Spiritual Growth

The Spiritual Power of Prayer & Meditation

By Rose Salcetti

For eons, people have sought physical and emotional healing and spiritual renewal through their engagement in prayer..Writer Rose Salcetti immerses herself in it.

Dr. Greg Braden  explains. “Today, modern prayer researchers have identified four broad categories that are believed to encompass all the many ways that we pray. In no particular order, they are: (1) colloquial, or informal, prayers; (2) petitionary prayers; (3) ritualistic prayers; and (4) meditative prayers. When we pray, the researchers suggest that we use one of these four modes—or a combination.

Colloquial prayers are informal prayers offered in everyday language. An example is: “Dear God, if just this one time I can get to the gas station before my gauge reads ‘empty,’ I promise I’ll never let my tank get this low again!” Petitionary prayers are requests to God, such as: “Mighty God, I claim perfect healing now, and in all past, present, and future manifestations.” Ritualistic prayers are perhaps most familiar. These are offered as specific words spoken at a specific time of day or year. Two examples are: “Now I lay me down to sleep . . .” and “God is great, God is good. . . .” Some people make a distinction between meditation and prayer, viewing prayer as “speaking” to God and meditation as “listening” to God. During meditation, we’re typically aware of a sacred presence that permeates our world and our being, and we apply the techniques of various teachings to experience what this presence means in our lives, as well as to harness it.

As good as these descriptions are, and as well as each of these prayers appears to work, there’s always been another mode of prayer that this list doesn’t account for. This fifth mode of prayer, the “lost mode,” is a prayer that’s based solely in feeling. Rather than the sense of helplessness that often leads us to ask for assistance from a higher power, feeling-based prayer acknowledges our ability to communicate with the intelligent force that 95 percent of us believe in, and participate in the outcome.”

My preference is meditation and feeling prayer. As I laid in bed, ready to enter the operating room for foot surgery, a nurse came in and said we can take you in!   The other surgery finished sooner than scheduled. She scrambled to have the doctor initial my right foot, ensuring proper surgery on that limb. My daughter called my Ministerial friend and left a message for her to say her planned prayer early.  When she called back I let it go to voice mail knowing it was taken care of while I kissed by husband and daughter prior to being wheeled away by smiling nurses in their blue scrubs. My daughter had flown in from Washington D.C. for 8 days to tend to me, to ensure my beloved husband could return to his new job after being out of work for 7 months.

In the operating room I said thank you to all the staff, my doctor, the anesthesiologist, and the nurses. I prayed for them knowing that they were divinely guided in all they did and that all was in God’s hands for perfect healing. Before I knew it I was home in bed being pampered by Bob and Vanessa. All went well.
I asked for prayers ahead of time from my church friends. I felt their prayers wafting over me in waves of golden – white light and energy.  Swimmingly I floated, enjoying the rich buoyancy of this state of mind.  

Amidst my sleep – deepened by the first 2 days of prescribed pain pills, I invoked the healing power of God in my prayers. As Bob and Vanessa assist me with all my needs, worried about my possible pain, we speak freely.  In this shared vulnerability, there’s safety, acceptance, and—as much as possible with orders not to get out of bed, except to eat and to use the bath room, for 3 days—to receive compassionate care.   I am able to ask for what I want.  My heart was filled with gratitude for the constant love I received from them. Many friends came to visit, bring lunches, dinners, cards and flowers. Their company was the best gift.   I slept a lot, meditated and prayed.  I drifted in that spaciousness between dreaming and waking. 

In meditation, I swooned into the beauty of a rich peacefulness.  An inner light was aglow. I allowed this to shower from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes, across my shoulders and through my finger tips, illuminating the path of healing and relaxation. I set the intention “To receive divine healing in every part of my being.”  And I knew to relax deeply into the experience of it. Soaking it up, feeling such a deep level of rest and rejuvenation, giving over to it, I surrendered to healing.

In his New York Times bestseller, Healing Words, Dr. Dossey uncovered one of the best-kept secrets in medical science: the enormous body of data showing that the act of prayer can greatly affect the practice of medicine. In this presentation, he examines the evidence of prayer's efficacy, the role of the unconscious in prayer, how prayer manifests through dreams, the relationship between methods of prayer and one's personality, and the negative side of prayer. He addresses the complex relationship between spiritual understanding and physical health. The primary function of prayer, Dr. Dossey asserts, is not only to help eradicate illness or increase longevity, but to simultaneously remind us of our essential nature. Ignored for much too long, this information is changing the way medicine is practiced and revolutionizing our ideas about healing.

I was pleased to discover that my foot surgeon prays. Dr. Montross exclaimed,”I’m so tickled with how well you are healing!” on my follow-up visit after surgery.  There’s no bruising and not much swelling. My previous patient’s foot had much more!  My nurse will put a cast on you for 3 weeks; I predict you can then go into a boot rather than another cast. (I gave credit to my prayers and belief in the prayers of others).
Three weeks later at the next visit he said you are healing beautifully better than expected.  I mentioned the prayers that all had been doing.  “I believe in the power of prayer he said, I had one patient who wasn’t healing well, I prayed and her healing improved.  He said he prayed with patients in the operating room as well.  

I mentioned I was on a powerful regimen of Vitamin D, as mine had been low. “Could that be part of it also?” He said that a 17 year old girl had 2 foot surgeries that didn’t work. Children’s hospital wouldn’t take her again. He noticed her calcium lab reading was 8 rather than 60. By increasing it, her next surgery was fine. (I wonder if he also prayed for her).


Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them.Mahalia Jackson Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_health4.html#HfODx0tT4BlyOE65.99


My personal  experience of healing has been remarkable, and 95% pain free, thanks to a great physician, caretaking from my husband, Bob and daughter Vanessa and to the gracious outpouring of prayers and the  loving kindness of friends.  God’s grace has been abundant.


Citations:  Dr. Larry Dossey, The ___Bible

Bestselling Books: One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters, Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine, Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing.

 

  

Faith and Prayer

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island.
He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon
for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build
a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store
his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened - everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger.

"God, how could you do this to me?" he cried. Early the next day, however, he
was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come
to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his
rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It's easy to get discouraged sometimes when things appear to be going badly. But
we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst
of pain and suffering. Remember, the next time your little hut is burning to the
ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive
answer for it. Have you ever said any of these things to yourself?

You say, "It's impossible".
God says: "All things are possible". (Luke 18:27)
You say, "I'm too tired."
God says: "I will give you rest". (Matt 11:28-20)
You say, "Nobody really loves me".
God says: "I love you". (John 3:16 - John 13:34)
You say, "I can't go on."
God says: "My grace is sufficient." (II Cor. 12:9 - Psalm 91:15)
You say, "I'm afraid."
God says: "I have not given you a spirit of fear." (II Tim. 1:7)
You say, "I'm always worried and frustrated".
God says: "Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)
You say, "I don't have enough faith."
God says: "I've given everyone a measure of faith." (Romans 12:3)
You say, "I'm not smart enough."
God says: "I give you wisdom." (I Cor. 1:30)
You say, "I feel all alone."
God says: "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Heb. 13:5)

There are some weeks, months or years,   that we all feel, “Our huts are burning.”   God sees our smoke signals.   We have been given God’s words to turn too, during these challenging times. 
In a recent email, I read about a woman named Pam, who knows the pain of considering abortion. More than 24 years ago, she and her husband Bob were serving as missionaries to the Philippines and praying for a fifth child. Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in contaminated food or drink. She went into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics before they discovered she was pregnant.

Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. Pam said the doctors didn't think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue.

While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband: If you will give us a son, we’ll name him Timothy and we’ll make him a preacher.

Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy August 14, 1987. Pam’s youngest son is indeed a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father’s ministry in the Philippines. He also plays football. Pam’s son is Tim Tebow.

The University of Florida’s star quarterback became the first sophomore in history to win college football’s highest award, the Heisman Trophy. His past role as quarterback of the Denver Broncos has provided an incredible platform for Christian witness. As a result, he was being called The Mile-High Messiah.

Tim’s notoriety and the family’s inspiring story have given Pam numerous opportunities to speak on behalf of women’s centers across the country. Pam Tebow believes that every little baby you save matters.

 God is always at work in our lives, so when we focus on the good and God, that brings it more powerfully forward into our lives we can create miracles. Tim’s mother had to focus on Gods’ presence in her life. She had to focus with faith and conviction that the child within her would be healed.  That she would be healed. With her whole mind and heart and soul she did that.

How much power of personal conviction are you using in your life for what you want to have healed?  Is your faith being lifted up? How will you focus on this? Daily?   When you encounter the same obstacle, such as she did, knowing she had to recover without antibiotics, what will you do? She got prayed up! Did she face fears, doubts and uncertainties?   Don’t we all? And then we must go back to knowing the truth!  The Lord God Almighty hears our prayers.

 

We just need to lift ourselves up to the power of God so that we can relax and trust that it is happening.  There was a study in which heart attack victims were in two control groups in the hospital.  One group received prayer.  One group did not. Neither group knew who was receiving the prayer.   Those that received prayer, recuperated at a faster rate.   Many studies can now validate the power of prayer.

The first important element in prayer is to be able to feel it!   In that story of Tim Tebow, couldn’t you just imagine a young mothers’ love for her son? And the father’s concern for her safety? Yes!   They prayed with great veracity!   They connected to the divine!   What are your prayers like?  Do you feel them?

We can define what we want in prayer and then say “this or something greater!” We can say that we pray to God;   surrendering to God's Will, knowing the infinite mind of God is more all knowing than ours is!   Think about praying for forgiveness, in the Lord’s Prayer the phrasing is “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others.”
Our mind’s software is different from everyone else’s.  It is composed of our experiences, opinions, beliefs, and feelings, all of which affect our perception of truth.  It is filled with insightful truths on the nature of consciousness and – truth vs. falsehood.

How can we rewire the software of our mind? We can examine our beliefs, thoughts and attitudes.  We can pray. Do you remember the saying, the family that prays together stays together? What a powerful statement?    We have all heard miraculous stories of the healing power of prayer.  We can turn our thoughts to the Bible.  Imagine a time when you have said the following; know that God has responded.

You say, "I can't figure things out."
God says: "I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You say, "I can't do it."
God says: "You can do all things in me." (Phil 4:13)
You say, "It's not worth it."
God says: "It will be worth it." (Romans 8:28)
You say, "I can't forgive myself."
God says: "I forgive you." (I John 1:9 - Romans 8:1)
You say, "I can't manage."
God says: "I will supply all your needs." (Phil 4:19)

Now, think about forgiving yourself and others for any transgressions. Remember the Our Father?

Our Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory
now and for ever.
Amen.

Have you forgiven yourselves?   Do you have a clean slate each day? Sometimes it’s easier to forgive others, rather than ourselves isn’t it? 

“How’s that working for you?” (As Dr. Phil, the therapist would say).  Are you keeping yourself in guilt or shame regarding the past?  “Jesus said that we must forgive ourselves “seven times seventy”

What are you waiting for?  Pray for your healing.  Name it, claim it. Feel & heal through the power of prayer. Live joyfully in God’s grace. 

 

 

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