Is healing prayer a miracle?

A credible and precious account of a healing through prayer appeared in the UK national media this week, in The Voice…a beautiful healing of a young girl (Junior Nwaubani) who was expected to die after an accident or be left severely mentally impaired.  Her healing account, and an uplifting photo of her full of life one year later, is viewable at: http://tinyurl.com/yzkmsp8 .  Two convincing accounts of healing through prayer were also aired on BBC1 TV this weekend – the healing of a woman’s breast cancer (Chrissy Gisbey) and the recovery of a baby in intensive care who had been pronounced as having less than 12 hours to live by the doctors (as told by Pastor Clement Okussi, Potters House Christian Church). At the time of writing, these are viewable on the bbc i-player by those in the UK, starting at 44 minutes into “The Big Question”, at: http://tinyurl.com/ygbh2ml

The BBC programme (produced for them by Mentorn) is a discussion show, and so includes the voices of skeptics as well as those who were sharing their healings.  This final fifteen minute section of the one-hour programme was called “Do miracles happen?”  From my point of view as a Christian Scientist an interesting issue is that I would agree with both the views of the people healed – who were sure that God had brought about a change that modern science could not – AND with the scientist’s view that there is no such thing as a miracle, because if it really happened then there must be an explanation for it.  I am, however, grateful for an alternative understanding of what that explanation might be…namely that what seem to be miracles to our limited material perspective of things is according to another kind of scientific law – divinely scientific law, or divine Science – natural to the spiritual sense that is inherent in all of us.  According to the definitive textbook of this Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy (page 83, line 12 ): “Miracles are impossible in Science, and here Science takes issue with popular religions. The scientific manifestation of power is from the divine nature and is not supernatural, since Science is an explication of nature. The belief that the universe, including man, is governed in general by material laws, but that occasionally Spirit sets aside these laws,–this belief belittles omnipotent wisdom, and gives to matter the precedence over Spirit.”

Like many Christian Scientists, I feel I experience things that would be called “miracles” of healing on a daily basis – many are very modest things that occur that nevertheless defy material expectations, and occasionally, like the BBC and Voice healings, it can include recovery from significant challenges.  (See examples of both the ‘little’ and the ‘large’ on spirituality.com )  Especially dear to me, though, is the fact that spiritual insights and a willingness to grow spiritually in the intelligent consciousness of God’s presence and power makes daily life a more consistent joy in all departments of experience – domestic, work, serving the community – and minimises susceptibility to things such as stress.  Jesus did a lot of impressive healing that teaches us priceless lessons, but if you read the Gospels straight through you also get a wonderful sense of a life lived in joy and love, until the last, bleak period when the materialism of the day tried so hard to snuff out his mission…unsuccessfully!

It is good to see credible accounts of healing through prayer featured in the media and perhaps one day a more general understanding of the naturalness of God’s healing power will gather pace and the word “miracle” will no longer automatically appear in such reporting.

Tony Lobl – District Manager

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Author:Tony Lobl

I write and speak on spirituality from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I am also an Associate Editor for the Christian Science periodicals. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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