“Healing Prayer – Holistic Prayer – Sacred Prayer: How Do We Get from There to Here?”
Holistic approaches to health are derived from ancient healing traditions that were developed to achieve higher levels of wellness and prevent disease. But what makes holistic healers “sacred healers”? Can a practitioner be both? Learn more about these common terms and how to choose a healer and healing path that is right for you.
Speaker: Rev. Chris Kell
When available, a revised transcript of this week’s talk is provided below for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Prayers, readings, and songs from this week’s service are also provided below.
Community Circles – Are you left with questions after a talk, or did an idea so resonate with you that you want to explore it further? In our Community Circles, we build relationships with others, share ideas and insights, and support each other as we apply these principles in our daily lives.
Wednesday August 18, 7:00 – 8:30 pm ET. Community Circle Zoom Meeting/Discussion.
Please join us on the Zoom link below. I look forward to seeing you!
See you at 7!
We gather this morning in the name of the creator,
who creates time and space,
galaxies stars and planets;
in the light of Spirit, who fills Earth with sacred presence.
in this time we call “now”,
and in this space we call “here”,
May your presence be known among us.
~ Adapted from seasonofcreation.com; posted on Third Space blog, http://third-space.org.uk/blog
May we become bearers of joy, we who are
Invited to share in the Cosmic Dance! . . .
May we walk in faith all the days of our life –
confident in your Divine Presence, even in times of trouble,
and with assurance for what is and all that is to be;
may we have faith in the unfolding of our lives,
and radical trust in the Universe!
~ By Nan Merrill, excerpted from Psalm 106 in Psalms for Praying.
Healing Prayer –– Holistic Healing –– Sacred Healing: How Do We Get From Here To There?
Good morning. I am so happy to be here again today. Here in Minneapolis it has been hot and humid, so I feel like I am back in Atlanta again.
It is always a pleasure for me to present these talks, although I will admit that it is also a little scary for me as well. It is my hope that my words bring something positive into your thoughts, and I guess that deep down, or maybe not so deep, I am afraid that I will fail to meet this goal.
But, this is where faith, trust, and prayer work for me. Faith that when I ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit I will receive it, and trust that I will speak the words she wants me to say.
And this is my not so subtle way of introducing a point I’d like to make before getting into the body of today’s message.
. . . faith seems to be a concept in today’s culture that turns some people off.
Maybe your heard my talk last month about healing prayer, but if you didn’t, or don’t remember it, I talked about the power of spiritual healing through prayer, and my belief that faith and trust are the foundation for healing prayer. However, after that talk, I discovered that faith seems to be a concept in today’s culture that turns some people off. That thought never even occurred to me when I was preparing my talk, so I thought I’d take a minute today to clarify what I mean by faith, because I believe it is a common commodity, and I don’t believe it should be exclusively relegated to a religious context.
According to Merriam Webster, faith is a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust; something that is believed, especially with strong conviction.” Synonyms for faith are belief, confidence, sureness.
. . . anyone, anywhere, can request healing for themselves or others, no matter what they profess to believe.
Faith has a place in everyday life. For example, most of us have faith in our partners’ love for us and for our children. And every time we follow our dreams, goals, and passions we are taking “a leap of faith.” Remember those recent space flights? They only happened because people dared to dream, and trusted in the abilities of others to make those dreams come true. Believing in something is a powerful motivator.
In talking about spiritual healing, I firmly believe that, even though faith or belief in the process is not a requirement for the person being prayed for, it is definitely a requisite for the healer, simply by definition. Spiritual healing is a gift that presupposes the healer’s unshakeable trust in a higher power, whatever that power is called. In other words, anyone, anywhere, can request healing for themselves or others, no matter what they profess to believe. Yet, they still have to trust what they are asking for will be answered in some way, and always with the possibility and hope of true healing in our best and highest good.
And now I come to today’s topic. The theme for this month is How We Heal, so in keeping with this theme, and to continue on from last month, I want to talk about spiritual healing as a holistic practice.
A holistic approach focusses on a person’s total wellness . . .
‘Holistic’ originates from the Greek root ‘holos’, which translates as ‘whole’. A holistic approach means to provide support that looks at the whole person, addressing the patient’s physical, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing. A holistic approach focusses on a person’s total wellness, not just the illness or condition rather than curing ailments in isolation as allopathic medicine aims to do.
