A prayer stop on one of my favorite hiking trails.
The Northwoods is a spiritually rich area. The beauty of the natural surroundings may be what inspires so many people to visit and then make their homes up here. Nature and prayer go together like a hand in glove. So it is not surprising to know that there is an ongoing discussion about spirituality, prayer and healing up here in the Northwoods, and which has been explored, discussed and quietly practiced with healing results for years.
As a Christian Science practitioner (a person who regularly practices healing through prayer), I have met other healers in the area. This not only includes meeting dozens of people actively involved in their churches' healing ministries and professionals dedicated to healing, but also includes meeting a native American healer, a Reiki healer, a woman from Russia who is a healer, and others (religious and secular) who are interested in the topic. We have two vibrant Christian bookstores in the area: the Cornerstone Christian Bookstore which is managed by its well-read and inspiring owners, and the Christian Science Reading Room which is full of thousands of accounts of those who have been healed
Many years ago, Sister Marla Lang of the Marywood Spirituality Center was involved with a community of sisters in a prayer and health study being handled by a health care research firm in a large city. It was a study with over 100 multiple sclerosis patients in which some had a sister assigned to them for
daily prayer 15 minutes or more per day and some did not. (The patients did not know if someone was designated to pray for them or not.) It was a one year commitment. After a year, it was found that there was a significant statistical difference between those who had a prayer partner and those who did not. Those who had a prayer partner fared much better.
Hundreds of such studies have been conducted over the years. And it is true. According to the University of Minnesota's Spirituality and Healing Center “ The body of research on health and health outcomes related to religion and spirituality is growing in volume and in rigor.” And why? Researchers have
documented “... that the vast majority of cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies found better health outcomes over time for those who have a religious or spiritual practice. The clinical trials using spiritual interventions demonstrated superior health outcomes compared with controls.” (See http://www.csh.umn.edu/for more details.) The discussion on healing and prayer has grown nation-wide.
But, in this area I am most familiar with the local Christian Science church in Woodruff, tucked under the pines, and sharing the corner of two medical health care institutions: Marshfield Clinic and Howard Young Health Center. Every week the church hosts public Wednesday evening Testimony Meetings, where individuals share their inspiration and healings that have come about from their
practice and study of Christian Science.
Last year they hosted a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, Brian Talcott, of Berkeley, California, who came to Steven's Point to give a presentation about prayer and healing in Christian Science, exclusively to to the director and representatives of the hospital and home care/hospice ethics
committees of the 15 hospitals run by Ministry Health Care. An inspiring and thoughtful question and answer period followed that explained how spirituality and prayer can be practiced responsibly and effectively and with respect to all those who are involved in healing practices.
This May, Brian is coming back to give two lectures explaining how healing prayer works, as it is practiced in Christian Science. And this time it is open to the public. As a Biblical scholar, a former Protestant Chaplain in the Air Force, and one who has thirty years experience in healing domestic
issues of abuse, alcoholism, and other sicknesses and diseases, Brian's experience covers a lot of ground.
Christian Science has been my family's main health care for generations. The prayerful affirmation of God's goodness and of our inseparability to God has regularly helped us overcome a number of health problems and also financial and relationship problems. In one case, our young son was healed through prayer of an ear infection within hours. In another case, my husband was healed through
prayer within a few days of a debilitating back problem. Years ago, my husband and I overcame some financial difficulties when starting up two businesses, all through the power of prayer which helped us to see creative and sustainable solutions.
The more I learn, the more I meet others who are seeing practical results from healing prayer. Many already know what more and more health care studies are finding, that prayer can be a very present help and can be a reliable source for healing.
(This article will be running in our local paper to announce our upcoming lecture given by Brian Talcott, CSB, on May 8th at the Minocqua Public Library - 6:30pm and on May 10th at Merrill's AmericInn - 7pm.)
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016