SunsetHow To Pray For Healing

A message from Pastor Mark Dahle,
author of How To Pray For Healing
(and what to do if nothing happens)

Over the past two decades I have seen so many types of healings that it has led me to an inescapable conclusion: People can be healed of anything. There are no conditions that are too difficult for God. I’ve seen people healed of cocaine and heroin addiction. I’ve seen people who were healed of back pain, of cancer and of deformities. Anything can be healed.

More remarkably, you don't need an expert. In a short time you can become more effective in praying for healing -- a few simple techniques will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your own prayers. You can pray for yourself or for others, for people nearby or far away.

Prayer is not a substitute for medicine. You should continue to pursue the best medical advice you can find. But as you do, don't neglect prayer, a treatment path that is free, available to all, and has no negative side effects.

You can easily become more effective

Many years ago, I had a headache that never let up. I even had it when I slept. Some days the pain was almost more than I could stand. If you’d said I could be free of headaches for the rest of my life, I’d gladly have given anything. But my healing was free. I learned what was causing my headaches, and ever since I have been released from all that pain.

I've seen someone released from the pain of arthritis with one ten-second prayer.

I know a young man who was healed from drug addiction after just one prayer.

I watched a group visit the home of a woman who had cancer. The group had never prayed for a cancer patient before. But after one visit, their friend was healed. The cancer never returned.

I watched a group of people pray for a man with leg braces who could barely walk. The next year I saw him easily walk into a room with the braces in his hand, put them on a table and say, "I used to need these."

I can’t predict the variety of ailments that people will be released from as a result of your prayers. But I know the power of God is enormous. When you join your prayers to God’s intentions to heal the universe, amazing things will happen.

Prayer is more like baseball
than it's like a light switch

Many people quit praying after a while because they want prayer to work like a light switch: You flip the switch and the light comes on. People quickly learn that prayer isn't like that. Sometimes it "works" and sometimes it doesn't. Discouraged by cases where prayer seems to be ineffective, some people quit. As a result, they don't later experience cases where amazing things happen.

Life is complex. Prayer is more like baseball than it's like a light switch. When Babe Ruth came to the plate, you never knew in advance what might happen. He often struck out, swinging and missing three times in a row. But if you watched long enough, you could be sure you'd see a home run. Nobody told Babe Ruth, "You need to quit. You have too many at bats where you swing and miss."

No! It's expected in baseball that great players won't succeed in every attempt. But you also know that if they keep at it, amazing things will happen.

When you pray, you won't be able to predict in advance which times you'll "swing and miss" and which times you'll hit home runs. But if you persist in times where "nothing has worked (yet!)," you'll see amazing things happen. You'll see people healed of cancer, back pain and life-long conditions. By your prayers.

Today is the day to respond

Now is the time to start helping people and to start getting practice.

Here are a few simple tips for getting started. And remember: People with a low success rate have great results over time when they persist.

1) Ask God’s power and love to flow through you.

2) Pray every chance you get. Be open for opportunity.

3) Ask people what they want.

4) Listen for clues of what God wants to do. These clues can show up as intuitions or impressions or as feelings in your body. If you experience something, ask the other person if they experience that.

5) Ask permission to touch the person’s head or shoulders while you pray. It's okay if they say no, but energy is often transmitted by touch.

6) Pray what God’s word teaches, not your doubts.

7) Tell the disease or the person's body what to do. Don't hedge. Be direct.

8) Ask people how they're doing and what they're feeling for clues of how to continue.

9) Don’t quit early.

10) Get in an environment that encourages practice and has people who can help you improve. Many churches have healing teams you can join and learn from.

You can pray for healing

Here's ten reasons why you want to


1)  Unlike other treatments, prayer is free.

2)  Unlike other treatments, prayer has no bad side effects. None.

3)  Unlike other treatments, prayer takes very little time. 

4)  Because of those first three, you have no risk in trying prayer.

5)  Many times you'll be able to see people recover after just one prayer.

6)  In cases where nothing seems to happen after your first prayer, you can easily learn what to do next.

7)  Like learning how to ride a bicycle, your initial efforts to learn how to pray for healing might feel awkward. But once you master some of the skills, you never forget them. You can use the skills any time, any where, for any one.

8)  The world is full of people who need your prayers.

9)  Put the name of someone you love in the blank: ___________ can be healed.

10) Put the name of a country you care about in the blank: ___________ can be healed.

