America is becoming a Godless nation. That’s not just an observation but a verifiable fact. America has become a secular enclave where fewer people than ever before attend church regularly or even identify with any specific religion. Despite the fact that our currency testifies “In God We Trust”, apparently our money is the only place where that officially functions.
Data show that Americans who check off the box “None” when it comes to religious affiliation are increasing at an astonishing rate. Admittedly, not having a religious affiliation does not necessarily mean that one does not believe in God or a Supreme Being of some sort. But the question arises whether secularism is healthy for us or not. That’s a larger debate that may perhaps ensue on these pages in the future. For now, let’s turn to prayer and examine the benefits of offering supplication to a Higher Power.
If you don’t believe in God, who ya gonna pray to? It may be common sense to seek healing in pills, potions or herbs but it may be required to use uncommon sense to truly enjoy a fulfilling and joyful life, free from illness and disease. Science can lead us to spirit. Fact can lead to faith.
In 1997 Congressional testimony, James Gordon, M.D., professor at Georgetown University medical school, enlightened Congress with research showing the important role spirituality plays in health.
“A number of studies showed that simply going to a church or synagogue correlated with a significantly decreased risk of developing cancer, hypertension, strokes, and colitis, as well as with a lower overall rate of mortality,” Gordon told the powerful House Appropriations Committee. “Church attendance also seems to be a major factor in the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse and of adolescent suicide.
“Studies on the placebo effect have shown that our belief that a treatment, a pill, or a surgical technique may be useful, can indeed help us materially. They have indirectly reminded us that this capacity for belief — for faith and hope — that we usually regard as part of our religious life, is also a force for healing.”
Researcher Elisabeth Targ of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco in a study with AIDS patients, found that patients who were prayed for, even unknowingly, were healthier months later than those who had gotten no prayers. The 1998 report mimicked one done in 1986 and another in 1988 with cardiac care patients. In those studies, patients with heart disease were prayed for in a similar manner by various groups of lay and clerics. Another group was not prayed for. The study showed a variety of positive effects for the prayed-for group. They were less likely to relapse, five times less likely to require antibiotics and three times less likely to develop pulmonary edema. And fewer of the prayed-for patients died.
“No matter where you go, there you are.” — John Roode, 1985 Science has been grappling with the idea of a non-local universe for decades. In 1964, John Stewart Bell developed the mathematical theorem demonstrating non-locality. Since then, a number of experiments illustrate it. Though still controversial, growing numbers accept its eventual status as a replacement for much of what Einstein’s theories could not reconcile.
And one of the constants in research done on prayer is that there is no proximity effect. Prayer works at any distance. It’s non-local. Experiments show that there is a connection between the pray-ers and the pray-ees. Whether separated by blocks or continents, the effects result. It is no longer debatable that prayer results in effects. The scientific community is now simply arguing over “How?” Non-locality is a clue.
“Those who practice the art of prayer are often ignorant of the laws that control it. They attribute the results obtained to the ceremonies involved and mistake the letter for the spirit.” — from the book Prayer by mystic Neville Goddard
Prayer occurs in the mind. Prayer is not words repeated mindlessly or ritual kept in daily routine. It is not the swinging of incense urns or the tossing of palm fronds. Prayer is thought. Prayer is intention. Prayer is focus of attention. Prayer occurs in the mind.
In addition, a metaphysical view would pose that all minds are part of the Jungian collective unconscious, therefore connected even over distance. If non-locality is observed in science, why not in prayer? Austrian physicists led by researcher Anton Zeilinger dematerialized and re-materialized a photon over a distance of a few feet in the laboratory, demonstrating non-locality. Zeilinger expressed confidence that “quantum teleportation of molecules is less than a decade away.” Extrapolating from that science, one can understand how prayer, with the energy of thought, can affect someone or something over distance.
“I eat my fill and sleep quietly. I drink, while I may, the wine that lies in my cup. And all else, I commit to Heaven’s care.” — Ninth Century Chinese poet, Po Chu-i, explaining his longevity.
Organized religion does not necessarily correlate with ability to pray. One need not ever have been inside a church to adopt prayer as a practice. But learning how to enjoin prayer, and at the deepest level of mind, seems to be lost on an entire new generation of secular Americans. One wonders how much influence anti-religion media exposure from the likes of South Park, Family Guy, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, et al. — who deride or mock religion and poke fun at those who practice it — have had on creating a secular America.
Research polls indicate that most secular Americans identify with particular political and ideological positions. That’s not hard to figure out. It would be a shame to cast aside prayer as an opportunity to heal.
Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com. and like us on Facebook.