A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

7 Miraculous Stories About the Power of Healing Prayers

Religions throughout history have sought to heal through prayer. Read on for stories of sick individuals who offered up their requests for healing and found themselves astounded by the answers.

1 / 7
Courtesy McBride SOMOS Consulting

Have faith in your heart

When I was 35, I would get tired all the time. Whenever it happened, I would wait for the feeling to pass, even if that meant I had to pull over while I was driving and take a quick nap. During a routine checkup, I told the doctor I struggled with exhaustion. She checked my heart and blood pressure, discovering I had a low heart rate. She sent me for an EKG and they immediately sent me to the hospital. During the 72-hour monitoring period, I had to lay down 14 times, because I was fatigued. I was diagnosed with a slow heartbeat.

All I could do was pray and hope that when I had my appointment a few weeks later with a top heart specialist, my report would have good news. I shared the story with my church and we all prayed. This was a year after my sister had to get open heart surgery and I cried a lot thinking that I would have to go through the same thing my sister did.

When the day came for my appointment with the specialist, he said, “With all of these symptoms you will need a pacemaker, but you are very young and I want to see you again in a year.”

Two months later I was no longer feeling symptoms. My heart rate is steady and I don’t get tired anymore. My checkup confirmed that my heart rate was normal and I didn’t need a pacemaker, after all. I have never had heart issues again. – Yamile McBride, 41, Educator, North Carolina

Discover the most miraculous medical recoveries of 2017. 

2 / 7
Courtesy Helene Pileggi

A powerful legacy of healing

When I was three-months-old, I developed spinal meningitis. I was given my last rites and was told I would not make it through the night. The prayer chain went out that night and my parents, who maintain a strong Catholic faith, never left my side. The morning came and the doctors we amazed by my progress. Even though I survived, my parents were told that it would be a long time to see what the prognosis may be for my quality of life. I was never supposed to talk or walk, and potentially have mental impairment. My parents and family kept their faith and by the “will of God,” I survived and thrived throughout my childhood and into adulthood with minimal sicknesses.

Fast forward to five years ago. At the age of 34, I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. I am the first in my family to ever experience breast cancer. Once again, the prayer chain went out. I went through many treatments and was able to stay cancer free for four years. Then, this past spring of 2017, I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer that metastasized to my lungs. It was one of the hardest times of my life. However, with my team of doctors and the amazing support of my family, friends, and faith, my cancer is shrinking and accepting my treatments.

I say the rosary every morning giving thanks for God’s healing. I am a true believer in putting everything in “God’s hands.” —Helene Casinelli Pileggi, 39, kindergarten teacher, Pennsylvania

3 / 7
Courtesy Tara Geraghty

The power of a mother’s prayers

I had been taking my then three-year-old daughter Emily Grace to the doctor and even a specialist because I suspected something wasn’t right, but her blood work kept coming back fine. Finally, one night she was breathing so abnormally, that I brought her to the emergency room. I thought she had pneumonia. But the ER doctor knew something was really wrong.

The doctors weren’t sure how she was still breathing. I told them it must be a sign God wasn’t going to take her. I was later told had I not gone to the emergency room she would have died in her sleep that night.

We soon learned she had high-risk stage four cancer. We were in the hospital 78 days straight, she had a chest tube for weeks and kept getting infections.

I prayed for her like I have never prayed before. She was on every prayer list you could imagine. I was told over and over again, “God only gives you what you can handle.” Although it was meant to be supportive, I found it to feel like a hurtful phrase, as if because of my strength my daughter was victimized by cancer. As an alternative, a friend told me, “God gives you what you can’t handle so you have to rely on Him.”

My daughter is now a thriving 11-year-old. I call her my “miracle kid” because that’s what she is. —Tara Geraghty, 40, Mary Kay business owner and creator of Cancer is Fun, New Jersey

Find out the valuable parenting lessons we can all learn from kids with cancer.

4 / 7
Courtesy Lisa Hutchison

The marvel of a single movement

When she was 76, my mom suffered a severe stroke that paralyzed her entire right side. Immediately after the stroke, I gave Mom a card with an angel on it that said “miracles.” I taped this card to her wall so she could see it from her hospital bed. My mom was raised Catholic and prayed daily, so I knew she would appreciate it. She believed everyone has a guardian angel that watches over and protects them. Despite her physical losses, my mom thanked God every day she was alive.

Every night before she went to sleep, she prayed and rubbed her right thumb and hand with her left hand believing it would bring back the circulation and move again. After four months, her thumb moved. I asked her to show me and she did. She moved her thumb up and down. Being a witness to this miracle gave me a deeper connection to God and the angels. —Lisa Hutchison, 44, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and author, Massachusetts.

