We all have the capacity to be channels of powerful, divine, healing love. The more we practice this, the more we are likely to experience that power flowing through us to a world in need.
As a child I said prayers, alone in my bed. For a while I believed that if I said the same prayer each night, in the same words, my prayer would be granted. Before I went to sleep I asked for long, happy, healthy lives for all my family members.
In the following decades, family members faced various health and emotional challenges, some of us bigger challenges than others, but on the whole we were mostly healthy and happy. In my mid-fifties, I found myself silently saying to God, “Thank you, you have answered those prayers.” Then I realized I had inner knowing that something was about to change. Soon, my father was diagnosed with an illness that resulted in his death several years later.
Although I had a belief, early, in the effectiveness of prayer, it wasn’t until well into my adult life that I had began to actually feel the healing power of prayer. Several times, I felt other’s prayers helping to release me from fear or painful emotional states, or giving me energy and courage in difficult circumstances. And sometimes, while praying for others, I could feel strong energy moving through my hands (whether that person was nearby or far away.) In a few cases, it seemed that physical healings experienced by me or by others were connected to prayer.
One autumn morning, during an overnight retreat with my small deeply-bonded Quaker community, we were called upon to pray for the beloved friend of one of our members, a woman who was scheduled to have an invasive surgery to remove a large tumor in her head. Our prayers for this distant person were heart-felt. After a period of silence and spoken words, a huge gust of wind circled the building, sending a swirl of golden leaves past the windows. The prayer was finished. We felt that something had happened, but we didn’t know what. Later we learned that during that same morning, in a distant city, that woman had felt something change inside her. She didn’t know what. Nor had she known we would be praying for her. A couple days later, however, when she returned to the cancer center to be measured for her head surgery, they could no longer find any sign of the tumor. She remained cancer-free for a couple more years.
In the Scriptures and probably in every culture, we can find many accounts of mysterious and miraculous healings. At the same time, we probably all know people who have intensely prayed for a physical healing for themselves or others who did not experience the kind of healing they wanted; we may have experienced this ourselves. Many people have told me that in childhood they prayed for a dying grandparent or another loved one, who died nonetheless. This left them doubting the existence of God.
There are a multitude of ways to conceive of the Eternal Being and also innumerable ways to pray. There are many different beliefs about the power prayer can have–or doesn’t have. Opening ourselves to be channels of divine healing requires humility. Although we may have strong ideas about what we want to happen, and these ideas may be good, we must let the mysterious power of God come through us without being able to know or control exactly what form healing might take. Even though so much about healing prayer is out of our control, the power is real. We are all invited to be channels of divine healing for others and for the world. If we open up to do so, much healing can happen–emotional, spiritual, physical, social, environmental–especially when we unite in doing this collectively. Society itself and human culture can undergo profound transformation and healing as more people join together in praying for collective wholeness and well-being, not only for ourselves but for the planet.
In this time when people everywhere are experiencing fear, loss, illness, sadness, overwhelm, and disruption of their lives, I pray that more and more of us will turn to God and open ourselves to become channels of the divine healing Love that wants to reach, teach, guide, and heal us now.
Nothing can stop the silent flight of prayers
Pendle Hill pamphlet #382, Holding One Another in the Light by Marcelle Martin, can be ordered HERE.