The importance of spiritual care for our health is increasingly being recognized throughout the world. “Western medicine is certainly much more open now to this path of prayer,” Sullivan commented.
“It is quite an evolution. There is far more respect and integration between the disciplines. I have physicians who ask me to come down and see this patient or to consult with them,” said Sullivan.
This healing path of prayer is open to everyone. Sullivan listens intently to the concerns of every patient he meets. He talks with them gently until their fears lessen, and have the courage and strength to go forward.
Writing about the enduring significance of prayer to health, Christian healer Mary Baker Eddy said, “…all may avail themselves of God as ‘a very present help in trouble.” Using Love as a name for God, she continued, “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals.” Eddy called prayer, “…the open fount which cries, ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.’”
In response to a National Institute of Health study that showed the effectiveness of prayer, Sullivan sent out an e-mail to all hospital staff (doctors, nurses, technicians, housekeeping) asking if they would like to be part of a “prayer team that never meets” – the Rush-Copley Intercessory Prayer Team.
Rather than meeting as a team, the group receives a confidential e-mail each day that lists individuals who would like others to pray for them. Each team member prays in their own way. “This is an immense satisfier,” Sullivan told me, “as both patient and staff find great value in this solidarity of prayer. It is amazing what the power of the meeting of a human and divine touch can do.”
As we open our hearts to the possibility of the divine presence in our lives, all of us can feel the love and comfort of that “divine Love”. We can also expect healing results.