Can You Pray Your Celiac Away?


Yes…discussing religion is taboo. I know.

While I do make jokes about praying to the gluten-free gods, it’s mostly said in jest. I’ve only mentioned religion once before on this blog and let’s just say it generated some interesting discussion.

This post is not about religion per se, but about the powers of healing some people put in prayer.

I ask you…can prayer cure celiac disease?

There is a family that believes they have all been cured of celiac disease, with no doctor confirmation, are now allowing their celiac kids to eat gluten.

I’ll take bits and pieces from the story, but you can read the whole article here.


One night our family was watching a few testimonies on iBethelTV…and we saw one regarding gluten intolerance. Since my husband and two sons had celiac disease, this interested us. After we watched it, Michael, our oldest son, said that he heard God say, “Go for it!”

Michael had been diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago…and had often asked me how we would know when we were healed, and I would say that I didn’t know, but that I thought God would speak to all of us about it. We would all feel ready.

The boys started to react to many foods including gluten, dairy, egg, corn and soy and anything made with these ingredients. Their reactions to gluten were very severe, and we had to be very careful. They could get sick from even a crumb.

When Michael heard the words, “Go for it!” it felt like God had prepared us all for that day and we decided to try. We bought a loaf of bread that week and had communion as a family that night. We ate the whole loaf! We waited, as reaction times vary, and we had no reactions at all! There was no stomach pain, no time spent in the bathroom, and no emotional distress. We praised Jesus and tried bread again.

And it has just gone on from there. We have continued to try different foods, and there have been no reactions. We have been able to eat anything.

We pray that our story makes a difference for many others and that they too would be healed from their allergies and disease.


Now I’ll admit that I am a cynic. I definitely believe in the good of people but I also keep my BS monitor on high alert at all times.

I do not sit in judgement of the power of prayer…but at the same time…her kids’ health is at stake here.

So I need help in understanding how a mom could feed her son poison because she believes prayer has cured him of celiac disease.

What are your thoughts? I would really love to hear them.

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55 thoughts on “Can You Pray Your Celiac Away?”

  1. I am a big believer in the power of prayer, meditation etc.

    But that is just scary. Really scary.

    I would be praying for support and understanding. And I have seen people make remarkable recoveries. But not from celiac.

    Thought provoking. Scary.

    1. Do not leave God out of the equation. Do not separate Him from the influences you can see, hear and react to, and rationalize with. He is the Creator of it all. It is He Who sends you the good and the bad to test you …how you react to it. Your reaction to these difficulties determine your state in the Hereafter… how patient you’ve been, and how accepting of His Will because, with each difficulty that you suffer, a sin, small or big, is forgiven. It’s more like a gift to you than a curse, if you’re able to see it that way.
      As for miracles, albeit few and far between in these times, do happen for individuals all the time and, in the case of the family who defied the medics that banned gluten from their diets, it’s possible the ‘voice’ in the head of the son who heard it was just for him. This is just a speculation.

  2. They say Celiac kids sometimes have a sort of grace period. They have healed the gut and seem to be able to eat gluten for a year or two until the damage adds up enough to make them sick again.

    I believe God gave us brains and the ability to learn about illness and discover treatments. I think God made me smart enough to know I need to eat gluten free to be well. I feel he gave me my body and expects me to take care of it. If I make the wrong decisions about it, I shouldn’t expect him to give me a ” pass” .

    Why bother God for something minor and easily cured, like Celiac? Save it for something big like a horrible car accident or cancer.

    If they had taken the kids off insulin, they would probably be arrested for child neglect/ abuse.

    1. I am soooo sorry…but Brian…that is just too freaking funny! “Pray the gay away!” Amen to that friend!!!! LOL..LOL…LOL!!!! I believe in God and I believe in the power of prayer. I DO NOT believe that by praying she cured her son. I DO NOT believe that by praying her son cured himself! That is just PURE…AND…SIMPLE…BULLSHIT!!! If you will pardon the language!!!!!!! ANY mother that would whistle out to the store and feed her family A WHOLE LOAF OF F-ING BREAD is one sick unit. I could go on and on and on and on! But, I’m not going to. I think you get the way I feel here!

