Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
320 pages
Mar 2011
Tyndale House

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

by David Levy

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Dr. David Levy’s Gray Matter tells the story of how Levy, a practicing neurosurgeon, boldly bridges the gap between medicine and religion by praying with patients, nurses, and fellow doctors. The title Gray Matter not only refers to the grayish hue of brain tissue, but also refers to religion’s ambiguous role in modern healthcare. Most doctors view religion as admission of weakness or superstition, so they trust in the power of surgery over the power of prayer. As a newly dedicated Christian, Levy felt convicted by God to go beyond his role as a physician. He began offering his patients prayer and spiritual guidance.

Levy’s stories about his encounters with patients serve as witnesses to the power of faith and religion, which often impact his patients’ lives more than any surgical procedure could. Levy loads his chapters with detailed descriptions of highly delicate brain surgeries, the results of which frequently hold spiritual implications to Levy and his patients. As one of the top neurosurgeons in California, Levy identifies himself as a Christian seeking to share his faith in a generally godless work environment.

As Levy begins to pray with his patients, he discovers that spiritual health is closely connected to physical health, and that letting go of anger and learning to forgive can often relieve people of serious physical problems. “I have seen so many positive results from prayer that I’m convinced they go beyond any physical or psychological explanation,” says Levy. Levy’s faith in prayer’s ability is in direct agreement with James 5:15 which says, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”

Gray Matter gives a fascinating peek into the advanced field of neurosurgery, and its message that God is alive and at work is very comforting. Although the surgical descriptions can be a bit lengthy, Levy describes the procedures clearly for those with little medical knowledge, and his interactions with his patients and their families are riveting. This book is recommended for all Christians, especially those in the medical field and those seeking evidence of the power of prayer. – Nicholas Van Heest,

Book Jacket:

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.