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What is Faith Healing?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Understood to involve the intervention of some divine or universal power in the health condition of one or more people, many people understand faith healing as an event that takes place when the conditions are just right for the supernatural healing to take place. Here are some of the more common examples of how faith healing is understood to occur.

In many religious traditions, the concept of believers being healed through a combination of prayer and the administration of some sort of rites is a common tenet. Generally, there is some sort of structure to the ritual that seeks to bring about spiritual healing. Often, the rite is administered by one or more people who are authorized to officiate in the essential ordinances of the particular religion, and may include both touching the person on the head or shoulders, as well as the use of some sort of liquid, such as oil or water. In some cases, the rite or ritual will have proscribed words that are to be used, while other approaches may have a traditional form, but leave the exact verbiage up to the person or persons who are administering the rite.

In other instances, faith healing is said to take place without any other person functioning as a conduit or intermediary between the ill individual and the source of the healing. These sorts of methods may include periods of meditation, vocal or silent prayer, and the use of objects that are understood to function as channels to the divine. For example, some people believe in the healing properties of various types of natural objects, such as rocks. An individual who is seeking a healing may choose to meditate while holding a type of rock that the person feels contains healing energy.

Another approach is healing that takes place among a group of persons. While this approach does not call for the designation of persons to administer a rite, the understanding is that the combined pooling of the positive energy or prayers of everyone present will help to effect a healing for someone in their midst. As with the use of rocks and other natural elements, this type of metaphysical healing often focuses on channeling greater powers so that a person may be relieved of the malady, as well as remove any negative forces or energy that led to the illness in the first place.

Faith healing is a concept that appears to be part of every age and culture. For persons who are convinced of the reality of faith healing, these rites and practices often are a source of comfort during rough periods. At the same time, others believe that faith healing is simply a delusion that can be very dangerous if it prevents persons from seeking professional medical attention.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By anon126216 — On Nov 11, 2010

The website seems to take the Wiccan view of most things and does not represent the beliefs of Christians or the teachings of the Bible. Faith healing in all forms is witchcraft by another name. God has the ability to heal.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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