Torch, Spring-Summer 1999

(continued from page 5) offering of the Holy Spirit in answer to our requests. Remember that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, the One who comes alongside us and indwells us, gives us guidance and understanding of the Scriptures, intercedes for us in prayer, and expresses our deepest prayers before the Father. In arguing from the lesser to the greater, Jesus is saying that just as earthly parents would not intentionally give a harmful gift to a child (human failings notwithstanding), our heavenly Father will always give us only good and perfect gifts. God wants us to bring our requests before Him-anything, any time, any place. But we need to do so with a heart of submission and with the trust and confidence that we can leave the ultimate we need to recognize best, we are "seeing thro glass darkly." As P.T. Forsyt reminds us, "we shall come on day to a heaven where we shall gratefully know that God's great refusals were sometimes the answers to our truest prayer."8 What peace this mind-set can give to our hearts! While doctors may acknowledge that in some unidentifiable way prayer brings health benefits, the believer who prays in harmony with God's purposes knows why prayer helps- not only because God may choose to answer our requests for healing, but also because, regardless of the outcome, prayer allows our hearts to rest confident of God's care and concern for us. And that is excellent heart medicine! [i] Endnotes I Robert Davis, "Prayer Can Lower Blood Pressure," USA Today (8117198). Cited online at hrrp:// health/heart/lhheaO 19 .htm. See also Charles Marwick, "Should Physicians Prescribe Prayer for Health? Spiritual Aspects ofWell– Being Considered," The journal ofthe American Medical Association, 273:20 (1995), 1561-1562. Online. Information Access. Expanded Academic ASAP. A 17070088. 2 "Study: Doctors Believe Prayer Has the Power to Heal," jet, 91:6 (12123/96), 14. 3Brian J. Dodd, PrayingJesus ' Way, (Downers Grove, IL: InrerVarsiry Press, 1997), p. 54. 4Warren Wiersbe, Be Compassionate, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1988), p. 123. 5Joel B. Green, The Gospel ofLuke (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997), pp. 446-449. 6Green, p. 448. See also, Larry Richards, Every Prayer and Petition in the Bible (N,ashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), pp. 180-181. 7Green, p. 449. sei ed in Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Hea t's True Home (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1992), p. 182. arbara Loach, professor of Spanish, has been at Cedarville College 1 since 1978. 1 She earned her bachelor's degree at Cedarville, her master 's degrees at Bowling Green State University and Wright State University, and her doctorate at The Ohio State University. When she's not teaching about Hispanic literature and culture, she enjoys writing, working on projects around the house, gardening, and traveling. She is 1 also active in her church where she teaches the toddlers' Sunday school class and a mid-week women's Bible study group. Torch 13