For People of Faith, A Word or Two

Author: Dick Bolles

I grew up in the Christian church. That is to say, I grew up in the Land of Faith, and I have always found it to be a lovely land.  It is full of beauty, color, light, sound, mercy, love, forgiveness and compassion. It is a land of joy, strength, and laughter. Because I live in the Land of Faith, now at age 88 I have a city inside my head: memorized music from the great composers, poetry, texts, hymns, images—they’re all playing in there; and I have fellowship and a bond with others who also hunger that there be a God, and love the idea that we have a Creator. 

I have friends, of course, who know no such hunger.  They not only do not believe we have a creator, they feel no need that there be one. Some of them, indeed, are glad there is no one to whom they will be ultimately accountable, or to whom they owe Gratitude. 

Talk between those who feel a hunger that there be a God and those who do not, is usually not very fruitful. The conversation usually degenerates into each side trying to convince the other that they are wrong. For example, Richard Dawkins, in his book The God Delusion states “If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.“ There are also the famous atheist billboards in New York’s Times Squareand elsewhere.  On the other side, there are fundamentalist and evangelical Christians who feel a deep need to convince those who have no hunger for God, of the error of their ways—and they have Biblical texts to justify their doing this.  

I myself have never been a fundamentalist, and never could be one. I have never felt any need to convert those who feel no hunger for God.  My thoughts run in another direction, entirely:  Let it be, let it be, let it be. We who have a hunger for God should just place those who do not, into the hands of the God they do not believe in.  And let it be. Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

But among ourselves, I think we should talk.  Talk and share.  By the age of 88, you have had a lot of experiences.  A lot.  And you have learned a lot.   So, I thought today I would share my experiences with prayer.  Particularly with prayer for healing.    When I have seen prayers for the healing of someone,  and small miracles then occur,  I have noticed certain things that  hinder such prayers, and certain things that seem to help.   So, here are my learnings, for what they're worth:

1. They begin by focussing on God, and thanking Him (Her) for all past blessings in their life.  If we are not grateful for what we have already received, why should we think that we will receive any more?

2. They then tell Our Creator,  that they trust in His power to intervene in our lives, but only when invited in.

3. They picture to themselves a door, and beyond that door lies a beautiful countryside with a radiant, healed person, for whom they are praying

4. They tell the Lord that they know He needs your prayer, because that is the key that opens the door.
3. You ask for healing, and picture coming down from heaven an early light-blue light,  going in through the top 
of Kiri's head, and bathing her whole being.
4. You picture this for several minutes.
5. You then ask the Lord for direction about any healing aids that lie within Our control. (You know the old story about the woman whose home was in the midst of a flood, she climbed to the highest floor, then the roof,  two rowboats came by and offered to rescue her, she declined,saying "I'm waiting for the Lord to save me."  Finally, she drowned,  went to heaven, and bawled out the Lord for ignoring her prayersr.  "What do you mean?" the Lord replied, "I sent two rowboats to rescue you.")
In the case of my own back for example, I prayed but then it became clear to me that the Lord was using other instruments:  I heard/felt/sensed NOT to use doctors, neurologists, surgeons or even chiropractors, but only a physical therapist.  I asked all my friends who was the best, and that is what I have followed ever since, and my back is gradually getting better and better, and better, as you know.  Of course, we want instant healing, with no work on our part, but that is not always the way the Lord works.  He often uses "instruments" whether they be rowboats or physical therapists.
6. ALWAYS end the prayer by affirming "Not my will, but thine, be done."  and ask the good Lord to make something beautiful out of our suffering.   That almost always means,  being infinitely more sensitive every day to those we know or run into, who are also suffering, in the same or in other ways   The body is temporary; the soul is eternal.  If the goal goes around the world dispensing sympathy and understanding, that is the greatest gift the soul can ever seek.