The very real power of prayer
Part of my summer reading has been a book by Lynne McTaggart, called, The Intention Experiment. Ms McTaggart makes no claim of being a religious person. She is, in fact, an investigative reporter by profession. Nor is her book a book of faith. Rather, it is a book of science in the field of quantum mechanics. In spite of this it has done more to reinforce my belief in the effectiveness of prayer than any other book I have read in recent memory. Let me explain.
McTaggart outlines in the first part of her book the recent developments in quantum mechanics. Put in terms the layperson can understand, she describes how experiments have shown that after all of the matter of the universe is accounted for, there remains an incredible field of quantum energy that connects everything and everyone.
It is possible, she maintains, that the energy we generate in our thought life can exert an influence through this quantum field on other situations in time and space. McTaggart's book is filled with reports of experiments and scientific studies that reinforce this.
This theme of the power of thought is also picked up by best selling books like Norman Vincent Peal's The Power Of Positive Thinking, Napoleon Hill' s Think And Grow Rich and Rhonda Byrne's The Secret.
Of particular note in The Intention Experiment are the experiments on thought intentions. Lynne McTaggart reports on how groups of people were asked to send positive thought intentions to specified circumstances and objects such as plants. Under strict controlled circumstances, it was shown time and time again that those objects receiving positive thoughts fared better than their controlled counterparts.
For example, Dutch Psychologist Eduard Van Wilk measured the photons being emitted from simple algae before and during the time positive intentions were being directed toward them. He found that the levels of photon emission increased significantly with these thoughts.
This brings me back to the subject of prayer. McTaggart spends much time in her book reporting on scientific experiments using blind tests on the effectiveness of prayer as a positive thought intention. The results are remark- able. It was shown that when prayers are directed toward a specific need, and sent within a context of true care for the person being prayed for, recovery rates increased dramatically.
There was a time when many scientists would have scoffed at the idea of prayer as a force for good. With the incredible advances in quantum physics today, however, science is now able to demons trate what spiritual pract itioners have known for millennia. It is that there is a Higher Power in a realm beyond our five senses and even beyond our understanding. The universe is far more complex and mysterious than we ever dreamed, and we are gaining new insights and respect for the Source of all that is; that creative energy we have for centuries simply called God. Through prayer, meditation and directed thought we can tap into that power to change the circumstances of ourselves and others. We can become channels of that power to send healing and strength to those who are in need.
Perhaps if enough of us direct our thoughts together with positive intentions and focused prayer, we can send peace and healing to our troubled world.
What a thought!
Rev. Edward Bellsmith is the minister of Trinity and Primrose United Churches. He invites your comments at trinity.minister@ bellnet.ca