And here's a bonus reason: You can start right now, with no further training. Who's someone that needs to get better? Ask God to heal them! Be specific.

Special event!

A workshop on Healing Prayer May 12

Pass the word to anyone who might be interested: we are having a free workshop on healing prayer in San Diego, CA on Saturday, May 12, starting at 9 a.m.

This workshop will address questions people may have about praying for healing:

What's the best way to pray?

Why are my prayers answered sometimes -- and sometimes not?

What can I do to get better?

The workshop is appropriate for both complete beginners and experts (including people who are interested in setting up teams of people to pray for others).

People who would like healing are also invited to come to the workshop to receive prayer.

The workshop will be taught by Pastor Mark Dahle and Dr. Arnold Gorske. Mark Dahle is author of the book How To Pray For Healing (and what to do if nothing happens). He has taught workshops on healing prayer around the United States and has seen many people healed with just one 60-second prayer. Dr. Arnold Gorske has taught medical professionals about evidence-based medicine and about community health screening and education at events throughout the United States.

The workshop will include time for questions and answers, demonstrations of techniques, and time for you to practice what you've seen. Churches, hospitals and medical groups that would like to set up their own healing prayer teams are especially invited to attend this fun, dynamic and helpful workshop.

Our schedule:

8:45 Registration
9:00 Part I
12:00 Lunch break
1:00 Part II
5:00 Dinner break
7:00 Part III
9:00 Workshop ends

People who attend the whole day will obviously get the most out of the workshop. But if you can only attend for one or two of the sessions, feel free to come for that. Something is always better than nothing!

You can register (for free) in advance or at the door at 8:45 a.m. For more information on the workshop or to register, call 858-454-6459. The workshop will be held at La Jolla Lutheran Church, 7111 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA. The church is 14 miles north of downtown San Diego.

Cover of How To Pray For Healing (and what to do if nothing happens)

Order one copy for yourself or several copies for your group

When the first edition of Mark's book sold out this spring, used copies started selling on Amazon for $60 to $100 each. People started asking (over and over) when the second edition would be out. It's finally available. The book has easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions to make your prayers for healing more effective.

One Great Way To Begin

One of the best things you can do when learning how to pray for healing is to invite five or six friends to practice with you. Your group can read the suggestions on this website, talk about them, and then then take turns praying for each other. When you practice in a group, it will be easier to make progress, because you will learn from everyone’s experiences. As you compare notes with friends week after week, you’ll learn much faster than you would on your own.

Ask yourself:

Who do you want in your group?
What are their phone numbers?
When will you call them?

One way to start would be to invite people to a one-time event, to demonstrate what a prayer group would be like. Print a copy of this page to give to everyone at the event. Read it out loud when people arrive and spend a few minutes in discussion. Then take turns praying for each person in the group, following the steps outlined above. When you’re done, find out how many want to return the next week to find out what happened because of the prayers. At the second gathering you can pray for each other again and decide how often to meet.

If you meet for several weeks in a row, you'll learn lots, have fun, and some people will be healed.

Cover of How To Pray For Healing (and what to do if nothing happens)

Mark Dahle's book has easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for how to make your prayers for healing more effective.

To make the book easy to use for a group, each chapter has a one-page summary and discussion questions.

Order one copy for yourself or several copies for your group

If your group wants more tips on how to pray, my book How To Pray For Healing (and what to do if nothing happens) has lots of easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions to make your prayers for healing more effective. Each chapter has a one-page summary that your group could read when it meets. Each chapter also has discussion questions your group could use to focus your conversation for that week.

When you get to your time to practice praying each week, have people in the group identify needs of their own. Many times people will want to ask for prayer for someone else. That's fine if you have extra time at the end. But you'll all learn more if you pray for people within the group. That way you can hear their stories of what happened in the coming weeks -- the disappointments, the surprises and the joys. If you pray for each person in the group each week, everyone in the group will be able to experience your care and God's love.

God bless your journey as you discover how to be a healing presence in the God's universe!

 Mark Dahle Mark Dahle is pastor of La Jolla Lutheran Church, 14 miles north of downtown San Diego, California. He has seen people healed from cancer, back pain, heroin addiction, and a wide variety of other diseases. His popular workshops on healing range from 45-minute introductions to the topic to four-day retreats. Mark teaches people with no experience to effectively pray for others in one or two hours.