The Western Connecticut State University Institute for Holistic Health Studies provides the following information about holistic health practices:
“Holistic healing is referred to in a variety of ways: alternative medicine, complementary therapies, natural healthcare, integrative medicine. . . . Holistic approaches include, but are not limited to: spiritual healing, relaxation techniques, homeopathy, acupuncture, acupressure, biofeedback, massage therapy, meditation, yoga, therapeutic touch, Ayurveda, reiki and other energy therapies, chiropractic manipulation, cranial-sacral therapy, aura healing, sound healing, chakra balancing, EFT, and life-coaching.”
Traditional holistic approaches . . .
According to the Institute, individuals actively participant in their health decisions and healing processes using alternative approaches in combination with each other and with conventional medicine to provide an integrated approach to health. Traditional holistic approaches focus on the use of food, herbs, supplements, teas, homeopathic remedies, and essential oils. Movement, dancing, singing or chanting, sound and vibration, drumming, prayer, meditation, and mindfulness are examples of holistic healing methods.
Holistic approaches to health are derived from ancient healing traditions that were developed to achieve higher levels of wellness and prevent disease. In his book Sacred Healing, Dr. Norman Shealy tells us that “Not only priests, kings, and holy people have possessed the abilities to cure. Ordinary individuals have also demonstrated the special power to heal.” Today, it is more often religious and spiritually oriented holistic practitioners who are rediscovering and reviving those traditional cures and practices as well creating new ones.
Holistic practitioners have many labels . . .
For every method of holistic healing out there, there is someone who specializes in it. Holistic practitioners have many labels: spiritual healer, energy healer, psychic healer, shaman, Ayurvedic doctors, naturopathic physicians, holistic health coaches, and herbalists, just to name a few.
As well as addressing physical imbalances, holistic healers work to restore balance in the unseen or subconscious layers of your being that support the health issues you’re focused on healing. This helps you reshape your life to release unhealthy problems, support your spiritual wellbeing, and restore your physical wellness.
Individuals’ lives are often transformed when their situations are understood in relation to the whole person. Approaching healing spiritually is essential because the deepest, most profound, and most lasting levels of healing come through spiritual healing. With a holistic/spiritual approach, healing is more than a group of techniques. It reflects the truth – that we are essentially spiritual beings having a human experience.
. . . all healing, whether holistic, spiritual, or allopathic, ultimately comes from a Divine Source.
I believe all healing, whether holistic, spiritual, or allopathic, ultimately comes from a Divine Source. One well-known medical intuitive you may have heard about, Edgar Cayce, states:
“Know that all strength, all healing of every nature is the changing of the vibrations from within – the attuning of the Divine within the living tissue of a body to Creative Energies. This alone is healing. Whether it is accomplished by the use of drugs, the knife, or whatnot, it is the attuning of the atomic structure of the living cellular force to its original spiritual heritage” (Cayce reading 167-1, M.24, 7/25/39 in Shealy, Sacred Healing, p. 64).
With reference to the types of healing, he goes on to say:
“There is no difference, for the good in each treatment comes from the same source. They are not contradictory, as some people believe. . .. All healing comes from the Divine” (Shealy, p. xiv).
“. . .healing is essentially a mystical experience . . .”
In the Foreword to Shealy’s book Sacred Healing, Caroline Myss writes: “Healing, by definition, is a sacred art” (Shealy, p. vii).
What does she mean by that? Well, she goes on to explain, saying,
“. . .healing is essentially a mystical experience – not a mental one, not an emotional one, not a psychic one, but a mystical one. Practically all of the ancient texts describe the art of healing as a divine process in which healing the body first requires healing the spirit. . .. [And] The soul is the healing vessel (Myss, https://www.myss.com/mystical-insights-experience-healing/).
Unfortunately, modern medicine practices have eclipsed our innate understanding of the spirit of healing. As Myss says,
“. . . respect for the healing power of prayer, faith and love diminished dramatically as chemical medicine produced more and more physical results. . . The healing power of faith was reduced to a personal matter that carried little or no authority in the . . . scientific and medical community . . .somewhere along the line, the precious role of the Sacred has been reduced to the status of superstition and non-provable thought” (Shealy, p. viii).
. . . sacred healing, or spiritual healing, has traditionally been considered a miraculous type of healing.
Shealy writes that sacred healing implies a reverence for the art of healing; it looks at the interior of the human soul and honors its position of power within the human body. Sacred, meaning ‘holy’ or ‘consecrated’, includes all aspects of mysticism and religion; sacred healing, or spiritual healing, has traditionally been considered a miraculous type of healing. It is interesting to note that in early traditions, spiritual healing usually occurred through the laying on of hands by kings or priests (Shealy, p. xiii).
