ef·fi·ca·cy noun \ˈe-fi-kə-sē\the general request made for prayer on behalf of Devin Munk, who at the time was 14 and in the direst medical trouble after a hiking accident.
: the power to produce a desired result or effect
--Merriam-Webster online dictionary
Perhaps you might be interested in a follow-up. Devin is now 20 years old, an alumnus of the Nerd Brigade, properly addressed as Elder Munk, and serving as an LDS missionary in Ogden, Utah. On September 1 he posted the following to Facebook:
6 years ago today my life ended. Literally, the earth came out from under my feet and took me over the edge. A 100 foot free-fall, 17 or so broken, but mostly shattered bones, internal lacerations, paralysis from the waist down and so on. I was not dead but life as I knew it was over. The doctors predicted death, or at least severe crippling (amputation of my legs, permanent paralysis below the waist and possibly other things.) However, my father, Steve Munk, administered to me a priesthood blessing, through the priesthood of God that he holds as a worthy member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As directed by the Holy Ghost he commanded my body, in the name of Jesus Christ, to be healed. I am not dead, I am not paralyzed, I have both of my feet, I can walk for hours every day and you cannot even tell by looking at me that I have ever been injured in my life.In this life, you are free to believe in anything you choose, or to believe in nothing at all. You can believe in the goodness of God, in the power of science, in the whimsy of flying spaghetti monsters and invisible pink unicorns. You can believe only in yourself. Or you can just believe you'll have another drink. It's your call.
The recovery took half the time the doctors predicted, or less, for almost everything mending. This time was a blessing, in retrospect, because though it was faster than predicted it still took months to get out of the hospital bed and years to feel normal. It was a blessing because I learned how important the gospel of Jesus Christ was to me. Before it was important in my life and to my family, but now it was real. My angel mother, KayLyn Munk, despite her distress and exhaustion, would read to me, upon my request, from the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It brought me peace and comfort, lying there in agonizing pain in the hospital. The Spirit testified then to me of the reality of our Savior, Jesus Christ and His sacrifice and suffering for our sins. Contemplating this, in context of the pain I was then experiencing, I turned my head to my mom, and asked her, "how did He do it, how did Christ do it?" But I know that He did!
Because of Him I am healed. Because of Him, though my life ended, it started anew. Because of Him I can be forgiven of my sins and mistakes and every day become a better person. Because of Him I am happy, and can be eternally so as I enter back into His presence, and into the presence of our Father after this life. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
As for me, I believe that Devin was healed by the power and inspiration of God, as a response to his faith, his family's faith, and the many, many prayers that were made on his behalf. I believe each of us has a specific job to do on this earth, and that Devin's broken body responded so well to treatment -- and his physicians were inspired to perform to the best of their abilities -- in part because he still has a critical role to play. For those watching carefully, time may reveal the nature of that role.
Is Devin scarred from the experience? Yes, absolutely. Is he completely healed of his injuries? No. But he is a visible manifestation of miraculous healing, he has a powerful testimony of what faith and prayer can do, both to save lives and to save souls, and he's not afraid to share it. And that's part of what he's doing on his mission.
I believe that faith and prayers are both efficacious. Go back and read the definition of efficacy again carefully before you scoff; these acts do not always have the power to produce an expected result, but they have the power to produce a desired result. Very often I've seen prayers answered in an unexpected way, and these unexpected-but-still-desired answers produced results far superior to what people had originally asked for. (Besides, what do we expect God to be? Some kind of celestial vending machine? Honestly.)