request to God, which is a form of humble submission to God's will. It is also present in the Catholic Church, which is guided by the principle Faith and Reason (“faith and reason”). Prayer for health is not a substitute for reason-based medicine, but it is a necessary complement.
Why do people turn to God for health??
Faith in the effectiveness of prayer is dogmatic, is something obligatory for all Catholics. Or in Christianity, nor is any religion treated as a kind of magical procedure, which “automatically” brings healing. Christian prayer is not only a request to God to take away suffering, but also a spiritual medicine. It serves a deeper understanding of the meaning of suffering, so all our humanity, and thus deepen our relationship with God.
A materialistic worldview has spread throughout Europe since the 17th century. It meant focusing only on the physical aspects of the disease. This led not only to disregard the patient's spirituality, but also to disregard the emotional and psychological factors associated with the disease. Prayer, however, is not in conflict with scientific medicine. It is also impossible to exclude the effectiveness of prayer for the sick using empirical methods used in science. Supporters of the prayer for health emphasize, that it in no way interferes with medical therapy based on the achievements of science.
Nowadays, however, not only believers appreciate the importance of prayer. Prayer has not only spiritual significance, but also psychotherapeutic and medical significance, primarily associated with reducing stress. This is important for the patients themselves (disease-related stress exacerbates the symptoms of many diseases), as well as for people associated with them emotionally. Undoubtedly, from the point of view of scientific medicine, is the effectiveness of prayer in the treatment of psychophysical diseases, such as insomnia, depression or hypertension.
Prayer helps patients cope with the disease, including the accompanying pain and life problems. It also helps patients and their relatives deal with chronic suffering and death. It allows a deeper understanding of the meaning of suffering, restores hope and gives strength to fight the disease. It enables patients and their relatives to deal with psychological problems, such as the feeling of loneliness accompanying diseases and loss of control over their own lives.
Prayer for health is one of the most common types of prayer, according to research from the Gallup Institute. Until 75% US residents pray every day. 98% of them pray for the well-being of the family, 94% thank God, 92% asks for forgiveness, a 89% he prays for health. It indicates that, that health is one of the most important human needs, and asking for it is one of the most often addressed to God.
Belief in the strength of prayer for the sick also involves strengthening faith in God in all its other aspects. An example is the Syrian ruler Abgar V Ukamma, who according to the hagiographic message corresponded with Jesus. King Abgar V in his letter to Jesus Christ begged him for healing, which was given to him. It was healing that brought about, that the ancient king believed in Jesus' mission as a whole, thus becoming the first Christian ruler.
Prayer for the sick also has a symbolic meaning in Christianity. Healing the body of disease symbolizes the purification of the soul from sin. In Christianity, prayer for the sick, just like any other form of care for them, she is also considered a deed of mercy. About that, how important is prayer for the sick in a Christian's religious life, is evidenced by the fact, that the anointing of the sick is one of the sacraments in the Catholic Church. This sacrament is given to all Catholics, for whom the disease is life-threatening.
According to the instruction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding prayer for healing: A fervent desire for happiness, deeply rooted in the human heart, is closely connected with the pursuit of release from the disease and understanding its meaning, when it is experienced. It is a human experience, which has a special resonance in the Church, because in one way or another it affects everyone. It is through him that illness is understood as a means of union with Christ and of internal purification, and from these, who look after a sick person, as an opportunity to do mercy.
Prayer for health in Christianity and in other religions
Prayer for the sick in Christianity
Most of Jesus' miracles described in the Gospels are healings, these healings were often accompanied by a prayer to God the Father. Also described by Acts of the Apostles miracles performed by the apostles mostly consisted of healing the sick. Saint healed many, especially. Paul. In the Old Testament, descriptions of healings by prophets are relatively rare, however, there are descriptions of prayers for healing addressed to God by the prophet Elijah. On the other hand, there are more frequent descriptions of illness as God's punishments for Israelites for disobedience. However, God was sorry for the Israelites every time, listening to their atoning prayers.
The biblical descriptions of miraculous healings through prayer are based on the belief in the power of prayer for the sick in all Christian denominations. Belief in the effectiveness of prayer for the sick was already common among early Christians. Healing through prayer was recognized by the early Christians as a gift of the Holy Spirit. In the original church, prayer was often practiced by laying hands on the sick, which is a form of blessing.
