Medicine & Faith by Thomas Graves, MD

Renewal CenterFaith

When students first enter medical school they are filled with wonder and awe. The human body is so complex. The task of mapping out our entire anatomy from muscles and bones to microscopic cells is daunting. And yet, over the course of four years students master a working knowledge of the body and they begin to grasp how injury and disease affects our health.

After 20 years of practicing medicine, I have witnessed many medicines, surgical techniques, and other remedies. Each of these can play a crucial role in healing patients. However, most doctors have missed the most important healing source of all. Most doctors do not invite Jesus Christ into the treatment room! Quite honestly, I did not do that on a regular basis throughout the bulk of my career. Various fears prevented me from sharing Jesus with my patients.

However, several years ago, a patient whose life circumstances were so awful came to see me. Her daughter had been raped by a family member, and the whole family was in pain when this became known. I had nothing to give her as a doctor (except maybe some Valium for her nerves or sleeping pills). I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to pray with her. While uneasy, I asked her if she would be comfortable praying with me. She said yes. So I prayed over her for healing of her heart and mind, and for forgiveness of the man who had raped her daughter. We prayed for healing of the family, and for Jesus to surround them with His love and the healing only He can bring to situations like these.

She cried. I cried. But she later told me that moment was the first time she felt hope. She didn’t need any pills. She needed Jesus.

Years later, I have discovered that adding Jesus to my treatment of patients just makes sense. We know that we have free choice Jesus wants us to invite Him into our lives. So before praying openly with patients, I ask for their permission. There is such a profound difference when we add Jesus in the treatment room I can hardly imagine being a doctor without His wonderful presence!

Many years ago doctors did combine faith and medicine. As our medical science advanced, we started omitting Jesus. I think that was a big mistake, and I am thrilled that more and more doctors across the USA are starting to include Jesus into their medical practice. As we doctors share Jesus with our patients, I suspect that there will be less need for antidepressants, and anxiety medicines. There will be fewer divorces. And there will be more people who will experience peace and joy through the God of hope.

Dr. Thomas Graves from Bay Area Family Physicians in New Baltimore, MI is a trusted member of our community, serving children, adults, and families with care and skill for over 15 years. Dr. Graves is a member of the Renewal Christian Counseling Center Advisory Board and also serves our community at his local Catholic Church. I hope his words in this article bless you as much as our relationship with him has blessed us at Renewal Center.