The Power of Prayer
Millions of people around the world pray each day and around 85% of us believe in God, whatever our definition, name or interpretation of that may be. For some people the concept of praying and meditating are synonymous, for others a prayer means asking God for something, whereas meditation means God speaking to us. Whatever our approach or reference point is prayer has the power to positively affect our experiences by connecting us with each other and to a sense of something larger and more powerful than ourselves.
Recent scientific studies are able to demonstrate that we are connected to all that is. The essence of everything on our planet and beyond, to our knowledge, is made of the same elements, the same atoms, the same stuff! With every thought and every prayer we alter the conditions in our bodies, which in turn affects the circumstances in our lives. And because we are connected in essence to everything and everyone, every thought or feeling we have not just affects our own lives, but has a far reaching effect on the existence of every other living thing in the universe.
The infinite source that created all things is part of everything and everyone. Therefore we can never truly be separate from this divine essence because it resides within us and is encoded in every cell of our physical bodies. Hence where the saying comes from that to find God we need only ‘go within’. When we connect to the god-ly wisdom we all have within, we tap into the power to change conditions inside our body and bring about positive change in the world around us. We can quite literally heal ourselves and the world from the inside-out.
If we have had a religious upbringing then many of us will have been taught a specific way to pray, but as the character Elizabeth in the book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, by E.Gilbert, so beautifully demonstrates, lying on her bathroom floor in the middle of the night and pouring out her heart, there is no right or wrong way, place, reason or time to extend our thoughts in prayer. Prayer connects us to the present moment, it helps us focus on the here and now. When we focus on the here and now, it becomes easier to release our mental chatter, fears and frustrations and reconnect the divine peace and healing power that resides within us all.
Several scientific studies strongly indicate the incredible healing potential that we can access via both prayer and meditation. Quantum physicist John Hagelin, PhD refers to a study conducted in Washington DC in 19931, which brought together a large group of participants regularly practicing meditation with the intention of reducing the level of violent crime. During the one month experiment the number of homicides, rapes and assaults in Washington DC dropped by almost 25%. A few years later another US study2 published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that an overwhelming majority of patients admitted to hospital with heart complaints recover faster if someone is actively praying for them. This research was based on 990 people in a coronary care unit in Kansas City, monitored over the course of a year by a university hospital research team.
Other research has shown that when we focus our thoughts and prayers on something or someone else, with a positive, loving, healing or peaceful intention, we impact not just that object of their prayer, but our own individual experiences as well. In addition, when we gather as a group with shared intent we positively change collective consciousness. This is why groups of people joining together with a shared vision to positively affect a person, group of people, a place or environment their combined efforts can make such a huge impact. With every prayer we have the potential healing power to positively influence not just our own life experience, but the collective experiences of our society on a world scale.
Three Top Tips to Power-Up Your Prayers
1. Connect with Gratitude
Be thankful for having the awareness that you are able to make choices in your own life. What you focus on expands, begin your prayers by expressing gratitude for the many blessings already in your life and you’ll experience more wonderful things flowing to you in miraculous ways.
“Gratitude is an attitude that hooks us up to our source of supply. And the more grateful you are, the closer you become to your maker; to the architect of the universe, to the spiritual core of your being. It’s a phenomenal lesson.” Bob Procter
2. Ask, Ask, Ask
Your prayers are like ordering food in a restaurant; you need to be clear about what dish you want otherwise the waiter will have a hard job guessing what meal it is that would most make your mouth water! When you pray it helps to articulate what you would most like to receive. Hand over your fears, worries and concerns through your prayers, so that you can release them and then turn your focus to what you really want. Ask God to help bring you ‘this or something better’, be open to receiving blessings into your life and for all things to take their course for the highest good of all.
3. Focus on Feeling
When we focus on positive feelings in the body we raise our energetic vibration and align with an intention of the outcome we most desire, this in turn, heightens the power of our prayers. Pharmaceutical Scientist Dr David Hamilton suggests that the most effective prayers involve imagining the feeling of all already being well. When you pray, focus on feeling the outcome of your desires as if they have already happened.