Already in the Old Testament there is also visible faith in the protection of angels over people. The main patron of doctors, pharmacists and the sick are the archangel Rafał in Christianity, whose name means “God heals”. In the Book of Tobias there is a description of the archangel Raphael's care over Tobias and a description of the archangel's healing. Archangel Raphael, just like the personal Guardian Angel, takes personal care of people.
In Orthodoxy, there is a strong faith in the healing power of prayer for people with a holy lifestyle. The Orthodox believers turn to hermits for healing, monks and nuns– especially the so-called. Nursing, experienced religious with special wisdom and asceticism. He also believes in the healing power of prayer “people with pure hearts” – children, and even madmen (“jurodiwych”). These people are considered to have God's special favors. Just like in Catholicism, in Orthodoxy, there is faith in miraculous healings through prayer before holy images. In the nineteenth century, the Icon of the Mother of Intercession for Sinners was widely prayed during the cholera epidemics that prevailed at that time.
The cult of saint patrons is alive in Catholicism, interceding for the faithful before God. Prayer through the saints is considered to be particularly effective in these areas, with whom they were associated during their lifetime. This is also the case with diseases – some of the saints have special power attributed to the prayers, specific ailments. Yes e.g.. in the case of throat diseases, prayer to St.. Blaise, in the case of breast cancer up to St.. agates, in all cancers up to St.. Peregrine, in the case of epilepsy to St.. Wita. Relief in rheumatism is brought by prayer through St.. Servatius, in heart disease – St.. Teresa the Great, in mental illness (just like in love problems) – St.. Walenty, in stomach diseases – St.. Erazm, in children's diseases – St.. John the Baptist. Saint John Paul II patronizes the patients with Parkinson's disease, which he suffered himself. Most saints take care of those who are ill with some specific diseases.
A pilgrimage is associated with prayer. Catholics believe, that pilgrimage to places famous for healings is a form of prayer. Patients can go on their own, and people praying for them. Lourdes in southern France is the most famous of the Catholic sanctuaries famous for their miraculous healings.. A particularly important form of prayer for the sick is also the Holy Mass celebrated for the sick. The healing power of prayer was also reflected in the culture of the Christian world. An example would be the medieval knight legend of the Holy Grail, who had healing power.
Belief in the power of prayers for healing the sick is especially important in many Protestant denominations– especially Pentecostals and Adventists. Pentecostals refer in their religious practices to the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to the apostles, in this gift of healing. Similarly, he understands Catholic prayer. Renewal in the Holy Spirit. There are also irrationalist movements in Protestantism, and even denying the very reality of the physical world (for example,. Christian Science Association). They completely reject medicine, believing, that prayer is the only means of recovery. Many radical Protestants regard illness as God's punishment, refusing treatment.
In Latin American countries there was a synthesis of Christian faith in saints with magical practices of African and Indian origin. Most magical and religious practices, such as macumba or voodoo, aims to ward off diseased evil spirits. The difference between prayer in this kind of practice and prayer in Christian religions is that, that magical healers try to force saints, spirits and God to heal the sick. In Christianity, however, a person praying to God humbly accepts his will. The difference between prayer for healing and magic, widely recognized by cultural anthropologists and religious experts, therefore it is based on a different understanding of the relationship between man and God.
Prayer for the sick in other religions
In Buddhism and Hinduism there is no clear border between prayer and other spiritual practices. A devout Hindu speaks to his deities not only in words, but with all your life – so prayer is e.g.. dance, music, or physical exercises and meditation practices. Some mantras (often repeated verbal prayers) according to Hindus, they have healing powers. The balance between body and spirit, however, is more important. Meditation and physical breathing exercises lead to it: the goal of Indian yoga is not only human contact with the Absolute, but also victory over the disease, death and old age.
Prayers for healing played a large role in the lives of ancient Greeks and Romans. deity, to which they were directed, he was above all Asklepios (Eskulap). The worshiper of Asklepios was Hippocrates, the most famous doctor of antiquity, which operated on the island of Kos, main center of worship of this deity. The ancient Greeks saw disease (especially epidemics) as a punishment sent by the gods. Pleading prayers to Father Asklepios could have turned her away, has Apollina.
