The Practice of Healing Prayer, by Francis MacNutt, a packed, powerful book outlining the role of healing-deliverance in the Church from ancient times to now and how miracles are actually effected -- the way to pray with the ill, the manner of laying on hands, actual testimony, cases, and much more -- endorsed by his bishop. click here 



We live in a time of pharmaceuticals -- recreational drugs and hard-core narcotics, as well as medical drugs.

Many pharmaceuticals, of course, save lives. They often appear nearly magical in what they can do. There seems to be a drug for everything -- even problems that one would not think are connected to chemicals. In the U.S. alone, more than $250 billion is spent on them each year. Our reliance on them is fantastic. The Mayo Clinic reports that seventy percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug. Anti-depressants are rampant (eleven percent of Americans are on these). Advertisements on television give us a clear idea of both the commercial aspects and (with those disclaimers) the many side effects.

There is good. There is bad. There is overuse. Like anything else, some of it may be from God, while other aspects of it can be from darkness. It's a bit mysterious, how drugs, particularly those that affect the mind, have long been associated with sorcery.

"The Greek word for 'witchcraft' [in Galatians] is pharmakeia, from which we get the word pharmacy, the place where prescription drugs are available," notes an expert in deliverance, George Bloomer. "In ancient times the pharmacist was one who mixed potions and poisons with which to influence and kill people. Today, illegal drugs enslave us and make us dependent. They waste our lives and our money.

"Illegal drugs plague our neighborhoods and families, robbing us of the next generations. At the same time, we must realize that we are also the most medicated people on earth. Never have so many people used prescription drugs. We have drugs to bring us out of depression and drugs to calm our stress. Antidepressant drugs are prescribed almost automatically today. Although in some cases prescription drugs are helpful in correcting chemical imbalances in the brain, that is not the only cause of depression. Depression also can be the result of demonic influence. Drugs may treat the symptoms, but they fail to address the source of the depression. It is comparable to seeing someone with an arrow stuck in his chest and handing him an aspirin instead of removing the arrow."

It seems the best approach to anything medical is to always pray first; follow good professional advice; and look chiefly for the origin of a problem; there are certainly times when the problem is spiritual. This can be true for any disease. Spiritual sources can exacerbate a weakness, work in tandem with a physical cause, or cause the physical aspect to begin with. The etiology is often a mystery.

Noted Bloomer: "Not all drug use is bad. When properly administered, it can bring about healing as God intended or help people to endure severe pain. While, in some cases, these prescription drugs can be helpful in correcting such things as chemical imbalances in the brain, there are other causes of depression. Depression also can be the result of demonic influence. In such cases, drugs may treat the symptoms, but they will never be able to address the spiritual source of the depression."

The bottom line is remembering how many times the Lord cast out "unclean spirits" and "demons" before effecting a cure in the New Testament; there is also the man at the tombs in Gadarenes, whose mental illness was caused not by psychological forces or biochemistry but by a "legion."

[Note also: Michael Michael Brown retreats: Virginia]

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