(As a fun side note, some of you may remember in J.R.R. Tolkien’s book Return of the King, when Faramir returns to Gondor near death, there is a line spoken by a healer who laments the missing king, saying: “the hands of the king are the hands of a healer.” I’ve always wished they had included that line in the movie.)
Cayceperformed about 15,000 trance readings, of which almost 10,000 were related to health and illness. He emphasized that all healing ultimately is spiritual, involving God or a divine force, assisted by prayer or sacred healers(Shealy, p. 63-64).
. . . what is the difference between a healer and a sacred healer?
So, you might ask, what is the difference between a healer and a sacred healer? Sacred healers embrace the sacred as the foundation for all life. They believe in the soul, and in a higher power of some description, and that both are somehow part of a higher dimension.
A sacred healer, or master healer, believes the soul is a part of overall divinity and the physical body is only a mechanism for existing in the physical plane. A sacred healer pays continuous attention to and is totally devoted to the Divine, maintaining a constant and consistent mental and spiritual connectedness. Through prayer and meditation, the healer improves her or his ability to tap into this higher dimension and divine healing energy. Meaning, master healers do not expend their own energy to heal; they never loose energy, and are never fatigued or de-energized during the process. They can also feel the patient’s energy and see their aura. Sacred healers choose to live and work in relationship to the divine and the sacred; it is this attunement to the divine that defines the healer (Shealy, p. 73-78).
“. . . being in tune with our spiritual resources is a vital healing force.”
Dr. Christiane Northrup writes that:
“Regardless of whether we believe in angels, God, Jesus Christ, the human spirit, Buddha, the Blessed Mother, the Great Spirit, or the Goddess Gaia, being in tune with our spiritual resources is a vital healing force. Committing ourselves to remembering our spiritual selves and receiving guidance for our lives is part of creating vibrant health.”
And as we heard in today’s reading by Dr. Northrup,
“When we invite the sacred into our lives by sincerely asking our inner wisdom, or higher power, or God, for guidance in our lives, we’re invoking great power. This can’t be taken lightly. . .When you sincerely invite in the sacred (your inner guidance or spirit) to assist you with your life, you are granting permission for your life to change” (Northrup, https://www.drnorthrup.com/inner-guidance-and-spirituality/).
In conclusion, I’ll close today with one final thought from Dr. Shealy:
“Sacred means holy, consecrated, or related to worship of God. The spirit is part of that which is created by God, but sacred implies a reverence for God itself. And if you are a Theist, one who believes in God, then sacred implies a reverence for all things created by God. Thus, sacred includes reverence for life itself, for the principles of life, and for all that sustains life. In this sense, all healing is sacred” (Shealy, p. xi).
And so it is.
Thank you, and have a wonderful day.
Shealy, C. Norman, M.D., PH.D. Sacred Healing: The Curing Power of Energy and Spirituality, 1999.
Myss, Caroline. Caroline’s Blog, https://www.myss.com/mystical-insights-experience-healing/.
Northrup, Christiane, M.D. Inner Guidance and Spirituality, https://www.drnorthrup.com/inner-guidance-and-spirituality/.
About Rev. Christine Kell
Rev. Chris Kell is an Interfaith/Interspiritual Minister, an ordained graduate of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, a graduate of the Priestess Emergence Process, and a Certified Life Success Consultant. She has a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in Women’s Studies and Small Group Communication, and post-graduate studies in Feminine Spirituality. Rev. Chris has a deep appreciation for the aspirations of the human spirit. She has been fortunate in discovering how nurturing and supportive a positive environment can be, how it encourages spiritual strength and expands the possibilities for living a good life. Her goal is to be a catalyst for others in envisioning and discovering for themselves a spiritually enriched life. She can be reached at Rev.ChristineKell@gmail.com.
Today’s reading comes from Christiane Northrup, M.D.
When we invite the sacred into our lives by sincerely asking our inner wisdom, or higher power, or God for guidance in our lives, we’re invoking great power. This can’t be taken lightly. The reason people are cynical about this and make fun of it is that they are afraid. When you sincerely invite in the sacred (your inner guidance or spirit) to assist you with your life, you are granting permission for your life to change. Those areas of your life that no longer serve your highest purpose may start to disintegrate—and this can be frightening. Caroline Myss says, “Wiping out a marriage or a job is a day at the beach for an angel.” Having been in both situations, I can attest to both the fear and the power inherent in this approach. The key to getting through it is being open to the greatness of your spirit.
I Feel the Spirit Moving in Me by Ricki Byars
Fill My Cup, Lord by Richard Blanchard
This service aired on August 15, 2021