August 2003: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Jumada II 1424

Volume 19 No 8

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson

Power of Prayer

“If Prayer were available in pill form, no pharmacy could stock enough of it.” Dr. Dale Matthews of Georgetown University

Dr. Matthews relates a humorous story: “A vivacious--and vexing--lady visited my medical office often, armed with a beguiling smile, a steel wit, and intractable pain from arthritis. Each visit brought forth a languorous litany of incurable woe: She had sampled every painkiller in the pharmacopoeia, with scant success. "Is there anything that does help you?" I asked one day, in desperation.

"Faith and prayer!" she exclaimed. "And singing in the church choir!" Faith, prayer...and singing? Are these listed in the Physician's Desk Reference? Should they be? Karl Marx dismissed religion as "the

opiate of the people." Is religion, like codeine and other opiates, an effective "drug" for pain and other disorders? What's the proper dose? Are there side effects?”

We know prayer is important. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be prescribed for the believers five times every day by God in the Quran. Just as modern science has confirmed so many other miracles from scripture, scientific studies are now showing the overwhelming power of prayer in regards to health and medicine. While the results of studies dealing with intercessory prayer - groups of people praying for patients - have had very mixed results, studies looking at individual prayer have overwhelmingly proven the power that prayer and a strong religious faith have regarding one’s health and longevity.

  • A 6-year Duke University study of 4,000 people (of different faiths) over 64 years old found that the relative risk of dying was 46% lower for those who frequently attended religious services. The same study showed that those who prayed regularly had significantly lower blood pressure than the less religious. Also, those who attended services regularly had healthier immune systems.
  • At Dartmouth Medical Center, they have found that the best predictor of survival among 232 heart surgery patients was the degree to which they drew comfort and strength from religious faith and prayer.

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