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Holistic prayer for healing: physical, psychological, spiritual and social perspectives

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posted on 2023-08-30, 16:41 authored by Kim Hung Luk
This study investigates the ways of holistic prayer healing in physical, psychological, spiritual and social perspectives, with the purpose of enhancing how it is practiced and taught in ways that might benefit Chinese Christians. The conceptual framework of holistic prayer healing was formulated based on a literature review and my practical experiences. Qualitative semi-structured interviews including pre-praying, praying, post-praying and follow-up interviews were conducted with seven Chinese Christian participants. Two main interventions, the Entry Point and the Empathetic Dialogue, were utilized in the praying interview to enhance healing. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to collect data in which themes were identified for interpreting the healing experiences of the participants. Research findings indicated that all participants experienced the four aspects of healing in different ways which were significantly interconnected. Spiritual healing of deliverance and social healing of interpersonal relationship are common in Chinese Christians. My role in the praying interview was crucial in contributing to the healing experienced. Five themes which signified ways of experiencing healing were identified. They were connectedness to God, expectation of healing, healing through impetratory praying, empathetic dialogues which enhance healing, and participants’ actions which followed their experience of healing. The analysis of the findings showed significant aspects of prayer healing in the context. A holistic approach considers the physio-psycho-spiritual-social aspects of healing in different but related degrees according to the needs of the participants. A dialogical approach utilizes a series of entry points, sequences of imagery and empathetic dialogues between the pray-er and the participants. A Chinese cultural perspective involves spiritual healing relating to religions and social healing relating to family. A consideration concerns participants’ actions which followed their experience of healing and are a significant part of the holistic healing process. The healing experience is interpreted based on the understanding of the mediation of the Holy Spirit and the recognition of the God who heals. The healing experience manifested in the participants through the pray-er’s (researcher’s) intervention offers evidence for the dialogical personal relationship as the primary and most important framework in prayer healing. These are contributions to knowledge and practice in an evangelical charismatic Chinese context.



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