A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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iv               THE ECCLESIA AND PNEUMATIC THERAPY            141
The result was immediate; at once the man jumped up and began to walk. Psychotherapists have proved that patients who believe that they have suffered from some physical disability from birth are often found to have been in their third or fourth year when the malady first attacked them. Often when the physical element has disappeared the symptoms continue ' hysterically ' ; the patient, thinking from past experience that he never will be able to walk properly, does not try. The cases reported in Acts may be explicable on these grounds.
Paul practised healing only when circumstances obliged him to do so. A good example of this is that of the young man who fell from a third storey window while he was preaching at Troas. When the youth was picked up people thought he was dead, but Paul threw himself upon him and embraced him, saying, ' Do not lament, the life is still in him \ After the meeting he was taken away alive (Acts xx, 9, 10, 11). There is a strong resemblance here between the technique of Paul and the methods of Elijah in bringing back to life the widow's ' dead ' son (1 Kings xvii, 17 f.). Elijah laid the boy on a bed and, after prayer, stretched himself upon him three times. The child then revived. Among the Indian fakirs there are some who induce hypnotism in the same manner. Sitting by the patient the fakir places his face close to that of the patient and one hand on his stomach. Then he breathes on to the patient's eyes and into his mouth, making passes with the other hand over the features.
taul himself regards the ability to heal as a charismatic gift. In 1 Cor. xii, 4 ff., he mentions a whole catalogue of such gifts. The gifts of grace are synonymous with ministrations and mighty works {charismata, diakonia> energematd) and with these he classifies the words of wisdom {logos sophias) and of knowledge