  3. The kids are going to be praying for the parents to go to hell in a few years when their bodies are knackered from eating gluten.

  4. That proves nothing. They need to be re-tested. Show the before and after biopsy results. Show this repeated in many people. Show the results of the studies done by medical professionals. The mind is a powerful thing and a lack of reaction just proves they didn’t react and not that anyone was cured. Yes, it would be wonderful to be healed but it would be suicide for many if they tried this. Where is the evidence that the Celiac is gone? Belief is not fact. It is irresponsible to believe her family is healed without any medical proof. It is abusive to poison them by feeding them gluten. I really hope people used some common sense and critical thinking when reading this article! This is a very scary and crazy thing to recommend to people with Celiac disease!

  5. In the deep south this kind of thinking is very common. I have seen things in animal rescue that can only be explained by devine influence…however. This woman watched a TV program about praying it away, believed it, & has moved forward in that belief (misguided or not). My question is when symptoms return, or the children need intestines removed later in life will she call that god’s fault? Did god forsake her or did she do something misinformed & misguided that harmed her kids so she has something else to pray about?
    Tests will show celiac disease is still there & someone will end up in the hospital, not because it is or isn’t gods will but because common sense was over ridden by wishful thinking. A whole loaf of bread? Seriously?

  6. I do believe in the power of prayer to heal us from our physical aliments. However, I also think the Lord expects us to take advantage of modern medicne if it’s avalible to us. I think however, the Lord, most of the time, will not take our trials from us, but he does help us go thru them. I hope this family gets to a doctor before they go on some sort of gluten binge, that would be the smart thing to do.

  7. If prayer healed her family, that’s great. But regular medical testing needs to be in the picture too to make sure they aren’t doing damage to their bodies (and in a Christian context, “your body is your temple,” so they should want to take care of it for God, right?)

  8. Some people are too stupid to be allowed to raise children. Celiac is a life-long, ADA covered disease. Someone local should be calling whatever passes for child protective services in their state and having those boys removed from the house where their mother is poisoning them and their father is allowing her to do so.

  9. just because they’re asymptomatic doesn’t mean irreversible damage isn’t being done. I truly hope these children & their father don’t develop permanent damage although if they continue to glutenize themselves it may be unavoidable

    1. Spot on! I think this is where many people get confused. Just because you are not showing symptoms does not mean that you wont suffer irreversible damage down the road.

  10. “At first my body did not seem to do as well as the others did, but we felt that our promise of healing was for the whole family, so I have continued to eat new foods with them. Every time I have pain or feel sick, I say, “I do not receive that,” and keep going. Some days are easier than others, but I feel that things are changing in my body.”

    I am praying mom with celiac, both my kids have celiac. When God created me, He knew I would have Celiac.

    The quote from the article above….did she ever think maybe GOD is telling her to NOT ingest Gluten? He made her amazing body that is telling her NO!

    This makes me furious. If she’s going to endanger herself – fine. But her kids?!?!?


  11. Sigh … I think it shows that there is still a huge learning curve even among Celiacs that we all need to help in tackling. We all may assume that Celiacs would know that even if their gut has healed and their reaction to gluten is minimal ~ Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disease with no “Cure” – gluten will always be toxic to our systems, but there is still a huge divide in knowledge – even among ourselves. I praise the family for having strong beliefs and standing together as a family … but common sense must prevail. It makes me a touch sad that more research has not been done, so that they truly can understand the damage they are doing now.

  12. Kids are a tricky thing for diagnosis. I actually know a few people who “grew out” of celiac or found that a later doctor said they had no remaining signs when they were past puberty – no remaining villi damage, no problems eating it, etc. But I also know just as many who were diagnosed as children who are still the most sensitive celiacs I know, so there’s that.

