The Next Time You Wake Up And Can't Get Back To Sleep, Try Prayers Of Healing
By Michael H. Brown
Many are those who wake up (often at precisely three a.m.) and can't get back to sleep. It seems like a spiritual time -- like the veil between here and the otherworld is particularly thin. It is a time for prayer. It is a time to help others. Often, I find that something is welling up and only one thing brings back sleep: prayer, especially prayers of healing.
We have to remember that we are all called to heal and that if we pray we are all conduits of the Holy Spirit.
At night, or the next time you are restless and tense, try releasing that energy -- that "welling up" -- by projecting the force of health on those you know who most need it!
The Holy Spirit offers us all a reservoir of His gifts but most often we don't think to use them.
When we do, when we pray, we not only bring tranquility to ourselves but open the real possibility of miracles.
As you heal others, as you serve as a conduit of the Holy Spirit, so will you be protected from illness.
At night, touch those in need through prayer. Embrace them with love.
We live in a time when both deliverance and healing are critical. "One of the main themes of the New Testament is healing," notes a charismatic priest named Father Robert DeGrandis. "God wants us well. In the New Testament it is absolutely clear that Jesus wanted all men to be healed. If God is our Father and He is a loving Father, then He relates to us much the same way as our earthly father, and no one ever conceived of our earthly fathers deliberately making us sick. If you are going to maintain that God sends sickness, and if you are logical, then you have to maintain that he sends alcoholism, dope addiction, neurosis, and psychosis because these are also illnesses."
It is the devil, he asserts, not God, who sends illness.
Sometimes, illness may be allowed as a test to purify us here so we don't suffer even more in purgatory. That's our view. And often, it is in God's plan for us to return to Him. Not everyone is healed. Redemptive suffering? It exists.
But we believe that everyone is called to try healing others -- as Father DeGrandis makes clear in a book called The Healing Ministry (available in the Spiritdaily Bookstore).
Many, many sicknesses, points out the priest, are caused by evil or exposure to evil. Note how many times that before healing someone, Jesus first cast away a demon! This too we remember in the dark of night: that our problems -- from anxiety to cancer -- can be caused by evil spirits.
Often, the most recalcitrant situation, the most stubborn "block" to our prayers, remains because we have not remembered to expel a negative spirit. As Father DeGrandis notes, "One-third of the healings by Jesus in the New Testament were accomplished by casting out an evil spirit. Jesus always looked upon suffering and illness as evil and, therefore, when anyone came to Him He healed them because He wanted to separate them from the evil."
We may also find ourselves ill because we need to forgive. This is very, very important. We can harbor no malice. It only bounces back on us.
But let's stay with healing others. Notes Father DeGrandis: "When Jesus commissioned the apostles and disciples to proclaim the good news and heal the sick He established two ministries: proclamation of the Word and administering healing and the two are never, never separated."
This means it is imperative to love God, to spread His word (mainly through our actions), and to worship Him. "As we open our hearts and minds to praise, we are opening ourselves to His healing power," states Father DeGrandis. "As we turn our eyes away from ourselves and unto the Lord, He usually moves in an amazing way."
As Father DeGrandis further points out, it's critical to exercise faith regardless of what seems to be happening. Why some are not healed is truly a mystery. We can't answer that. But many are those who can be healed through family prayer, through the Commandments, through the sacraments (he has a whole chapter on this), through reducing their exposure to evil, and through faith. Often, it comes down to balance: when we are emotionally and spiritually balanced, in harmony with ourselves and others, that's when healing has the best chance of occurring. It's also when we have the best chance of healing others. "The holiness which Christ wants us to possess is a 'harmony' between spirit, mind, and body -- a 'togetherness,'" notes the priest. "It also implies a 'harmony' with people around us."
Sin, on the other hand -- exposure to evil (in whatever form) -- separates us and opens the door to ailments.
This is countered by love. It is also countered by faith. It is countered by those prayers in the throes of a restless night.
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