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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Can teaching healing prayer to company employees bring down the cost of employee health care?

In this blog posting I am suggesting that teaching Christian healing prayer to employees of a private company could lower the total health costs of that company. This is because employees who understand and practice healing prayer among themselves and their families would use fewer doctor visits, less medications, and in general access medical services less often.

For over twenty years I have taught healing prayer in various churches in my capacity as the state of Georgia chaplain of the Order of St. Luke (OSL).  This is an organization dedicated to bring the healing ministry to all the churches in America. Their website is HERE.  I have developed a workshop “Every Believer a healing evangelist” which stresses that every Christian has a healing ministry towards his family and neighbors. It has been an enlightening experience even to Pentecostal congregations who believe in healing prayer but often limit the practice to select intercessors or “elders.”

The workshop I teach is based on a revolution in Christian healing prayer brought about in last decades by the couple, Charles and Francis Hunter, recently deceased. They wrote the now classic book, How to Heal the Sick. (Available HERE) The Hunters had an itinerant healing ministry, but noticed that it was far less successful than they expected or as the biblical evidence suggested. They asked the Lord for more power and success. The Lord directed them to read the Book of Acts. There they found that healing prayer in Acts (or anywhere in the New Testament) is never done as a petition prayer, as in, “Please Lord heal John of cancer.” Rather, in the pattern is a command via the authority of Believer, and using Jesus’ name. The Hunters combined this insight with an understanding of the energies and power of God flowing through the nervous and skeletal structure of the body (basically, chiropractic theory). They blended these into a truly revolutionary way of ministering healing prayer that is highly effective. It is most often used for the healing of back problems and pain, but really is a universal and more effective way to pray for the healing of all sorts of diseases and ailments. (My blog posting on their ministry can be accessed HERE).

Charles and Francis Hunter:


Examples of “money saving” prayer:

Let me give one example of how effective (and money saving) this ministry mode can be:
While I was pastor of a Hispanic congregation in Smyrna, Georgia in the 1990’s I taught an early version of “Every Believer a Healing Evangelist” workshop to the congregation. They began using it to good effect among their family and neighbors. A Mom who was in our parish attended the instructions, but had the attitude that, “This is interesting, but not for me.” But one night her six-month old became ill with a dangerously high fever. She tried the usual, cold water towels, etc. but the fever climbed. She awakened her husband and told him to call 911. As he was calling she remembered what she had been taught at church, and with some desperation said, “Fever, in Jesus name, get out!” (Luke 4:39). The fever left the child as air would leave a leaky balloon, in seconds. She shouted to her husband, “Cancel the 911!”

What would have been the cost of para-medics coming, or a visit to the ER? Would have it been paid by taxpayers, or some insurance company? The woman was an American citizen, but her husband “undocumented.” I doubt either of them had medical insurance. In any case, healing prayer prevented the cost of expensive emergency attention.

Let me give a personal testimony how this form of prayer has saved the VA, and taxpayers, money.
For many decades I have had a weakness in my right knee (not helped that I am perennially overweight). About ten years ago I limped into church after having an arthritic flare-up in that knee. A youngster from our church came up to me and prayed for my knee. He did so with the laying of hands and commanded the knee to be well. By the time I had finished the service the knee was well. I would have an occasional arthritic flare-up in that knee, but nothing serious, and with Carolyn’s prayer help be over in a few days.

Two years ago I was preaching vigorously, and as I turned in a dramatic gesture, “snap” went my knee. I howled and finished the sermon sitting down. Right after the sevice, Carolyn and I prayed over the knee and commanded the pain to go away (she has a special anointing against pain). I hopped on one leg to the car, and the next day was at the VA in crutches. Nothing was broken. I was given a knee brace, strong pain killer tablets, and was scheduled for an appointment with the VA orthopedic surgeon. A week late was the soonest they had an opening. The doctor showed me the x-ray and gave a grim diagnosis. I had worn out the cartilage of the knee joint. Things would “only get worse.” She advised me that when I could not stand the pain any more, the VA would do a knee replacement. That was certain, but the timing was up to me.