In Islam, belief in the healing power of prayer is not common. Fatalism occurs in this religion, conviction, that all misery (including diseases) they are God's inevitable will. However, many Muslims believe, that healing power is to recite Quranic verses over oil or water, which are then used for bathing and drinking. Some Muslims also believe, that diseases are brought by demons – reciting the Koran (especially suras Al-Fatiha) makes it possible to overcome the influence of bad powers.
In Judaism, prayers for healing are associated primarily with Hasidism, the mystical and emotional current of this religion. The tzadik who has direct contact with God has healing powers, leader of a Hasidic group. There are also vivid beliefs in the healing power of pilgrimages to the graves of the most famous tzadikim.
Types of prayers for health. The most famous prayers for health
The whole church calls for prayer for the sick and all suffering people. This is demonstrated by World Patient's Day established by Pope John Paul II, celebrated 11 of February. The Pope instituted this day in 1992 year, as a call to prayer for the sick addressed to the whole Church. John Paul II emphasized, that prayer for the sick is also meant to reflect on suffering and to call for help for all those who are spiritually and physically suffering.
One of the best known prayers for health in Catholicism is prayer to the Mother of God of Perpetual Help. The Roman image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is famous for miraculous healings:
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Your divine son, which you have in your hand, hears your every request. Recommend him sick too, for which I am humbly praying to You today. Just say the word and the patient will recover. Don't deny me this grace, the sick have a special right to your goodness. Therefore, ask Jesus, that he would save our dear life. You alone be a good and merciful Doctor for the patient and with Your Help he will certainly gain lost strength. If only God, whose will rules the world, he decided otherwise, support the sick Mother and give him strength, that he would receive the cup of bitterness and give himself calmly to the orders of Almighty God. Give him patience, weapon of despair. mother, You are so powerful, you can comfort us. You are the best mother, you want to save us. Hear us kindly and come and help us. Amen.
The patron saint of cancer is St.. Peregryn Laziosi, living at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. Cancer patients say an eight-day novena to St.. Peregrine. One of the many well-known prayers addressed to this saint sounds:
Oh Saint Peregrin, company, which was called “a powerful” i “a wonderful employee” because of numerous miracles, that you received from God for those, who have resorted to you. For so many years, you have carried cancer on your own body, which destroys the very essence of our being, and who have resorted to the Source of all grace, when man was powerless. You have been awarded the vision of Christ, who came down from the Cross to heal you. Ask God and the Mother of God to heal those sick people, we entrust to you. Supported in this way through your powerful intercession, we will sing to God, now and forever, song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy.
Prayer to archangel Raphael, main patron of the sick and doctors, perceived in Christianity as a pattern of guardian angels:
Good Saint Rafale, I am calling you as the patron of these, who are afflicted by bodily illness or suffering. You have prepared a medicine, which restored Tobias's sight. Your name means "God heals". I am asking you for help in my need ...
Apart from prayers for the sick in the right sense, prayers for reversing all types of calamities and misery are popular in Christianity, in this epidemic. Trisagion has a special meaning in Orthodox and Catholic spirituality, or replication Holy God, holy, strong:
From the air, hunger, fire and war
Deliver us, Lord!
From sudden and unexpected death
Save us, Lord!
People affected by alcoholism often use the Prayer for Spirit Weather (Serenity Prayer). It gained great popularity in the Alcoholics Anonymous movement:
God, grant me cheerfulness,
that I would accept this, what i can't change,
courage, let me change that, what can i change,
and wisdom, that I would distinguish one from the other.
Many Catholics pray with reflections on Scripture quotes. They can also be a prayer for the sick. Sample Bible Quotes, that you can pray in case of illness is:
- Just say the word, and your servant will be healed.(Mt 8,8)
- Have mercy, ladies, above me, because I live in anguish. (Ps 31.10)
- ladies, ten, you love, is sickand. (J 11,3)
- Blessed god, Father of Mercy, who comforts us in our every trouble. (2 Kor l ,3-4)
Prayer for the sick can also be a rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayer to the guardian angel and many other most famous Catholic prayers. Choosing a prayer text is not directly related to its effectiveness, rather, it should be adapted to the personal piety of the person praying. However, because of the possibility of doctrinal and disciplinary abuses, healing prayers are regulated in the Catholic Church. They are discussed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2000 yearInstructions on prayers for healing from God.