Our March 2024 issue will look at prayer and healing. There are some historical traditions—George Fox’s long-suppressed Book of Miracles comes to mind—but also personal testimonies recounted in Quaker journals. There are stories of Friends who seemed to be able to sense unanswered prayers and respond to spiritually threatening situations out of a kind of instinct. There have been traditions of healing dating back at least to the time Fox reportedly brought someone back to life after a fall from a horse broke their neck.
What do we moderns think of such tales? What is prayer and how does it work? Do we pray to or for something? What does it mean to hold someone in the Light and is that the same or different than prayer?
Many Friends work in healing. We treat bodies as doctors and nurses, treat minds as therapists, and treat souls in pastoral work or as hospice workers. How does prayer and healing work in these settings?
Modern life has given us much that needs prayer and healing. How do we heal from gun violence? Domestic violence? What about from war and our seemingly constant witness of state-sponsored brutalities? How do we address the mental health, especially of young people, especially after the trauma of the pandemic and lockdown isolation? How do Friends use techniques, such as art, poetry, or sacred chant for healing? More pragmatically, how do meetings come together to provide pastoral and spiritual care for Friends and neighbors under distress?
Learn more general information at Friendsjournal.org/submissions.