Wednesday, February 09, 2011
'Prayer is the most powerful medicine'
COLUMN: SPIRITUAL MATTERS
Dr. George Thayil, senior consultant cardiologist at Lourdes Hospital, asks his patients to pray when the situation is bad
By Shevlin Sebastian
A 65-year-old carpenter, Jose Antony (name changed) faced a grim prognosis. Doctors in three hospitals told him that unless he had a bypass surgery he would die within six months.
It was at this time that he came to Dr. George Thayil, a senior consultant cardiologist at Lourdes Hospital, Kochi. Jose said, “Doctor, I cannot afford a bypass. I have three daughters to marry off.” Jose had a small patch of land which he was planning to sell, to enable the marriages to take place.
When Thayil did the tests, he observed that Jose had a poor heart pumping function. “Because of this Jose could suffer from suffocation, shortness of breath, and would gradually come close to death,” he says.
But, unusually, he told Jose, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” When the carpenter nodded, Thayil said, “Pray to Him with all your might.”
Jose followed the suggestion. As he prayed, he also took the medicines prescribed by Thayil. “Instead of dying in six months, he is alive after ten years,” says Thayil. “Prayer is the most powerful medicine in the world. If you place Jesus Christ as the first person in the healing process, miracles will take place.”
On many occasions, when people have been near death, Thayil has prayed for guidance and help. “And suddenly, I will do correct actions that will save the patient,” he says. Thayil talks about these miraculous incidents in his weekly programme on Shalom TV, called, ‘Jesus the Divine Healer’.
God, he says, wants three things from us. “You should know there is a God, you should believe in Him, and you must communicate with Him,” says Thayil. “If you have these three components, God will always be there for you.”
When asked to prove that God exists, Thayil says, “When you want to kill somebody, an inhibition arises in you. That is God trying to stop you. It is very difficult for a person to kill a human being without any hesitation. For me, that is the best indication that God exists.”
Of course, he asserts, God has also given man free will. “He can choose between good and bad,” says Thayil. “So, a person can make the choice to be a killer.”
When the cardiologist closes his eyes to pray, he sees the image of Jesus Christ. “He has shoulder-length hair, a beard and brown eyes,” says Thayil. “But the look on his face is serious.”
Nevertheless, he has a great admiration. “Jesus was one of the great revolutionaries in history,” he says. “He stood for love and justice at a time when a lot of bad things were happening in the world. Because of this many people wanted to harm Him and he ended up giving up his life for the salvation of mankind.”
But Thayil is upset that nowadays many church organisations are putting Jesus in a corner. “He is only worshiped in church,” he says. “Otherwise He is forgotten. But Jesus is everywhere. He is with us even as we are talking to each other. We should never forget that.”
Even if God is present all the time, many people get angry with Him when bad things happen. “That is because we think that God is a person who should give us only good things,” says Thayil. “If you look at the life of Jesus Christ, most of the time he was insulted, people threw stones at him, and he had a tough existence. The maker of the world had been punished so much, so is it right on our part to expect 365 days of happiness?”
(The New Indian Express, Kochi)