"Prayer is the only means of bringing about orderliness and peace and repose in our daily acts."
This simple statement by Mahatma Gandhi reflects the experience of a man whose faith, values, and dedication to a cause transformed an entire nation.
After the horrific events of 9/11, the people of the United States turned to prayer to find comfort, unity, and meaning in the midst of tragedy.
Since the dawn of civilization, people have prayed to a higher power for health, guidance, forgiveness, gratitude, and transformation.
Prayer fulfills a natural human longing for communion with God. During times of stress, when we are feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed, prayer offers us release, reminds us of our priorities, and restores balance to our lives.
Prayer is an act of love. We pray because we care about our loved ones, our nation, and our world.
It is an act of hope. When we pray, we know we are not alone. We can face our difficulties with renewed strength and courage.
Praying confirms our faith and belief in a higher power. It reinforces our conviction that a spiritual world exists. It helps us to transcend our daily struggles and to find peace inside ourselves.
Many scientific studies have been done on the effects of prayer, but prayer cannot be quantified by science. No conclusive evidence exists to either prove or disprove the effectiveness of prayer. And this is to be expected, for prayer is a very private and individual act of worship.
Researchers have shown, however, that people who consider spiritual activities an important part of their lives tend to live longer, recover from illness more quickly, and deal more effectively with grief.
David B. Larson, MD of the International Center for the Integration of Health and Spirituality summed it up nicely when he reported, "Statistically, God is good for you."
Dawn Pisturino, RN
May 12, 2007
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