Most religions around the world depend on some form of prayer. It may be a kind of a ritual or simply a phrase. It is a way of connecting with the Supreme Being. There are different names for different deities people believe in but they are essentially the All-Knowing and All-Doing Entities which make the world go round!
Whether there is a Deity for real or not is something your religion will dictate. Most religions share a common core with different extensions. To whom you pray for health and fitness will be determined by your religion. But the fact that prayers can actually help you achieve the desired level of health and fitness is something which has been confounding scientists everywhere.
People who believe in an external source of power are usually labeled as extrinsic beings – they place their belief in things other than themselves. They believe there is someone other than themselves who is in charge of their life and destinies. Prayer naturally comes as their escape from their troubles. It is a source of relief for them. It is their escape from the world!
People with an intrinsic belief orientation can also use prayers as a means of reinforcing their efforts. Self-belief does not necessarily translate into atheism or zero belief in deities. Intrinsic orientation puts you in charge of your life and choices without waiting for other factors (circumstances and situations) to work out in your favor!
This brings us back to the original questions; do prayers possess healing powers? A person lying on the operation table with the chest cut open and a teary-eyed family waiting behind the doors will understand precisely how much of your situation is really in your control at any given time!
There are quite a few research studies being conducted to figure out the relationship between healing and prayers. The biggest barrier that this research faces is this; there is no material connection between the two variables. Besides this, there are a couple of other factors that come into play during such a situation.
Considering the example given above; the doctors and nurses involved in the operation are all essentially humans. One can never really ensure their personal crises and situations will not affect the procedure they are required to carry out. Their personal physical state can also influence their decision making capabilities. Besides this, every patient is different – what may be a simple and relatively risk-free operation for a particular patient might end up being lethal for another. In essence, this experiment is pretty difficult to carry out, let alone conclude!
So when you cannot really control the factors in your experiment, you can definitely not conclude the relationship between the two. Scientists nevertheless are bent on understanding (quantifying) how prayers work to heal patients of their ailments. They have, in fact, made some striking discoveries! However, their findings confuse prayers with religiousness even though the two are intricately linked. A person who is religious is more likely to be the one who prays often. This way the findings can be considered legitimate.
According to statistics, a person with strong religious beliefs and practices will have three times shorter hospital stays, fourteen times less chances to die following a surgery, half as likely to get a stroke on reaching the tender age and 40% less likely to contract cardiovascular diseases or cancer when contrasted against the average non-religious humans. The core of their superior health and less likelihood of falling ill is somehow hidden in their religious practices.
Religion is a source of spiritual elevation and motivation. It is not necessarily a form of medicine except for those who truly believe the solution to all their problems lies in their religiousness. It is a way to connect with a force other than you to inculcate a sense of well-being. Prayers are a logical way to initiate communication.
Ever wondered why religious places like a temple, church or mosque has a good feel to them? For some reason people approaching these religious places – irrespective of their beliefs – will feel a strong positive emotion. People associate these places with peace and spirituality. And it works well for almost everyone who believes in a Deity.
The reason is this; such places usually have a lot of positive energy in them. Part of it stems of beliefs while the other half can be attributed to the number of people present there. They all have a positive aura owing to their beliefs. The biggest source of positive energy is the spiritually exalted being who addresses the gathering – the pastor or anyone in a similar position.
All this positive energy is amplified, reciprocated and absorbed by the number of people present there – through words, rituals or any other form of activity that takes place. The environment is one of selflessness and devotion. It brings people closer to their core – their natural instincts. It is all about getting in touch with your body’s neutral. The healing effect naturally follows.
You can pray for another being or for yourself. You can use words or indulge in a specific set of activities in order to express your prayers. In any way you do it, you are actually extending your best wishes and spiritual energies for the next person. It possesses psychological effects on the subject – especially if the person is aware of it.
One of the popular studies aiming to explore the effect of prayer on healing took angioplasty patients into consideration. Since it is a procedure that is conducted while the patients are conscious, the resultant stress tends to interfere with the procedure considerably. The preliminary
results showed significant improvements in those people who had the support of a prayer therapist. Even those patients who were being prayed for by other non-related people exhibited better vital statistics. There definitely is a relationship between healing and prayers – the one that science has yet to understand!
The idea is not to replace scientific procedures with prayers in order to heal diseases. It is rather about enhancing the benefits of the very same scientific procedures in the light of spiritual and psychological calm. Scientists believe conventional science has overlooked a very important factor in their research. This can widen the scope of scientific healing combined with alternative medicine!
The results of these studies are yet to be analyzed. It is not easy to establish a cause-and-effect connection between variables that are abstract in nature. Over time, however, we might see more conclusive evidence of how prayers can affect health and healing. At present what we can be sure of is this; prayers do play an important role in healing. The connection is vague but it is pretty much there! More information about the interaction of energies and informational matrix is yet to be determined. Chances are that the real cause of healing through prayers will in fact lie in the energy and informational realm!
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