Posted by: chuckbumgardner | April 16, 2009

Antony and Prayer for the Sick

I enjoyed Athanasius’s admiring words regarding Antony’s practice of prayer for the sick:

And with those who suffered he sympathized and prayed–and frequently the Lord heard the prayers he offered on behalf of many people.  And Antony was neither boastful when he was heeded, nor disgruntled when he was not; rather, he gave thanks to the Lord always.  He encouraged those who suffered to have patience and to know that healing belonged neither to him nor to men at all, but only to God who acts whenever he wishes and for whomever he wills.   The ones who suffered therefore received the words of the old man as healing, and learned not to dwell on their infirmities but to be patient.  And the ones who were cured were taught not to give thanks to Antony, but to God alone.

Athanasius, “The Life and Affairs of Our Holy Father Antony,” in Athanasius: The Life of Antony and The Letter to Marcellinus, translated by Robert C. Gregg, The Classics of Western Spirituality (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1980), 73.

Good words to consider — particularly for those in the faith healing movement.

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