A Toronto priest has compiled a book of prayers that’s appropriately portable for the mobile healing ministries, where priests drop by homes, friends pray in parishes, and caregivers visit hospitals. Prayers for Healing from the Anglican Tradition (ABC Publishing) is a collection of prayers for those suffering from illness, addiction, depression, and other kinds of pain.
The Rev. Dan Graves, the compiler, has long been passionate about healing ministry. “Healing is a proclamation of the Lord who heals us in so many ways,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s not just looking for the cure but making us whole as people we are created to be.”
As a member of the (Toronto) Bishop’s Committee on Healing, Mr. Graves helps train lay anointers, who assist clergy in oil anointing as a symbol of God’s healing, both in public liturgy and private pastoral situations. Mr. Graves felt that this ministry—and other healing ministries—would be enhanced by a solid resource book of healing prayers.
Mr. Graves, who had worked as retail sales manager at the Anglican Book Centre, knew that resources for such a book were out there in the Anglican Communion. He scoured over a dozen English-language prayer books—Southern African, English, Canadian, and more—and found prayers related to healing.
The collected prayers in Prayers for Healing include traditional and modern rites as well as personal and global perspectives. Mr. Graves also wrote pastoral primers for each section, with reflections on how to approach a person before an operation, for example, or someone who has survived abuse.
“Some people are very good at extemporaneous praying, but most of us in the Anglican tradition struggle with that,” Mr. Graves said. “This book is a way to offer prayers that have some authenticity, that we feel comfortable offering, and that are in the tradition of the church.”
As a younger man, Mr. Graves learned about healing prayers while caring for a friend in a hospital. When the illness started to strain the friendship, Mr. Graves’s soon-to-be wife asked, “Have you gone and prayed with Jim?”
Feeling a bit nervous, Mr. Graves suggested this to his friend. Their prayer became a watershed moment.
“I realized what happened was in that moment the brokenness that the illness that had been brought into our relationship had been healed,” he said. “I understood that somebody could actually die whole and healthy even in the midst of a ravaging illness. That’s when I first learned about healing.”
How to order
Prayers for Healing from the Anglican Tradition ($13.95, 122 pages) can be ordered online or by phone through Augsburg Fortress Canada: 1-800-265-6397.
On March 6, Mr. Graves will be doing two book signings:
10:00 to 12:00, Anglican Book Centre, 80 Hayden Street, Toronto
2:00 to 4:00, Augsburg Fortress Book Store, 500 Trillium Drive, Unit 19, Kitchener
Follow upcoming events on the book’s official website.
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