Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Power of Prayer

Eisha Sarkar
Posted on Hello Wellness on Mar 6 2011 10:06AM

We tend to call on God when we feel we're missing something from our lives - a good job, a loving partner, a family to come home to, a size-zero figure and even good health. As Martin Luther King said, "Pray, and let God worry."

Prayers work in many ways. Saying a little prayer when we are really very anxious or worried can actually help us calm down naturally. We stop and find a quiet place to have a conversation with God. We tell God about all the things that are causing us anxiety. And when we’re done we leave the rest to God. Prayers make us believe that we are not alone in suffering. God’s there with us. And by unburdening ourselves, we feel relieved and can think clearly and find solutions to our problems.

In 1998, Dr Elisabeth Targ and her colleagues at San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center conducted a controlled, double-blind study of the effects of "distant healing," or prayer, on patients with advanced AIDS. Patients who received prayers survived in greater numbers, got sick less often, and recovered faster than those who did not receive prayers. While skeptics of such faith healers point to fraudulent practices either in the healings themselves (such as plants in the audience with fake illnesses), the inability of science to explain unnatural remission of diseases such as cancer makes people (even doctors) believe in the power of prayer.

Prayers inspire, recharge and inculcate a sense of self-discipline. They help us connect with the external supreme force and our inner selves. Congregational and ritual praying help build communities and even societies. Whether they are in the form of questions, pleas, requests or gratitude, prayers do more good to us than we think. So say a little prayer, everyday

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