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Gray Matter: A Neurosurgeon Discovers the Power of Prayer . . . One Patient at a Time [Kindle Edition]

David Levy , Joel Kilpatrick
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A perfect blend of medical drama and spiritual insight, Gray Matter is a fascinating account of Dr. David Levy’s decision to begin asking his patients if he could pray for them before surgery. Some are thrilled. Some are skeptical. Some are hostile, and some are quite literally transformed by the request.
Each chapter focuses on a specific case, opening with a detailed description of the patient’s diagnosis and the procedure that will need to be performed, followed by the prayer “request.” From there, readers get to look over Dr. Levy’s shoulder as he performs the operation, and then we wait—right alongside Dr. Levy, the patients, and their families—to see the final results.
Dr. Levy’s musings on what successful and unsuccessful surgical results imply about God, faith, and the power of prayer are honest and insightful. As we watch him come to his ultimate conclusion that no matter what the results of the procedure are, “God is good,” we cannot help but be truly moved and inspired.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

What happens when prayer and surgery mix? When highly respected neurosurgeon Dr. David Levy decided to ask his patients whether he could pray with them prior to surgery, he had no idea what to expect. What if the surgery went poorly—who would be to blame? What if it went well—would God or science get the credit? And how would introducing prayer into the surgical process change his patients’ and colleagues’ opinion of him as a surgeon? While some patients found comfort in Levy’s request, others were skeptical or even downright hostile. But in the end, everyone—even the good doctor himself—was transformed by the experience.

A perfect blend of pulse-racing medical drama and profound spiritual insight, Gray Matter not only provides a fascinating glimpse into the elite field of neurosurgery as we watch Levy perform some of the most challenging surgical procedures in medicine today, it also provides a refreshingly candid and revealing glimpse into the heart and mind of a neurosurgeon—those divinely fallible beings we sometimes expect to play God. Levy’s musings on what successful and unsuccessful surgical results imply about faith, forgiveness, and the power of prayer are at once unexpected and insightful. And as he arrives at his ultimate conclusion that regardless of the results “God is good,” one cannot help but be truly moved and inspired.

Product Details

  • File Size: 400 KB
  • Print Length: 319 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1414339755
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 21, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LB4FAK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,003 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of prayer in black and white February 18, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
David Levy was a hard-charging, high-achieving neurosurgeon who loved his work and was good at it when he became convinced that he wanted to pray with his patients before their operations.

Though he was certain about his desire, Dr. Levy was -- perhaps for the first time in his career -- nervous and apprehensive. He was afraid he would come across as soft, superstitious, unprofessional, or even worse, that his skills were in need of divine help. He was worried that patients might not want spiritual intervention and resent his intrusion. He was afraid others might overhear him! He wondered if prayer should even factor into his brain surgeries. "The role of prayer in health care," he notes, "is itself a gray matter."

But one day he plunges ahead. To his surprise, he finds that not only do his patients and their families appreciate his prayers, but he discovers a new confidence and joy in his work. In time, after he goes public with his prayers, he finds that nurses and colleagues are surprisingly supportive, and many even ask to join his prayer circles. "The experience has been nothing short of phenomenal," he says.

From his simple desire to pray, Dr. Levy expands his efforts to heal his patients' minds and spirits as well as their bodies. He becomes bolder in bringing spirituality into the medical picture and finds that adapting biblical concepts like forgiveness into doable steps often brings patients to a place of peace and comfort.

This is a well-written, finely paced story of the kind of doctor you would want to find wielding the instruments if you were flat on your back on an operating table. Dr. Levy is the anti-
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing February 19, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book depicts the life of Dr. David Levy, one of the top neurosurgeons in California, and how he began to implement praying and spirituality into his neurosurgical practice.

By introducing God in a loving, non-judgemental way Dr. Levy was able to restore hope and peace to patients who faced potentially grave circumstances.

Along with allowing us to follow in his journey through rediscovering God, Dr. Levy also lets us take a very in-depth look into how neurosurgery works from the surgical perspective. Many of the stories leave you on the edge of your seat, wondering if the next blood vessel will burst or if the team will make it in time to detach the aneurism before it breaks off and dramatically changes the life of the person being operated on.

