Religious healing can be discussed by the adherents of certain religions as successful when it is based on the effective cultural and spiritual framework.
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In the recent research, Vellenga describes the methods and techniques used by such a healer as Jan Zijlstra and focuses on the role of creating the story in affecting the ill person’s state (Vellenga, 2008, p. 329).
To persuade that the supernatural power can heal the body, Jan Zijlstra usually declares a long speech which combines the elements of announcements, evidences, worshipping, and explanations of the holy words.
The main focus is on creating the narrative of success according to which Jan Zijlstra convinces the audience to pay attention to the fact of restoration. Thus, the healer’s “narrative has the basic storyline: “Yesterday I was healthy, today I’m sick, but tomorrow I will be healthy again” (Vellenga, 2008, p. 335).
As a result, Jan Zijlstra uses the important restitution narrative which is focused on the expected restoration (Vellenga, 2008, p. 335).
Concentrating on the healer’s speech and statements, the ill person begins to believe in the causal chain and in the expected positive effect of religious healing. That is why, the narrative component is significant to create the strong fundament for the person’s spiritual and physical recovery.
Many healers use the narrative element while creating the complex web of statements, visions, opinions, songs, and elements of praying and worshipping in order to create the background for the ill person to develop the dialogue.
In this case, the narrative component is extremely important because it is the fundament for the dialogue with the unhealthy person during which the healer learns about the individual’s inner world and spiritual inclinations (Ting, 2012, p. 779).
Furthermore, the dialogue is the primary aspect of the narrative component with the help of which the healer can bring order and help the patient to escape from the chaos of one’s illness and pessimistic thoughts, as it is stated by McGuire.
The person needs to know that the illness in its nature can be discussed from the spiritual perspective, and moreover, “reliance on prayer as a cure” is acceptable from the legal point (Loue, 2012, p. 401). Thus, the use of the narrative provides the healer with the opportunity to communicate this idea to the ill person effectively.
Thus, the only way to communicate the religious principles to the ill person is the focus on the narrative to create the story and develop the effective dialogue between the healer and the ill individual.
To become sure that religious healing can have positive results and to make the patient sure in relation to this idea, healers are inclined to set connections with the ill persons while teaching them about the nature of the religious, spiritual, or supernatural recovery.
In this situation, all the mentioned facts and details become the part of the desired framework which can “attain the character of objectivity” and be used to generalize the extreme role of the religious healing (Vellenga, 2008, p. 335).
According to Muto, spiritual healers need to explain the nature and causes of the observed disorder because it is the first step to the person’s recovery with references to the “powerful prayers of a true healer” (Muto, 2009, p. 243).
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Therefore, it is important to note that the narrative contributes to creating the illusion of understanding the hidden causes of the illness.
Different types of narratives are necessary to teach persons according to the concrete religious vision, and they are necessary to stimulate the work of the mind and body because of affecting the people’s emotions and feelings.
Loue, S. (2012). Parentally mandated religious healing for children: A Therapeutic justice approach. Journal of Law & Religion, 27(2), 397-422.
Muto, S. (2009). The character of a spiritual healer. Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care, 2(2), 238-244.
Ting, R. (2012). The worldviews of healing traditions in the East and West: Implications for psychology of Religion. Pastoral Psychology, 61(5/6), 759-782.
Vellenga, S. (2008). Longing for health: A Practice of religious healing and biomedicine compared. Journal of Religion & Health, 47(3), 326-337.