The Power of Prayer

Does prayer’s power heal the sick, change lives, or fulfill our needs and desires? Should you bury a statue of Saint Joseph, if you want to sell your home, or put Saint Christopher on your dashboard as you travel this holiday season? There’s no definitive way to prove the power of prayer, but it’s not for lack of trying. Humans, including scientists, charlatans, and medical experts, have attempted to prove and disprove the efficacy of prayer since the beginning of intellectual curiosity.

The most surprising thing about these studies is that we’ve learned nothing. Some studies seem to show concentrated group prayer, whatever that is, has a measurable effect on AIDS patients. A decade ago, Dr. Elisabeth Targ’s famous double-blind research convinced some that AIDS patients who were prayed for lived longer than AIDS patients who were not prayed for by a controlled group of prayer-sayers. How do you control that?

Reading university studies is interesting, but confusing. Some show cardiac patients who believe in God do better than those who don’t. On the other hand, in a Harvard study, it looks like cardiac patients assured of receiving prayers of intercession didn’t fare as well as others, and Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, determined that if a king’s subjects prayed for him, the poor guy lived a shorter life than other kings.

Consider this: Studies aside, nearly everyone has stories of friends, family, and acquaintances that lived a miracle brought about by prayer or devotion. A widow accidentally drops her keepsake wedding ring in the ocean. She prays daily that she will find it. Years later, it turns up in the local fisherman’s catch. A missing child is inexplicably recovered when his whole community gathers to pray.

My husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness ten years ago. We prepared ourselves. We prayed a lot. He’s still around, and his medical team is astounded. He should not have had a positive outcome. There are thousands of stories of humans visited by angels – some of them seem inarguable. We can’t get enough of George’s angel in It’s a Wonderful Life, and books about causing change through prayer fill the bookstores’ shelves.

You can drive yourself to distraction Googling for answers on whether prayer has power or can effect change. The Online Surgical Technicians Course has a comprehensive list of formal, rigorous, scientific studies. You can find first-hand prayer testimonials on the Experience Project Web site and, I dare say, all over the Web.

Maybe the most rational conclusion was drawn by Wendy Cadge from the sociology department of Brandeis University, Massachusetts. An expert on how religion and medicine impact each other in today’s American culture, Cage remarked, “With double-blind clinical trials, scientists tried their best to study something that may be beyond their best tools; and [this] reflects more about them and their assumptions than about whether prayer works.”

The question isn’t complicated. The answer doesn’t lie in studies funded by millions of tax dollars. If you attend to your spiritual growth, you will have a relationship with your personal mode of prayer and with your higher power. When your devotion is honest and sincere – prayer can smooth out rough areas and improve the quality of your life. Believe in miracles.

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21 thoughts on “The Power of Prayer

  1. Hilario Pasion

    Keep attracting for each other lord my power of prayer specially everyday lord
    with the power of prayerkeep me moving forward Amen!

    thank you thank you oh lord

    HILARIO

    Reply
  2. hpasion

    Lord i really believe you in always in love is my wife can give me offspring at in his age of 49 oh lord give me one make miracle for me i really believe in the power of prayer lord
    in your most holy name in heaven!AMEN

    Your in longing for answer

    HILARIO

    Reply
  3. Hilario Pasion

    Lord God I have dreamed tonight i expect that dreamed will be because i believe it in the power of prayer
    thanks you lord it will but it will be true

    It is a large sum of money i won

    With the Father in Heaven Amen!!!

    HILARIO

    Reply
  4. hpasion

    With the power today ash wednesday the energy of power of pray please lord keep our housing in safe
    night and day specially our basic needs help also my wife to carpool with someone who is honest with josie
    i hope it will transpire the longing of wife to satisfy her go to work back and fort please lord keep each other
    together here to live peace and love and harmony AMEN!!!

    Hilario and Felina
    and all the family here

    Reply
  5. hpasion

    When u pray with instant anwser already like problem that cannot thru human endeavor but prayer can move mountain with power think it will be resolved the problem asap especially marriage honesty/ love
    joy and perseverance /more it will spark love than everlasting

    husband and wife will pray each other way

    HILARIO AND FELINA

    Reply
  6. Hilario Pasion

    A Power of Prayer to be clean in spirit love with my wife felina spark together to be magnet with each
    other love and compassion forever

    Pray each other every day

    Hilario

    Reply
  7. hpasion

    I love growing power of prayer it touches my heart very much when i pray for all people i knew
    give love on christmas day al this especiall y my wife felina when i pray for her give me different feeling when i call my guardian angel in the sky it give powerfull feeling to resolved the problem immediately
    that make me unceasingly pray every 3 hrs 8hrs 24hrs a day somebody give me infant jesus rosary
    and chaplet prayer but the most powerful is the DIVINE MERCY you pray the whole world prayer

    And second most powerful is HOLY ROSARY OF BLESSED MOTHER

    I dedicated my life on this two chaplet of Jesus thru Mary

    BLESSED BE IN THE NAMED ALMIGHTY FATHER OF ALL

    Hilario Pasion

    Reply
  8. bocadelcielobocadelcielo

    I love all of your comments! Prayer is good and it really works. As a matter of fact, it works so well that I am often left amazed and even overwhelmed. Just like with psychic readings, however, time is not always immediate, nor is the answer always in the form we expect. I am learning that these days, and I am now actually looking forward to searching for the answer, as it may appear, in puzzle form.

