We now have scientific evidence that prayer may actually work. Researchers in California started out with about 400 patients recovering from heart problems. Half the patients received prayers (from a distance), the other half didn’t. Nobody in either group was told there was any praying going on.
According to Dr. Dale Matthews, a professor at Georgetown Medical School, those patients who were the targets of prayer had half as many complications and they had a lower rate of congestive heart failure than the patients who were not prayed for.
Could it be? Other experiments show the same thing. In 1988, Randolf Byrd, MD, a cardiologist from the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine started with 393 patients who had either heart attacks or severe chest pains, or both.
Half were prayed for at a distance, half weren’t prayed for at all. Seventeen of those not prayed for (NPF) needed antibiotics, compared to three in the prayed-for (PF) group. Fifteen NPFs needed diuretics, compared with five PFs. Twenty NPFs had congestive heart failure; only eight PFs had it. Fourteen NPFs had cardiopulmonary arrest, compared to three PFs. Thirteen NPFs got pneumonia, compared to three PFs. Twelve NPFs needed mechanical respirators. None of the PFs did.
I’m scientifically oriented and skeptical. I think the scientific method is the best thing going to sift facts from wishful thinking. And here we have scientific evidence, but maybe the studies are flawed or biased in some way. You can find something wrong with just about any study. But what the heck — it might be true! So go ahead and send blessings to your friends. It can’t do any harm. Send them a wish for wellness or happiness or good luck or even a specific good event like meeting and falling in love with Mr. or Ms. Right. Whether your particular prayer has a direct effect on your friend or not, it will definitely have an effect on you. It feels good to send a blessing to someone even with only a vague hope it may help them.
Do what you can for the people you love. And when your day is done, it couldn’t hurt — and might help — to send a blessing too.
This article was excerpted from the book, Principles For Personal Growth by Adam Khan. Buy it now here.