    I’m with JerseyGirl. I want to believe that there is something that powerful in prayer. The realist and practicalist in me says no. My gut says that this might have been a misdiagnosis at the time and that the “prayer” just coincidentally happened on the same night the family tested the doctors hypothesis.

    God and prayer though…touchy subject. I’m incredibly happy to see you bring it up though – too many people are afraid to question anything religion related. Even if you’re a good relgionist (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddist, Jedi, etc.) sometimes you have to look at the practical side of what’s actually happening.

  13. Classic case of denial and the need to fit in, possibly caused from pressure from the church body to appear sinless and spiritual and victorious over impossible odds. Some non-mainstream churches or misguided church members place heavy burdens on other members who are suffering, making them feel guilty, out of favor with God, or unholy. Or maybe the parents want attention in some form.
    God is on the throne and He answers prayers, but this is just pure foolishness on the part of the parents.

  14. I struggled my whole life with faith. Then, almost miraculously, about 6 years ago a light came on for me. Since then, God has been ever present and welcome in my life. I also can see, looking back at my childhood, periods where my celiac symptoms seem to have gone into remission. Where I was nothing more than a carefree and happy child for a year or two. Then, as always, the symptoms came back and usually worse than before. This cycle repeated over and over until the crisis that led to my diagnosis about a year ago.

    Now, I believe in the power of prayer. I believe it can do miraculous things. I believe that God in his infinite power could, if he so desired, cure any one or all of us of celiac. I also believe in science and that it plays an important role in our lives. God gave us brains, and he has given us this so easy treatment for this disease. I believe strongly that God helps those who help themselves. When you wait for an answer to a prayer you need to be able to discern the difference between hearing what God is telling you, and what you want to hear. Sometimes the answer isn’t what you wanted, but I mean, who are we to argue with God? And while we all pray for a cure, lets remember that we do already have an answer to cling to for now. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes not so much, but there is freedom in simple obedience. Don’t eat gluten.

  15. I do believe in the power of prayer and in God and I have seen answered prayers. I also believe in science and education.

    Honestly, it’s not that difficult to live gluten, dairy and soya free. God gave me a brain and I use it to research delicious recipes, natural remedies to help when we are accidentally glutened. God also gave me common sense to apply scientific knowledge from experts into practical application in my life and the lives of my family. God gives me patience to deal with my family’s upset tummies when it happens and God gives me strength to continue each day even when I am tired because my children are not well.

    I am thankful we were given celiacs disease in our family instead of a host of othe ailments that are more difficult to handle. I’ve got three healthy, vibrant children who must eat a special diet but they thrive at school, and are independant, thoughtful, loving people. They fall victim to more colds/flus/upset tummies than most people but I know I am blessed.

  16. I would love to believe that God would take away celiac. I suppose anything is possible, but I don’t think that is what happened here. I believe that our minds also can have a tremendous affect on the physical and perhaps their experience is a short-lived matter of the power of thought which won’t last as the body’s reactions and responses become stronger than sheer will.
    It is rather sad, because they are going to have to start all over.
    The best use of prayer and faith is for the strength to be positive with celiac disease and put it in perspective.

  17. According to the testimonies page, Parkinson’s and Brain Cancer have been healed. Also people have found money and have had their debts taken care of. I question any “Religion” that feels compelled to post brag stories about what prayers can do. A prayer is something sacred that shouldn’t be used as a commercial.

    I feel like someone just placed Celiac in there as a “testimony” because its trendy. Whatever gets people to your website and then to your Church. I just feel for the people who are newly diagnosed and not on the ball with the seriousness of Celiac. And children who obviously gotta role with what mom and dad decide.

    Prayer can do so many things but I don’t believe it cured this family. Actually, I’m not sure that “family” actually exists either.

  18. Now I dont have a lot of problems with religion…both my parents are very religious, it just is not for me… To me, the worst part of this is how she says she approached Celiac with her kids, to me at least…this definitely is questionable parenting.

