Can you trust prayer to help you? Individuals quoted in an X Factor article indicated they were helped through prayer, but the studies referenced indicated no identifiable relationship between prayer and being helped/healed. According to Deepak Chopra, MD the mystery of healing has not been solved, and if we combine science and wisdom, mind and body, there is every hope we will find the answer. Increasingly, the public is using prayer alone and in combination with other alternatives for their health concerns.
Could a more open attitude and progressive look at alternative medicines that include the use of prayer provide the evidence that prayer can be trusted to be part of the healing process? A growing number of the public and professionals seem to think so. The very use of the term X Factor, which is defined by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as “a special quality, especially one that is essential for success and is difficult to describe” portrays prayer as indispensable for healing.
The study “National Trends in Prayer Use As a Coping Mechanism for Health Concerns: Changes from 2002 to 2007” reports that the percentage of people praying about their health went from 14% to 49% in less than a decade. This does not indicate that prayer is replacing medicine or some other form of alternative treatment, but rather it indicates that prayer needs to be taken as a serious player in the area of healing.
Dr. Harold Koenig, MD is not surprised at the huge increase of people turning to prayer. In the introduction to his Handbook of Religion and Health, an analysis of the effect of religion and spirituality on health, Koenig stated: “As those of us who have labored in this field for many years have long suspected, the relationship between religion and health, on average and at the population level, is overwhelmingly positive.”
Through prayer, I have experienced and demonstrated healings of a broken bone and of a son’s impaired vision, to name a few. These conditions were medically diagnosed. As the author states, healing prayers are as “old as the hills,” probably first taught and demonstrated by Jesus and then by religious leaders such as Mary Baker Eddy who developed spiritual guidelines for healing. As the definition of X Factor includes “a special quality,” I have personally found prayer to be a special quality in my life.
Evidently I’m not alone in my feelings of the power of prayer, A survey of American family physicians found that 99 percent are convinced that spiritual beliefs can heal, and 75% believe that prayers of others can help a patient recover. The joint Commission, which accredits clinics and hospitals in the United States, requires every institution to have a method in place to assess the spiritual concerns of every incoming patient.”
The research and data I’m finding indicates there is a movement, and I would label it as a strong movement, that prayer is becoming more accepted in mainstream health care because the public is finding that prayer heals.