Aging Gracefully with the Graces of Healing Prayer written by Anglican priest William DeArteaga.
“At a conference we attended at Christian Healing Ministries in Jacksonville Florida, Dr MacNutt spoke about healing and aging. He is among the most distinguished figures of the Christian healing renewal, and is now 90 years old. He observed that it is more difficult to pray for the healing of certain age related illness. Thus for instance, it is usually not effective to pray over a bald man in his 60s and expect his hair to grow back as if he were in his 20s. It seems that we are designed to run down in the body even as we continue to grow spiritually (2 Cor 5:1-5).
Dr MacNutt at 90 years old.
He now uses a cane to assist in walking
Prayer cannot nullify aging. But on the other hand it can make aging a gentle process, with much less pain and discomfort and less medications than normal. I became aware of this personally in my last check-up at the VA. I noticed men my age and younger go off with bagfuls of prescriptions for high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. I have two prescriptions that help control my enlarged prostate – that is all.
Prayer enables the Christian to transit into “elders” of ministry with grace and ease, as in my case, from pastor to writer and conference speaker.
Yours truly on the job as an OSL speaker
My wife Carolyn was at first skeptical of MacNutt’s theory about the difficulty age related healing prayer. But we both came to understand its wisdom when we began a ministry at an assisted nursing home. The folks there naturally had all sorts of medical problems, some quite serious. Our ministry had some successes, but less than at our normal church healing missions. Many of the older people had various stages of arthritis and we were able to pray relief to many of them. Carolyn has always had a gift of praying against pain, and was very helpful in this area. But only a few major healings were accomplished. One woman had Tourette syndrome, which causes involuntary movements and vocalizing. She was was healed of this affliction after repeated prayers over many weeks (Carolyn has the gift of divine stubbornness in prayer.). Another lady with rapid macular degeneration had the disease stop, but not reversed.
Carolyn praying over one of the people at the assisted living facility.
But now let me share some of the ways that prayer has softened and graced our aging processes. We use healing prayer on ourselves with great success. Even before we married we prayed for each other regularly. When I first met Carolyn she suffered regular bouts of headaches. After several times praying over her, and teaching he how to pray for herself, they stopped completely. There is no cessationist obstruction in our home (the theology that wrongly affirms that healing prayer ceased with the death of the Apostles). Besides continuously praying for one another, supplements have also played a role in our “graceful aging.”