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John W. Travis, M.D. & Regina Sara Ryan
 
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  Home  > Personal Wellness  > Power of Prayer in Healing

Power of Prayer in Healing

One of the most remarkable rediscoveries by science in recent years - the power of prayer in healing - is further testimony to the connectedness of all things. For those who believe in and practice prayer, all beings and all circumstances are seen as interrelated. People throughout the world do pray for health and healing, and have always done so. Whether from the perspective that God's help is available to those who ask, or from a nontheistic viewpoint that merit" (a term used by Buddhists) or energy can be shared, vast numbers pray for themselves and for the benefit of others. The fact that prayer works and can be scientifically verified was brought to massive public attention by Larry Dossey, MD, in 1993 with the publication of his book Healing Words. Because he began his own investigation in the 1980s somewhat skeptically, Dossey was surprised to learn that dozens of highly controlled studies about the efficacy of prayer had already been conducted. Over half of them strongly indicated that prayer was a significant factor in the patient's healing. In one of the most remarkable studies, prayer was tested with heart patients in a modern hospital. The group that were prayed for, even without knowing they were prayed for, recovered more completely and with fewer complications than the "un-prayed for" control group.

The subject of prayer brings us into a vast domain of faith, belief, religion, and spirituality. What we are talking about here, as we consider wellness and transcendence, is the way in which our thoughts - which include our beliefs - connect us within a web of relatedness far greater than our immediate circumstances might indicate. God or Spirit or the Universal Energy are some names we assign to this vast web. In the field of grief counseling, as we mentioned in earlier, pioneering researcher Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, found that people with some religious faith (which essentially translates to some view of reality that transcends their own personal control and management) dealt with their grief work far more successfully than those who had no religion or spirituality in their lives. And more recently, from the International Center for the Integration of Health and Spirituality in Rockville, Maryland, David B. Larson, MD, unhesitatingly reported, "Statistically, God is good for you."

Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think. What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we take to be true is our reality. —Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters



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Helping Professionals
This area consists of text from Wellness for Helping Professionals, by John W. Travis, MD, and Meryn Callander. more...
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Personal Wellness
Wellness is about you. It is about learning to love your whole self. It is about assuming charge of your life, living in process, and channeling life more...
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Meryn and John candidly share how they came to the field of child/family wellness from their background in adult wellness. more...
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