    She blatantly suggests an intervention from God is inevitable for her poor impressionable children with this line of reasoning saying her one son “had often asked me how we would know when we were healed, and I would say that I didn’t know, but that I thought God would speak to all of us about it.” No wonder her son, who probably wants to go back to being “normal” more than anything else, thinks he heard a message from God after hearing about the Bethel testimonial.

    Her admission near the end is the most frightening part, what if the rest of her family is experiencing pain, discomfort, and symptoms of Celiac while either pretending that it isnt bothering them or refusing to accept that.

    Medical problems really are where religion and children should never be allowed to mix, the questionable choices in care due to prayer often transcend being bad ideas and become neglect or abuse. Not saying they have done so in this case…but this one bad idea most certainly could turn into abuse quickly if the children start exhibiting symptoms.

  19. I have a niece who was thought to have coeliac disease, but has grown out of whatever condition it was she had. This has been confirmed by medical professionals, so it’s real.

    I have a cousin with CD who went through a puberty with fewer symptoms, but still has CD.

    I don’t believe the power of prayer “cured” one but not the other. And it would have been highly irresponsible of their parents to reintroduce gluten except under medical supervision.

    If God comes into this at all, perhaps I should thank Him that I have the strength to deal with this. And if I can cope with this, I know I am strong enough to take on the World.

    And if I can take on the World, I can eat gluten-free until medical science develops a true cure.

  20. Want to tell to whole story of my family, but not quite up to it right now, I just think this woman is lame I have prayed for smaller things and never been answered, Your children health should not be one of the things you bury your head in the sand about.

  21. I believe that God sometimes shakes His head at us humans and thinks “really, what the heck? Come on people! I made you smarter than that! ”

    I’d like to believe that God answers all prayers, but when I see all the suffering and anguish in the world and I know people pray for miracles all the time and they never come, well, I guess maybe sometimes the answer is “No”.

    1. I’m rather long winded, but this is sort of what I was getting at. Yes, I believe God answers every prayer. I just think that we frequently either don’t like the answer or don’t see it when it comes because it isn’t exactly what we were looking for.

      We pray for miracles, and think only things like cures for incurable diseases and big things like that. Yet we are surrounded every day by miracles that we take for granted, like the flower that grew up between the cracks of a city sidewalk and brings a smile on a bad day. Until we stop taking those miracles for granted, I really don’t think we deserve life altering, reality bending miracles of that sort that we usually associate with the word.

      1. true, true!
        “we are surrounded by miracles” that SOME may take for granted, Addy, my friend.

        I still get excited as a 3- year -old when I see the deer and bunnies and other assorted critters in my yard at night. I still go out and look up at the night sky and say “wow! look at that! and I still think the most amazing thing I ever saw in my entire life was a baby being born.
        Standing on the Cliffs of Moher, I knew there has to be a God.
        I used to call my Dad –a master gardener– to report “we’ve got stuff happening again!! whoohoo”…when the perennials came up a half inch as the garden started to come back to life every Spring. I still clap at the spectacular sunsets on the beach…

        yeah, this sort of …hmm, what was the word you used the other day.?..oh yes “eccentric” behavior you associate with me…is my acknowledgement of the little miracles all the time.
        I’m with you, kiddo….I “get it.”

        Life is good, we just have to open our eyes 🙂

        And not eat gluten.

  22. GD- You are a brave man! You also do a wonderful job of making me (and hopefully others) think. I always learn something from your posts and everyone’s comments. It makes me more committed than ever to do everything I can to help other celiacs be more educated. This family has obviously thrown the baby out with the bathwater. What are they thinking? I know a lot of people in my support group who are older that were diagnosed as children when doctors believed that this was a “pediatric” disease and children outgrew it. After reaching adolescence and being “cured” they went years eating gluten and then became really ill. Many have other autoimmune diseases, intestines that are so damaged they cannot heal and very poor quality of life. They, and the medical community, just didn’t know any better. We DO know better now.This family is amazing in their faith. They are also obviously afraid of their faith. If they truly believed they were cured, they would prove it by getting it medically confirmed. By not doing so, their actions border on abuse.

