Randomized double blind trials and Prayer.
The randomized double blind trials are also problematic with respect to prayer, for the same reasons, plus some additional ones. Experiments need to be uniquely devised in order to examine and test whatever it is that want to test, whether drugs, surgery or prayer. I suspect the big problem is that there is no will to do so by the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies and not simply because prayers don’t create profits but because prayer highlights the very fact that the patient and the patient alone has the ability to make themselves well and not even get sick in the first place. All the medicine in the world and all the doctors that money can buy doesn’t compare to one well formulated prayer. And furthermore prayer, or what I call a mental prescription, is best self-administered. Prayers are free of charge and can be used any time, especially at the very onset of any condition, which if left untreated, would lead to disease. And contrary to what Dawkins imagines, prayers do not violate the natural laws. The reality is that natural laws do allow human beings to do a lot more than what they have as yet realized.
What is prayer?
To understand what is wrong with the experiments with respect to prayer we must first investigate prayer. “What is prayer”? To answer this question let us first look to the purposes of prayer. There are four main purposes and they are• to remember God,
• to relate to God and
• to make requests of God.
• to give thanks to God, which is a form of remembrance.
All the purposes of Prayer are part and parcel of the spiritual journey. This is not a journey as we commonly understand a journey but rather an awakening. It begins with the concerns of the personal self, the ephemeral being that seems so convincingly real and important in the beginning but as obstacles on the path are overcome, the personal self becomes lessens in importance until it finally disappears. The extinction of the personal self is the open gateway to a level that can be said to be “outside of all existences” but which contains within it all existences. This is the spiritual realm and it is paradoxical but only to the logical mind. Another way the personal self can be described is as a veil that is lifted or which dissolves away with spiritual awakening. The soul is awakened by God’s Grace, brought into the Presence of God. At the highest level, prayer is far simpler and most commonly an affirmation of love for and surrender to God. At lower levels, prayer addresses health and other life issues.
The use of prayer in making requests of God is very significant for life on the physical plane and at various stages of the spiritual journey. The first is for the welfare of the body. The mind is not subject to damage, decay and death as the body is, but as ideas affect the body. Ideas, whether positive or negative, which a person considers significant, relevant or true, affect the functions of the body. And furthermore we need to realize what are mere mental perceptions and what are our own thinking and reasoning. Ideas move the body into action or inaction, both internally and externally so it is important to be careful which ideas we accept and uphold in mind and which we discharge. Prayer enables these processes to take place with more efficiency and power than otherwise. The second is to cope with and overcome the adversaries that appear on the way. These are the toxic or evil people. These people never act alone. They are a collective and not only in being associated in the physical level. They form one mindset, which is described differently in different cultures and most significantly in the different religions. In some religions the evil mindset is personified as for instance in Christianity as the devil, or it may be described in abstract terms as for instance in Buddhism as Mara, the tempter. Here also prayer is the best method to use. Prayer is a formulation for discharging of negative ideas and setting, reaffirming and upholding positive ideas. All diseases can be healed by addressing the ideas, the very source of the problems. I have heard of and read of people claiming that sometimes, especially if the disease isn’t healed by the effects of prayer and more especially by the prayer-giver’s/ healer’s efforts, then it is because the sick person has to endure the illness to help them “face their fears” or negativity or because they won’t forgive some offender or even for spiritual growth. This is a load of garbage. All humane people can be healed, regardless of their “sins” and it is simply a matter of addressing the problems correctly and/or finding another more competent healer. You certainly can gain spiritual growth when faced with an illness but you don’t need illness in your life to have spiritual growth. The patient themselves is in the best position to heal themselves and to do that they need to become skilled at prayer formulation. There are three elements involved; a person’s free choice, their faith, which is a quality of being and “Divine intervention”. The first element is the request made to a healer or prayer giver. Faith is the element which a healer or prayer giver reinforces and indeed this is the most important function of the prayer giver or healer. That faith is what helps them fight against adversaries and ward off evil people. The last is in a sense automatic because the prayer is always offered to God, whether by the patient themselves or the prayer giver/ healer.
Prayer is best demonstrated where there is some effect that can be examined and measured before and after. Thus prayer given for overcoming disease and healing shows us the most dramatic demonstration of its power. I will discuss prayer for the treatment of cancer because it is the best example for people to understand. As I mentioned above, is best done by the patient themselves. If a prayer-giver is used then they must be carefully chosen so as to be a person of integrity and of course humane. I will describe this first and then address the use of randomized double blinded trials and the problems that arise for the patient as well as for the testing of prayer. To explain how the prayer is formulated and how it works for the treatment of cancer, I will first give a brief account on how the disease arises and how it needs to be treated with prayer.
To be continued