Throughout the book Dr. Levy does an excellent job at bridging the gap between science and spirituality, and shows that both are effective tools at accomplishing tasks that in the end benefit the whole person, and that the two should not be separate, but co-laboring partners.

It is an eye opening reminder that we all have a call on our life and a purpose, and that in order to fulfill that we are required to step outside of the boundaries of comfort and put behind us the opinions of others, regardless of their position or ours.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great read February 20, 2011
Gray Matter is the fascinating story of a neurosurgeon who decides to risk his professional reputation and career when he becomes deeply convicted to pray with his patients before surgery. Not even knowing how he was going to accomplish this task, Dr. Levy moves forward and profoundly touches many lives with such a simple gesture. Not meant as a means of converting his patients to Christianity, he has been obedient to God's leading in this "small" task and God uses him greatly.
I was especially touched by Dr. Levy's honesty. He knew what this could cost him in his career, but was determined to obey God. He is so transparent in his description of his nervousness of even offering to pray with a patient for the first time in preop. I think this would be a great book for any medical professional who has struggled with living out their faith. In the medical arena, where religion can be considerd only good for the "placebo" affect, this is a book which has a message worth reading. 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A spiritual journey through the human brain April 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Gray Matter is a spiritual journey through the human brain setting precedent into a new realm of medical recovery, using many personal insights into the realm of humanity through science and prayer.

Dr. Levy feels at the top of his game, he is a perfectionist who can do no wrong and being such, he feels he is not giving his all to his patients and begins to entertain thoughts of introducing prayer to his patients. Tentatively at first, he approaches prayer like it were a disease even though his motives are true, he is overcome with feelings of misgivings as he worries about his career and his reputation if word were to leak that he helped treat his patients with prayer. However, as he gains confidence in this new approach and sees how it can actually change an outcome for the better, he throws caution to the wind and he finds that he is not ostracized and shares God with any of those who may ask.

All is not a steady journey however, David's faith is tested many times throughout the course of his spiritual awakening and after a very devastating event occurs with one of his patient's, he's not sure if he has the strength to hold himself up, let alone those of the family. With skill and patience and prayer, David is able to overcome all obstacles and stand united before God.

If your at all queasy reading surgical procedures then steer clear of this book, everything is explained in graphic detail from the simplest procedures to the most complex. I was squeamish a few times and had to set it aside for a while. I liked Dr. Levy's human side, his worry, even though he is a neurological surgeon, he has fears and worries just like everyone else and I enjoyed seeing that human approach. I like the follow up stories that Dr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - well worth time
Excellent book - true stories, excellent presentation
Unusual for a Vascular Neurosurgeon to be so basic in his profession and his basic beliefs
Published 8 days ago by Naomi
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend.
Very worthwhile book. Highly recommend.
Published 1 month ago by Barbara J. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading and thought provoking
The book is easy reading and thought provoking. There seem to be two Christian views in this book: the need to be bold in witnessing to others and the need to forgive. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Ellerbrock
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous
I love this book. It is a great read for any Christian healthcare worker. I highly suggest it if you are looking for a gift for a friend who likes to read, healthcare personal or... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Betsy M. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Gray Matter
A thought provoking story of a neurosurgeon's travel in sharing prayer with his patients. A great story from someone taking the time help his patients in a different way than we... Read more
Published 3 months ago by David F. Rice
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirit and Mind Merge
The profound simplicity of this doctor's prayers, combined with his expertise in surgery tells a compelling story. Showing how God works when He answers Yes and when He answers No,
Published 3 months ago by CWL
5.0 out of 5 stars Gray Matter is a must read
I am so glad Dr. Levy wrote this book. It was recommended by another physician at a Pastoral Care Training Seminar, and I was so . encouraged as I read it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nette
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book
Gray Matter gave a good insight into the life of a surgeon, and how David Levy lived his faith in his work as a surgeon. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rick Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars very inspiring
This book is encouraging to all. What a wonderful reminder of our Christian role and love for God! Thank you for sharing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Wanda Power
5.0 out of 5 stars Get one for any doctor you know.
Dr. Levy shares an amazing journey in his struggle to merge his faith and a very secular environment with pressure to not show
any needy attributes.
Published 4 months ago by John E. Stait
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