Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Sep 23, '08, 1:09 pm
Pasha Pasha is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: November 5, 2007
Posts: 10
Religion: Catholic
Default Praying over people

I was recently with a group of Cathollcs. One of the group was ill. The leader of the group requested that everyone pray over the ill person. Everyone then raised his right hand, extended it towards the person. The leader called upon the Holy Spirit to heal this person. I have always thought that this method of "praying over someone" was Protestant, specifically evangelical. I have heard members of Assemblies of God and non-denominational groups do this but never Catholics. Is this an accepted form of Catholic prayer? My impulse was not to join the group in praying this way as it seemed something from the New Age movement.
I would appreciate your opinion about this method of praying over someone who is injured or ill. Incidentally, a priest was in the group; however, he did not lead the prayer. Instead, a lay person did.
Thank you.
Pasha
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Sep 23, '08, 1:53 pm
Oscarthecat Oscarthecat is offline
Regular Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2006
Posts: 924
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasha View Post
I was recently with a group of Cathollcs. One of the group was ill. The leader of the group requested that everyone pray over the ill person. Everyone then raised his right hand, extended it towards the person. The leader called upon the Holy Spirit to heal this person. I have always thought that this method of "praying over someone" was Protestant, specifically evangelical. I have heard members of Assemblies of God and non-denominational groups do this but never Catholics. Is this an accepted form of Catholic prayer? My impulse was not to join the group in praying this way as it seemed something from the New Age movement.
I would appreciate your opinion about this method of praying over someone who is injured or ill. Incidentally, a priest was in the group; however, he did not lead the prayer. Instead, a lay person did.
Thank you.
Pasha
You are not the only one who is bothered by this trend- there have been several discussions about it on this board.

Essentially it is a problem because it obscures the role of the priest by encouraging laity to imitate postures and roles proper to one who has been ordained.

In my understanding, it is completely appropriate for a layperson to pray with or for someone, but not to pray "over" them because laity do not act [i]in persona Christi[i].

I also find it troubling because I honestly believe that some people attribute a magical quality to the act of raising their hand. I have occasionally seen people at mass who seem to be concerned that the person in front of them is "blocking" their "blessing hand," as though they believe, that something actually eminates from their hand toward the person they are "praying over," like some kind of "prayer beam."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Sep 23, '08, 1:58 pm
RosaryFan's Avatar
RosaryFan RosaryFan is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: September 21, 2008
Posts: 1,425
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Thanks, Oscarthecat, for explaining that. I, too, have often wondered about it. I was at a gathering once where we "prayed over" someone who was ill, and I felt really silly doing it. I'm glad now I have a legitimate reason for not joining in the next time.
__________________
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. ~Proverbs 31:8


"If we only knew how God regards this Sacrifice, we would risk our lives to be present at a single Mass." ~ St. Pio of Pietrelcina, stigmatic priest
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Sep 24, '08, 6:05 am
Pasha Pasha is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: November 5, 2007
Posts: 10
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Thank you for your assurance on this issue. It has resolved for me a troublesome practice. When I expressed my dismay
by stating that as laypersons we are not priests, I was admonished by being told that we all partake of the priesthood by virtue of membership in the mystical body of Christ. I refuted this and proceeded to explain the meaning of consecrattion and ordainatiion. However, the group, en masse, disagreed quite vociferously. If this should occur again, I plan not to participate under group peer pressure to do so. Thank you for confirming me in this regard.
Pasha
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Sep 24, '08, 6:20 am
tobinatorstark tobinatorstark is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 30, 2008
Posts: 3,127
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasha View Post
I was recently with a group of Cathollcs. One of the group was ill. The leader of the group requested that everyone pray over the ill person. Everyone then raised his right hand, extended it towards the person. The leader called upon the Holy Spirit to heal this person. I have always thought that this method of "praying over someone" was Protestant, specifically evangelical. I have heard members of Assemblies of God and non-denominational groups do this but never Catholics. Is this an accepted form of Catholic prayer? My impulse was not to join the group in praying this way as it seemed something from the New Age movement.
I would appreciate your opinion about this method of praying over someone who is injured or ill. Incidentally, a priest was in the group; however, he did not lead the prayer. Instead, a lay person did.
Thank you.
Pasha
Yes and no. It is alright if the person that is praying of the ill is praying for comfort and strength. But on the other hand if it is like a "healing session" praying to over the ill to be healed and telling the ill person that he/she is healed, then no. In extreme cases of last rites, that is reserved to Priest only. James 5:14 Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Sep 24, '08, 6:59 am
antimon antimon is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2006
Posts: 215
Religion: catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hand upon the sick: and they shall recover. (Mk 16)
So, what is wrong with laying hands on someone and asking God to heal them?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Sep 24, '08, 7:42 am
tobinatorstark tobinatorstark is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 30, 2008
Posts: 3,127
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
Originally Posted by antimon View Post
So, what is wrong with laying hands on someone and asking God to heal them?
when praying over someone asking comfort and strength is a spiritual healing not physical healing. Asking for physical healing is like asking someone for a million dollars. God has a plan for each and every one of us, but we aren't to go against his will. Physical healing might be someone dying and beginning a new life in Christ in heaven for all we know. Always ask for spiritual healing not physical.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Sep 24, '08, 7:51 am
antimon antimon is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2006
Posts: 215
Religion: catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobinatorstark View Post
when praying over someone asking comfort and strength is a spiritual healing not physical healing. Asking for physical healing is like asking someone for a million dollars. God has a plan for each and every one of us, but we aren't to go against his will. Physical healing might be someone dying and beginning a new life in Christ in heaven for all we know. Always ask for spiritual healing not physical.
1) how do you know that this verse is about spiritual healing and certainly not about physical?
2) how do you know that physical healing is certainly not a part of God's plan, so that we should not pray for it?
3) why does God heal people when they or someone else prays for them? Isn't that directly contradicting your position not to ask for physical healing?
4) if it is better for us to go to heaven, why are we still on the earth?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Sep 24, '08, 8:02 am
tobinatorstark tobinatorstark is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 30, 2008
Posts: 3,127
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

here is a link provided on spiritual healing and what spiritual healing and prayer does. http://1stholistic.com/prayer/hol_spiritual_healing.htm
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Sep 24, '08, 8:04 am
antimon antimon is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2006
Posts: 215
Religion: catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

