There was a front-page story earlier this month in the Clarion-Ledger about Mr. Hal Hart who was healed of stage 4 cancer. Healing that someone believes is the result of prayer doesn’t often grab the headlines, as it did in Jackson, yet spiritual healing is more common than many people imagine, even the healing of cancer as described by Mr. Hart and verified by his physicians in both Jackson and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
A recent study by the American Psychological Association reported that among the alternate forms of health care, prayer was used by 49 percent of Americans to address health concerns. Another study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) identified and rated the 10 most common complementary and alternative medicine therapies. Prayer was by far the most used complementary or alternative therapy. Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed reported that when facing a health issue they either prayer for themselves (43 percent), had others pray for them (24 percent), or participated in a prayer group addressing health concerns (9.6 percent). A University of Rochester study also reported that 85 percent of persons in America turn to prayer when confronting a major illness.
Earlier this summer The Washington Times ran a two-part series by Eric Nelson
http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/consciousness-health/2013/jul/15/spirituality-radical-remission-cancer-health/] on the spontaneous or radical remission of cancer based on the extensive research of Dr. Kelly Turner. Mr. Nelson interviewed Dr. Turner regarding her research as reported in her book, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, [http://www.radicalremission.com/aboutthebook]. Turner’s research indicated that almost all subjects (several hundred from 11 countries including the U.S.) attributed the remission to a fundamental change in thinking about health. Of the “treatments” chosen by the subjects healed of malignant cancer, most addressed the emotional and spiritual states of the subjects, as opposed to physical factors.
During Nelson’s interview, Turner stated that “…there is an undeniable connection between mind and body, perhaps most noticeably when fear is involved. As soon as we go into fear, our bodies are not healing. …The problem with cancer is that there’s so much fear around that word that most cancer patients instantly go into fear and stay there.” Experiencing what Turner calls a “deepening spirituality” is one of the ways the subjects overcame this fear and were healed.
In my own family, I have witnessed quick healings through prayer of the effects of accidents, superfluous growths, back problems, flu, sports injuries, and other health problems. If prayer worked in these healings, wouldn’t it make sense that it can also be effective in destroying cancer? Jesus said, “…He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do;…” (John 14:12).
As Mr. Hart mentioned, turning to God in prayer and trusting in His omnipresent and omnipotent care can be a life-changing experience. God’s healing power is available to all.
Henry Teller, C.S.
Christian Science Committee on Publication