5 / 7
Courtesy Lorraine Daley-Marcel

A spiritual pilgrimage with epic results

Despite being in good shape, I was constantly feeling fatigued and foggy. It took years of doctor’s visits to discover I had Lyme disease. I tried many frustrating treatments with tough side effects. As I administered my own antibiotics each day, I began to spiral downward. I developed a severe intestinal infection, strong headaches, and paralyzing depression. I felt like a walking zombie and began to feel detached from the world.

I’m a musician, and one night during a performance I almost passed out on stage for no apparent reason, and I instinctively felt the need to get off of all antibiotics. I continued to do research online and during my travels, I stumbled upon a video featuring a healer from Brazil named John of God on an episode of Oprah. I was drawn to the fact that thousands of people traveled to meet this man who healed them through energy, love, and faith. I was intrigued enough to book the 10-hour plane flight and take the pilgrimage.

On the day I arrived, two counselors sat down with me to find out why I had made the journey and to translate my healing intention to John of God, who only speaks Portuguese. We all went before him silently, while a few hundred people meditated in nearby benches that reminded me of church pews. As I touched his hand, he told me I needed “spiritual surgery.” I was told to return in the afternoon. When I did, I met a few dozen others also seeking healing in a private meditation room where we were asked to meditate and keep our eyes closed. After sitting in silence for about 15 minutes, we could hear John of God enter the room and offer a blessing in a booming voice. I felt electrical sensations all over my body. When the session ended, I went back to the hotel and was instructed to immediately go to bed even though it was in the early afternoon. I laid there with my eyes wide open and wondered how I would be able to sleep. Next thing I knew, I woke up 16 hours later, feeling as if I had been hit by a truck.

I went through this experience again later in the week and one day, I looked in the mirror in my bathroom and burst into laughter. The face that stared back at me looked 10 years younger. I grabbed my phone to video chat with my wife and the first thing she said to me was, “What happened? You look different!” I choked back tears and said, “I’m healed!” All of this had occurred through the energy John of God had brought forth but it was held in place by my faith and positive thinking.” —Gregg Kirk, founder of Ticked Off Foundation

6 / 7
Courtesy Jackie Williams, Author of Healing is Mine. End of Discussion

The life-changing power of asking God for help

One day in my early 30s I woke up with a heartbeat that wasn’t normal. Throughout that day, I was out of breath and felt tired, but I couldn’t go to sleep because my heart was beating funny. Finally, at the urging of my mother who works as a nurse, I went to the emergency room.

There I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, the most common form of an arrhythmia, a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. Laying in that hospital bed and knowing that I was that close to dying, I decided to change my life.

After that incident, I started taking the stairs more, eating healthier, and I removed or limited the toxic people in my life. Most importantly, I found a church home. I prayed not only for others but for myself. I called on God to heal my body. I could manage the exercise and healthy eating and while I was faithful at taking my medication, I didn’t want to be reliant on pills for the rest of my life.

I decided that I would have an ablation, a procedure that was supposed to stop the irregular heart rhythm. Before the procedure, my doctor told me to stop taking the medicine. He wanted my heart to go into start beating irregularly, so they would know exactly where the problem was and fix it. I told the members of the church that I was going to go through with the procedure and they prayed for me. When the procedure was over, groggy from the anesthesia, I asked my mom if it was successful. She said that they didn’t do it!

During the procedure, my doctor tried for an hour to get my heart to go into aFib, but it never did. And to this day, it hasn’t done it again. —Jackie Williams, 38, medical secretary, Florida

7 / 7
Courtesy Gina Ryder

Never stop believing

In 2013 I had a miscarriage. When I was pregnant the doctor saw a low thyroid and put me on medication. I didn’t think my thyroid was an issue in my infertility but later, in an aha moment, realized it played more of a role than I previously thought. I started to experience major brain fog and a general exhaustion. Through prayer and counsel with close family and friends, I began to feel led to get my thyroid checked out. I went to my doctor who confirmed the problem. I began taking a different thyroid medication than I’d previously tried and started to see other doctors including a holistic one. I persistently prayed for healing of my thyroid. Before every appointment, I asked friends to pray too. Over and over I went up for prayer at church. Little by little, I improved. Nothing drastic happened until I received an email from my doctor. It said, “Dear Gina, after reviewing the last three blood draws, I am happy to report that there is a significant improvement.”

I have been on a journey of personal healing of infertility. Through this journey, I have been given the great honor of adopting my daughter, Camila. My life has been deeply impacted by this miracle. Even though my specific infertility healing hasn’t happened yet, I am blessed, have more faith, and have grown closer to God. I’ve learned God does not cause sickness or infirmity. What God does is redeem things and we are left off better than how we started. We just have to look for the miracles in all things and we can find them. They are everywhere. —Gina Guercia, 41, celebrity hairstylist, New York City

Read on for inspiring stories of forgiveness that will lift your heart.

Gina Ryder
Gina Ryder is a New York-based writer specializing in psychology, relationships, and health. Her work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, Glamour.com and more. A former editor with The Huffington Post, Gina is a huge advocate for the power of personal narrative to humanize news, connect people and bring social understanding.