    One thing I have a little trouble with is concentration during meditation. I am easily distracted, or find myself drifting off on a tangent. Instead, I write a letter to God. What astonishes me is that my letter turns out to be more thoughtful that I had expected, and when I focus both my spiritual and physical beings on the letter — as I must if I am to use my hand, paper, and pen to write — what I ask for truly does come to pass. I also find myself driven (by a higher power?) to acknowledge my gifts, to express gratitude, and to experience a blessing throughout the process. I often don’t even finish the letter, but stop midsentence because the letter has taken on a spirit of its own and ends when it feels complete.

    Just a thought.

    Reply
  9. Jodi Henderson

    I used to think that the power of prayer was wonderful but than I got sick and can not seem to get well, and I feel so bad that I will not be able to give my son a xmas this year not even a tree, and I feel that all my bad luck is god punishing me

    Reply
  10. misskrystalmisskrystal

    I also feel that when we pray, we have just released something…I always feel better and have a spirit within myself of something truly pure. I pray throughout the day, for my family, friends, clients and the people who have hurt me or, do not understand me. It gives me a sense of peace and helps me stay kind and sincere.
    Miss Krystal

    Reply
  11. hern

    Hey Taryn
    Thanks for the article. Tending to your Spiritual growth and helping others with theirs is what it is all about. A wise person told me a long time ago, that Prayer is talking to your higher power and meditating is listening. I think most people should be conscious of both when they pray. Ask the question and receive the answer. Sometimes the answer is that feeling of peace that you get knowing that you are being listened to.
    Thanks again

    Blessings

    Hern
    5239

    Reply
  12. Janiebell Smith

    I know that prayer works. I am a 14 years cancer survivor; by medicall terms I should not be here, but 14 years later I am still here. So thank God, yes, yes, and yes prayer along with belief in God and expecting something to happen when we call upon his holy name does bring results.

    Reply
  13. greeneyes

    Growing up Roman Catholic, I was taught to pray using the prayers that the church had taught. I went through a great deal of life altering changes in my life that made me question whether God existed. I did a great deal of soul searching (and reading); I have come to believe that there is no right or wrong religion. I do believe God exists. Talking and praying to God, Source, the Divine, or whatever you choose to call him/her is more powerful then words can say. I pray the minute I see siren (ambulance, fire, or police) for everyone involved including their families. I meditate every morning and talk to God. I pray for variety of people. I pray for kindess, peace and love. I always end by thanking him/her for all my blessings known and unknown. I notice if I don’t meditate in the morning right after I get up, I feel disconnected. Also, since I started meditating and praying my intuition has become stronger.

    I sit at my kitchen table when I meditate and I have a cat that likes to sit on the table right in front of me. I almost always close my eyes when I meditate when, I open my eyes I notice that my cat is always looking above my head. I was curious, can anyone tell me what the cat is possibly seeing?
    Thanks!
    Many Blessings,
    With Grace and Gratitude,
    greeneyes

    Reply
  14. browneyesbrowneyes

    Interesting article. In my experience with prayer, a lot of my prayers have been answered. Some of them were answered over a period of time. One in particular took 29 yrs. My mother was always ill with one sickness or another, some more serious than others. But even as a small child, I worried about losing her. I prayed one day, with the innocence of a child, for God to let her live until I was at least 33 yrs old so that I would have a family of my own by that time and could make it on my own. Funny how children think isnt it? Several months after my mom passed away, I had this thought hit me like a slap in the head. That voice that you dont really hear but its there, ya know? And it said, “Your prayer was answered”. It dawned on me that when my mom passed, I had turned 33 yrs old just two months earlier. God allowed me to have her the length of time I had asked for. I sometimes wondered after that if I had caused her more suffering by praying that she would be with me for that long, but He knows best in his infinite wisdom, so I didnt obsess over it.
    We will never understand why some prayers are answered and some are not, but I always took comfort in knowing that He knew best and would take care of us if we only allow him to.
    As far as experiments to see what prayers are answered and which ones are not…..we could do the same experiments on psychic abilities and get the same inconclusive results. Dont you agree? Since some things seen by our gifted friends do manifest and others do not. Maybe in the end, its God taking charge of things and not what we think or feel or try to manifest in our minds.
    Like they say, What will be ,will be. I think this is where destiny comes into play. Seems its all tied in together.

    Reply
  15. wren

    Hi there —
    Yes, yes & yes, prayer does all those things! Yay!

    Prayer lifts us up and keeps us connected. I’m grateful to be part of a prayer group, and when I leave our meeting, I feel like I’m glowing. So many miracles have presented because of our prayers.

    Thank you for bringing prayer forward. Love this story!

    Sincerely,
    Wren

    Reply
  16. misskrystalmisskrystal

    Yes, prayers are powerful.
    Thank you for the article. Please pray for peace on earth and for the people who have wronged you, as well as your heart’s desires. I promise you that your life, with prayers, will only get better and better. Have faith and watch the confirmations pour in.. God bless the world. Remember, none of us are perfect, and it is never too late to have and show forgiveness.
    Miss Krystal

    Reply
  17. Jacqueline

    Hi Taryn,
    Fantastic article, I could have not said it better myself Gina Rose, “Never underestimate the power of prayer”, within my culture we focus a lot on prayer in all that we do, we have had many prayer circles that have made a huge difference for helping others.

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  18. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    Never under estimate the power of prayer……

    When you pray …you are actually gathering your energy, focusing your energy, and sending out or directing your energy towards a specific person, situation, or object.
    ( I teach my students how to do this, after they learn how to meditate effectively ).

    And science , for the past decade, has started doing experiments in labs all over the world to prove that there is something to this as well.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply

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