Pastoral Care and Counseling
Date of Award
Master of Theology (Th.M)
Healing prayer, Christian prayer, Ministries, Behavioural-psychological perspective, Behavioural-theological analysis
If healing is possible, and Christian prayer is a means to achieve it, how do Christians 'make it happen'? The answer to this question has had renewed and increasing interest for Christians in Reformed circles (Chapter I). While different healing 'ministries' have claimed to unlock (some aspect) of healing, there has been limited assessment of these ministries in both their methodologies and their claims. This paper reviews four of these ministries, first looking at aspects of their teaching and methodology (Chapter 2). It then reflects on these from a behavioural-psychological perspective by asking a number of questions (Chapter 3) before moving to a behavioural-theological analysis that looks a little more deeply at the foundations, methods and claims of these ministries (Chapter 4). This includes critique of these ministries (weaknesses, lacunae, inconsistencies) but also an recognition that God offers something more for healing than what many have experienced in traditional faith groups. The paper ends with a section on implications for ministry that challenges the faith community to coordinate efforts in some areas of this ministry, focus on a proper understanding of the place of healing and community, and consider some first steps to move forward in healing prayer.
Kranenburg, Henry, "As good as it gets: a review and consideration of "healing prayer", its theological and ministry implications, and the hope for change it evokes." (2011). Master of Theology (ThM) Theses. 9.