  23. I’m not religious so clearly I’m not going to believe this. I do, however, believe in the power of the mind and something akin to the placebo effect, which may have relieved their symptoms (temporarily).

    Furthermore, as posters above have pointed out, the severity of coeliac symptoms can vary over time, particularly in children. I had ‘failure to thrive’ as a baby/toddler and some GI issues as a young child. However, from about 9-13 I was essentially symptom-free. Of course, it came back with a vengeance in my mid-late teens and I was diagnosed at 20.

    I suspect that what has happened with this family has been caused by a combination of these factors. I don’t believe they have been cured and I certainly don’t think they should be eating gluten, especially the children.

  24. I doubt you’ll hear from this family a year from now when the inevitable symtoms return. Kids do have a grace period that can last a few years and then the symptoms return.

    She’s painted herself into a corner. If God cured then then he must favor them. If God doesn’t cure me, if I unfavored? And, if CD symtoms return, has God forsaken them?

    It’s a no-win situation.

  25. I think Michael, their oldest son, is a master manipulator. He remembered that his mother had told him “God would speak to all of us about it”, so he used this convenient scenario to convince his family that God had spoken to him and he can eat what ever he wants. He could of at the very least come up with something better than “Go for it”.

  26. The problem with faith is that if you believe in something for long enough you start thinking its actually true. And that may not always be the case, There’s nothing wrong with believing in God but as a human you “should” have common sense. They may not believe in scientific evidence but I don’t understand why someone would willingly allow their children to eat gluten knowing what it does to them. Surely she should be the one protecting them from decisions they are not mature enough to make.

    If they are cured, all the best to them. But remember, stupidity and ignorance will get you nowhere in life. As harsh as that may seem, its the truth.

  27. I’m not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but I am baptized Latter Day Saints (mormon) and one of the key philosophies that is adhered it strictly is to treat your body like a temple. Which also means love your body, in whatever form it was given to you. I could never imagine justifying damaging my body because I thought God simply decided I didn’t deserve that challenge anymore.

    That being said, I recently had a reiki session. I told the gentleman nothing of my health issues, and he told me afterward that I seem to have a chronic issue with my stomach chakra. Not pain, not confusion, but something chronic and dull and looming. His words. There were more balance issues, all of which coincided with my current health issues that I had not told him about. He performed an attunement and realigned everything and I felt better. Much, much better. I don’t believe I was ‘healed’, but I feel like he helped relieve some of my symptoms.

  28. I’m a lifelong Catholic who has become disenchanted with my faith in the last 5 years. I still pray every day and while I haven’t asked God to cure all three of us with celiac disease, I do pray for patience, a positive attitude, or one healthy day. The God I know would not cure a few but rather all. I sincerely hope that if I ever become that lost in my journey with celiac, someone will hit me upside my head and tell me to snap out of it. I feel for that family but mostly for the children.

  29. I’ve never posted here but can’t let this one go by…

    I, too, believe in the power of prayer and consider myself a spiritual person. I think deep faith can carry those who have it through some incredibly difficult days and situations. I believe it can heal the soul and spirit, and that could potentially bring unexpected health benefits when someone feels their burden is less and their stress is reduced.

    But there are literally centuries worth of examples where people use religion to justify all sorts choices that they know are JUST WRONG. The story above represents abuse of this woman’s children which they justify through their religion. Sounds like CD is inconvenient to them, both in implementation and in parenting so they found an easy (albeit temporary) way out. Beyond the obvious physical effects of doing this, what kind of emotional toll will it take when these children once again get ill and all that gluten-filled food gets taken away again? CRUEL.

  30. I am not a religious person and I don’t believe in or pray to any god(s). That said, I do believe prayer can be a good thing for those who do believe, by being a positive influence on the mind, and, therefore, the body. But I don’t believe you can cure an auto-immune disease through prayer. I agree with those who think these parents are being irresponsible with the health of their children and the celiac symptoms will, most likely, return. Plus – asymptomatic, as we all know, does not mean no damage!