By then I could walk slowly with the knee support. I bought several bottles of glucosamine–condridient (a supplement used to help regrow bone and cartilage) and began to command healing for my knee. Carlyn also prayed for my knee every night before we went to bed with the laying on of hands and commands. My knee has gotten much better, not worse, as per the medical diagnosis. I take four tables of a generic “Alive” every day and feel very little discomfort. Prayer (and supplements) have kept me off the operating table and have saved the U. S. Government thousands of dollars
.
On the high cost of medical Insurance:
My Carolyn is covered by Medicare and uses Kaiser Permenante as her Medicare vehicle. She has found it very satisfactory. However premiums continue to rise at an uncomfortable rate.  I have been covered by the VA for the past two decade and am well pleased with that coverage in spite of delays and waits for appointments. Its co-pays are also increasing.  (I really have no serious complaints about my treatment in the VA, and appreciate the dedication of its doctors and staff.)
Like everyone else, we have noticed with distress how our younger friends and neighbors have so little, or very expensive, medical insurance. The past years saw not only the Great Recession, but “the great contention”on Obama Care and the seemingly endless rise of medical cost in this country. Insurance coverage  has increased somewhat, but no real solution in sight.  
I have long sensed that America was in a medical crisis that had no secular solution. The political impasse and the presence of well financed lobbying groups have made fashioning reasonable and effective laws for health care coverage impossible. But perhaps the Church could lead in this crisis with an end run of the problem.

Teaching Christian healing prayer at the workplace:


Let me pose some questions. What if a large percentage of the American population had training in healing prayer? How much would medical and insurance costs go down? 20%, 30%? Probably very significantly, as my two example hint.

I am not suggesting a government program to teach healing prayer to Americans. That would of course be impossible given out warped definition of the separation of the church and state. That would not be a good idea under any circumstances. But, private companies are looking for ANYTHING that would lower the cost of health care for their workers.

Let me suggest that it is a good time to test if teaching healing prayer to a significant percentage of employees at an individual enterprise has the practical value of lowering health care costs at that company (and ultimately for the nation as a whole).

I would like to run an experiment of teaching healing prayer to the employees of a private company. I am thinking of a company of perhaps 75 to 50 employees where at least one third would volunteer for a teaching workshop. It would be best if a few would volunteer to be team leaders for additional training. The initial program could be either an all day Saturday workshop, or about ten hours of instruction over several days, before or after regular work hours. After a year one could compare the number of hospital and doctor visits, and medical costs in general, with the previous year, and see if costs per employee have gone down.

The workshop would be similar to the ones I have given at several churches. My program is a real workshop, with hands on exercises, and not just a series of lectures. Besides the command healing and the laying on of hands, I teach on the use of oil and Holy Communion as other methods of healing prayer. A description and pictures of one done recently is found HERE.

If you are proprietor or executive of a company and interested in such a workshop for your employees please contact me at billdeart@mindspring.com or my Facebook page HERE. Let me say my services as instructor are not free, but also not expensive. When I go to teach a church workshop they pay my travel expenses and give me a love offering — small church, small offering, and that is OK. Sometimes I stay at a pastor’s or elder’s guest room to save the church the money they would spend on a motel. If your business is small or having a rough go at it, I would do the same for you.

Announcements:

The noted Pentecostal scholar Dr. Jon Ruthven wrote a very positive review of my book, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal. You can access it HERE.

The book may be purchased on Amazon, either print or inexpensive Kindle HERE You can purchase the print version at a discount from the publisher HERE





Just released is my first book of  plays. Pentecostal (and Anglican) Plays (and Postscripts). It includes two plays and their postscripts.

The play, “One Day at St. John’s” depicts what everyday life can be like in a church that practices the gifts of the Spirit and the healing/exorcism ministry as normal. Among the events that occur in the course of the play are the healing of a waitress who was scalded with hot coffee, an exorcism (led by a layman) and the “laying of a ghost” to rest.

Pentecostal (and Anglican) Plays (and Postscripts) can be purchased HERE at Amazon.

The second play, “Joseph ben Jacob,” explores Joseph, husband of Mary, as the dream interpreter, master carpenter, and father of Mary’s other children. It helps explain why Joseph was able to discern correctly his dream about Mary’s first-born.

The postscripts examine the controversial aspects of the plays and focus on two false early gospels which distorted the meaning of the true Gospels. The “Proto-Gospel of James” claimed that Mary was “every virgin” and never had other children, and the “Gospel of Nicodemus” cancelled the true meaning of Jesus’ “descent into Hell” and his ministry there as described in 1 Peter 3 & 4




Watching God Work: The Stuff of Miracles by [DeArteaga, Carolyn Koontz]

My wife has written a funny and inspiring story of how she transited from a cessionist and Baptist to a Spirit-filled Believer. The book has many stories of our three decades of ministry together.  It may be purchased HERE.







Sunday, January 4, 2015

Why I am Still Anglican.

Several of my readers have wondered why, if I am so Pentecostal, am I still Anglican. Jon Ziegler has written about his transition from the Assemblies of God to the Anglican Church of North America. His journey began in Pentecostalism, whereas mine began in Catholicism. Both of us left our denominations without bitterness, and with many good memories. Ziegler has well pointed out how Pentecostalism has lost its love of the Eucharist, which ironically was an original Reformation impetus.

HERE is the link to Jon's article.