Prayer: A Spiritual Tool That Never Grows Old or Expires

Prayer is Universal

If I were to ask you to list four spiritual tools that could be found in almost any spiritual tradition, you would probably come up with a list similar to the one below:

  1. Prayer
  2. Meditation
  3. Ritual
  4. Love and Service.

PrayerAnd, of these, prayer would probably top your list as the most universal of all.

That’s because prayer often includes – or opens the door to – most other spiritual tools.

There’s also convincing proof from modern science (especially quantum physics) that prayer works.

Non-directed Prayer

As religious traditions from all over the world and from the beginning of time have been telling us all along, results can now be found from within science to prove the enormous capacity and reach of the mind – and the power of prayer.

In a rigidly controlled 10-month scientific study, for instance, cardiologist Randolph Byrd showed that prayer can be a powerful force in healing.

Spindrift researchers, in what has come to be called The Spindrift Experiments, also proved that prayer is powerful.

PrayerLarry Dossey, M.D,, in Recovering the Soul; A Scientific and Spiritual Search, explains that The Spindrift Experiments further proved that non-directed prayer with a simple “Thy will be done,” is the most effective prayer of all.

This may come as a surprise to those who favor directed imagery and visualization techniques.  But, in a way, it also comes as a relief, because we don’t always know what’s best for ourselves or for the ones we love.

A Subtle Prayer – With Instructions

With this in mind, let me share a prayer I found on a faded newspaper clipping stuck between the pages of the Bible I inherited upon my mother’s death.

For five years, the Bible rested, unopened, in a section of my bookshelf that I keep as a shrine to my mother. Last week, something, call it my inner Voice, said,” Open Mom’s Bible.”

I hoped – heck, I expected – an important, even earth-shattering, message from the grave.

But my mother’s missive was subtle, a prayer with instructions:

MAY THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS be loved, adored, cherished and preserved throughout the world – now and forever.  Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.  St Jude, worker of miracles, pray for us.  St Jude, Helper of the Hopeless, pray for us.  Amen.

Say this prayer 9-times a day for 9 days…  On the 9th day, your prayer will be answered.  It has never been known to fail.  Publication must be promised.  Thank you St. Jude…M.P.

I’ve seen such prayers to St. Jude in the classified section of the newspaper before.  And I’ve seen the instructions to pray X number of times with the promise that this prayer would not fail.  But…

Well, you know.  It’s hard to believe that prayer can accomplish….miracles.

For the following three reasons, however, I decided to go for it this time.

  1. My mother obviously believed in this prayer or she wouldn’t have cut it out and preserved it in her Bible.
  2. With the current talk in quantum physics about how thoughts become things – how thought + feeling = belief and prayer congeals belief into form – the idea of this prayer congealing into form didn’t sound quite as…unbelievable.
  3. If our every thought is a prayer, what could it hurt to “think” and say this prayer instead of all the negative thoughts I waste time on each day?

Today is my sixth day of saying this prayer (with no particular outcome in mind).

Three to go.

And this counts as publication.  Sort of.

Anyway, I believe something good will come of this.  My mother was, after all, a very wise woman, and proved through her subtle message that prayer is a spiritual tool that never grows old or expires.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

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P.S. For more on the power of prayer in healing and in restoring spiritual meaning to life, read: Recovering the Soul Interview with Dr. Larry Dossey.