    1. No disease will ever just go away based on prayer. Cells obey the laws of chemistry, not the made up laws of religion. Beleive in god if you wish, it is hard to ignore something so prevelent in one’s life from literally infancy on. But I can tell you this, in my experience in the OR prayer does nothing but waste precious seconds that can be used to actually do something. No matter how hard or how many people pray for the patient on the table, the laws of biology, physiology, chemistry and physics rule. And hope your surgical team spent more time learning and less time praying before you have a procedure.

  31. these people are simply delusional. Sure, pray hard enough and you won’t get cancer. Pray hard enough and you won’t be gay. Pray hard enough and everything will go your way. Utter hogwash.

  32. I recently discovered that I have Celiac and actually happen to go to Bethel (where happens) as well.

    I personally know, and know of, a LOT of people who have had cancerous tumors disappear as they were being prayed for here, over skype, over the phone, or while watching Things get healed through prayer every day. My asthma and flat feet have been healed this way.

    However, when it’s possible and important (like in the cancer cases) they go back to the doctor to make sure they get a report that the cancer is gone, and they tend to keep up with it afterwards to make sure it doesn’t come back. I personally would recommend that she get tested, and I know that most of those who believe in healing through prayer would agree. Prayer is great, but I don’t think God minds us being careful. =)

    The trouble with Celiac is that the testing is so sketchy…

  33. As a Jesus follower myself, trusting Him is a major part of my relationship with God. I’m not a Coeliac but I am intolerant to gluten, lactose and soya. If I eat any of these I become bloated, lethargic and gasy. I don’t believe God designed me to be like this. Jesus says that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. I believe that this is what has happened to us. I also believe that sticking to Jesus can bring deliverance and healing. God wants us to live in freedom. God has shown himself to me that He is trustworthy. Seeking God’s Kingdom is the best thing I can do for me, my family and the people I come into contact with.

  34. Tim Owen thankyou. I was feeling so discouraged by a lot of the comments. Like you I have food intolerance and I am struggling with illness but the more I read God’s word, the more I realise he wants people to be well. Why would he give coeliac disease or any illness for that matter to anyone? I totally agree that it is Satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy. The word says “By his stripes we were healed” and I’m going to keep meditating on that. ☺

  35. Good day guys, my post is probably really late. It’s ok not to believe in God and His mighty power but lack of belief doesn’t mean it isn’t real, one thing God will not do is force Himself upon anyone, I pray that one day He reveals Himself to you. Anyway I have seen a great deal of miracles, I’ve seen God move in a mighty way, from healing HIV positive people to miraculously healing broken bones. Praise Jesus that family was healed. Glory to God

  36. Im trying to think right now of every different way i can say “Amen” in all the religions (fringe and otherwise) so i can make sure I have my bases covered here!
    People are going to think im weird.

  37. The power of prayer! Jesus prayed for the impossible to be possible! So can we, when we start putting faith and believe that we are healing, the body , it us when God, Sour e intervenes, every cell in our bodies gave their own intelligence they know exactly what their job is,. With good thoughts and faith your body starts acting to those believes within. So therefore starts healing, body renews itself we just ygave to altered our thoughts to the highest form of being the Oneness with God our Life force. All things are possible He said. But we must still limit the poisons that they are feeding us! Eat what grown from the ground, stay healthy not just what you put in your mouth but also stay healthy what you feed your mind!

  38. Rachael, I mean this in the nicest possible way but Jesus is a gentleman and if we ask not, we receive not. I’m thinking about when Jesus was going around healing he asked certain people what they actually wanted. The man at Bethesda was one of them. He actually told him to get up and walk. Do you want to remain as a celiac? Jesus’s offer of Salvation and healing is there if we want to ask him for it. God Bless you. 🌈

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

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I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

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