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William De Arteaga: Aging Gracefully with the Graces of Healing Prayer

William L. De Arteaga with Susan Brooks Thomas, Aging Gracefully with the Graces of Healing Prayer (Lexington: Emeth Press, 2019), vii + 86 pages.

In his latest book, Aging Gracefully with the Graces of Healing Prayer, William L. De Arteaga has given us a wonderful little examination of Spirit-filled prayer and how it may be applied as we grow closer to making the transition from this earthly existence to eternity and all the joys we are called to enjoy there. We all have encountered individuals who seem to become more cynical as time marches on. How may we approach the sunset years with faith and an exuberant witness as we enter the final days of our lives?

Drawing on his knowledge of prayer and healing ministry, De Arteaga correctly understands that the Eastern Orthodox faith has seen the “power” of God to be best articulated as “energy” that God permeates in his creation. Using the long time Methodist and Pentecostal figure, Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947), as a starting point, De Arteaga talks about the controversial method of “leg extension” and its implications for a healing ministry. The author is honest enough to admit that although sometimes God heals in an instant, on other occasions God heals over time. We are admonished: “Prayer works even when the miracle you want doesn’t happen like you want” (p. 29). What is not open to question, however, is that all Christians should seek to be involved in some type of healing ministry.

All Christians should seek to be involved in some type of healing ministry.

A wonderful part of De Arteaga’s book is relating how he and his wife, Carolyn, have entered the calling of healing prayer and ministry together. “We pray together everyday and use healing prayer on ourselves at the very start of any disease or abnormality” (p. 19). In a beautiful way, they have seen the healing of God take shape in their lives. If more Christian couples became engaged in their prayer lives in this manner, what would be the result for the Kingdom of God?

Through several chapters, De Arteaga invites us to consider the possibilities of becoming involved in an age-related healing ministry. One can only speculate the possibilities of praying for the sick and infirm in assisted living facilities. Or, as senior saints, what could be the ramifications of praying through the news? This type of intercessory prayer ministry is ripe for prayer warriors who will pray and fast about the different issues and people on the world stage.

This little book is useful for training church prayer groups and building up yourself.

Throughout the book, De Arteaga provides analysis of the promise and power of prayer. We are informed how to pray in special occasions, to pray for pets, and an assortment of other types of opportunities and matters of concern. Although I found some stylistic mistakes,1 I believe this is a helpful little volume which would be of use in training church prayer groups and edifying for personal use.

Reviewed by Robert Webster

 

Notes

1 On page 23, in footnote 7, there is no text. On page 75, at the end of the first line, the phrase “that often” causes an incomplete sentence. On page 81, on the last line of the text, “book” should be “books.” Footnote 8, which cites John Wesley’s Primitive Physic, is out of sync with the text.

 

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Category: Living the Faith, Summer 2019

About the Author: Robert Webster, B.A. (Methodist University), M.Div. (Vanderbilt University), M.A. (The University of the South), D.Phil. (Oxford University), is a full elder in the United Methodist Church in the Tennessee Annual Conference and Adjunct Professor at Regent University teaching in the area of Ecclesiastical History and Historical Theology. He has edited and written three books: Methodism and the Miraculous: John Wesley’s Idea of the Supernatural and the Identification of Methodists in the Eighteenth Century (Emeth Press, 2013), Perfecting Perfection: Essays in Honor of Henry D. Rack (Pickwick Publications, 2015), and Charles Wesley after 300 Years (Bulletin of the John Rylands Library of Manchester, 2006). Additionally, he has published over thirty academic articles dealing with Methodist history and theology. Dr. Robert Webster is interested in exploring the role of miracles and the supernatural in the history and development of Methodism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

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