A Power that Heals: 3-Minute Retreat


Learn more about how we can support you in response to the coronavirus in this letter from our president and publisher.

A Power that Heals

Gary Jansen shares a reflection on today's retreat

Some years ago a dear friend of mine told me her beloved grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer. She was crying to me and at some point I said, “I’ll pray for your grandmother. She’s going to be alright.” My friend, who had given up on God years ago after a series of disappointments and setbacks, gave me a look like, “Yeah, right. Like that will do any good.”

Well, I went home and prayed hard for my friend’s grandmother, asking God to heal this woman I had never met. For two weeks, I prayed night and day and would go to my local church and light candles for her during my lunch hour. At a certain point I stopped praying for no other reason than I got busy at work and home. But my friend called me a couple of days later to say that something amazing had happened. Doctors had done tests on her grandmother before her operation and they didn’t find a drop of cancer. They tested her twice and the results were the same. She was disease-free. My friend laughed and cried into the phone. “You were the only person that I know of who prayed for her. I think your prayers worked.”

I have no idea if my prayers helped in this situation. Only God heals. I do know, though, that I prayed my heart out and that my friend who had given up on God has now found God again.

Gary Jansen

Gary Jansen

Gary Jansen is senior editor of religion and spirituality at the Crown Publishing Group at Penguin Random House.

Read More

Books by Gary Jansen


Transforming Your Life One Step at a Time

If you are looking for steps to improve your life that are achievable, sustainable, and life-changing, Gary Jansen’s MicroShifts is a powerful place to begin.

Shop Now

Station to Station

An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross

This Ignatian exploration of the Stations of the Cross examines Jesus’ response to his own suffering and how his reactions can guide us in difficult times.

Shop Now

The 15-Minute Prayer Solution

How One Percent of Your Day Can Transform Your Life

Stories and prayer exercises that guide readers into a heightened awareness of God and help them develop spiritual “muscles” in just 15 minutes a day.

Shop Now