I recommend reading Instruction on prayers for healing:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/co...uzione_en.html

which contains also very good "Doctrinal Aspects" part.

edit: sorry, but the link you provided is certainly not christian, it seems too new age.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Sep 24, '08, 8:23 am
tobinatorstark tobinatorstark is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 30, 2008
Posts: 3,127
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
Originally Posted by antimon View Post
I recommend reading Instruction on prayers for healing:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/co...uzione_en.html

which contains also very good "Doctrinal Aspects" part.

edit: sorry, but the link you provided is certainly not christian, it seems too new age.
The link you provided is very good indeed. All scripture passages that I looked up in the document point to one thing, asking God for strength in a spiritual way.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Sep 24, '08, 8:32 am
josethekke josethekke is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2007
Posts: 104
Religion: catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasha View Post
I was recently with a group of Cathollcs. One of the group was ill. The leader of the group requested that everyone pray over the ill person. Everyone then raised his right hand, extended it towards the person. The leader called upon the Holy Spirit to heal this person. I have always thought that this method of "praying over someone" was Protestant, specifically evangelical. I have heard members of Assemblies of God and non-denominational groups do this but never Catholics. Is this an accepted form of Catholic prayer? My impulse was not to join the group in praying this way as it seemed something from the New Age movement.
I would appreciate your opinion about this method of praying over someone who is injured or ill. Incidentally, a priest was in the group; however, he did not lead the prayer. Instead, a lay person did.
Thank you.
Pasha
I also have the same question I think we should pray for others
but praying over someone is not to be approved
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Sep 24, '08, 1:48 pm
Oscarthecat Oscarthecat is offline
Regular Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2006
Posts: 924
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobinatorstark View Post
when praying over someone asking comfort and strength is a spiritual healing not physical healing. Asking for physical healing is like asking someone for a million dollars. God has a plan for each and every one of us, but we aren't to go against his will. Physical healing might be someone dying and beginning a new life in Christ in heaven for all we know. Always ask for spiritual healing not physical.

You're right that we can't know what God's plan for us is, and that sometimes God's plan doesn't include physical healing-

but the fact that miraculous healings have occurred indicates that God's plan for some may include physical healing.

There is nothing wrong with praying for physical healing-

Also, "death" does not qualify as a form of physical healing. That sounds a little like new age doublespeak.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Sep 24, '08, 2:04 pm
rwoehmke rwoehmke is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 21, 2004
Posts: 4,274
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarthecat View Post
You're right that we can't know what God's plan for us is, and that sometimes God's plan doesn't include physical healing-

but the fact that miraculous healings have occurred indicates that God's plan for some may include physical healing.

There is nothing wrong with praying for physical healing-
Many Catholic Charismatic Groups pray in this fashion. The Church has instructed that lay people are not to anoint with oil when praying as it may be mistaken as the Sacrament of Anointing.

Our Baptismal rite indicates that all who are Baptized share in the roles of priest, prophet, and king as befits an adopted child of God and therefore a brother or sister of Jesus Christ. It is obvious that these roles are different from the roles of the ordained priest which is accomplished by a totally different Sacrament.

I have laid hands on and prayed over people for both physical and spiritual healing and can attest that if it be God's will, healing does take place. Jesus did say where two or more agree in prayer the prayer will be answered. The answer is not always what we want, but what God wants.
__________________
The Lord has been good to me. Blessed be the Lord forever.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Sep 24, '08, 2:11 pm
Contarini Contarini is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: June 4, 2004
Posts: 16,271
Religion: Christian (seeking admission to the Catholic Church)
Default Re: Praying over people

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasha View Post
I was recently with a group of Cathollcs. One of the group was ill. The leader of the group requested that everyone pray over the ill person. Everyone then raised his right hand, extended it towards the person. The leader called upon the Holy Spirit to heal this person. I have always thought that this method of "praying over someone" was Protestant, specifically evangelical.
The only thing that is arguably "Protestant" about this is having laypeople do it. As an Anglican, I say that if this is Protestant, then I'm going to be Protestant till the day I die. If there is one sense in which the priesthood of all believers is true, it is surely in the sense that we can all pray for and with one another.

That being said, it seems a bit funny that the priest wouldn't lead it if he were there. The priest is the person chosen by the Church to do such things as a representative of the Church as a whole.

Quote:
I have heard members of Assemblies of God and non-denominational groups do this but never Catholics. Is this an accepted form of Catholic prayer? My impulse was not to join the group in praying this way as it seemed something from the New Age movement.
I think it's hilarious that you link AoG and nondenominational churches with the New Age. It seems that "New Age" has become a shortcut term that absolves people from actually thinking about what is good. If something seems strange, people on this forum say it is "New Age" and thus don't have to make an actual case against it.

Edwin
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8240Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: GLam8833
4997CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: James_OPL
4342Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: James_OPL
4029OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: B79
3830SOLITUDE
Last by: beth40n2
3550Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3217Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
3203Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: memphian
3100Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3043For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Thomas Choe



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 4:22 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2013, Catholic Answers.