The Power of Prayer



I grew up in a prayer centered family. Every aspect of family life remained colored by supplication to God. We prayed before meals, at bedtime, on Sundays, and many times in between. Family behavior did not always line up with our spiritual beliefs. Previously described alcoholism, verbal abuse, and one or two other serious situations pervaded family life. At the same time, prayer superseded trumped all the trauma and gave us tools for survival. Some of my earliest memories center around neighborhood rosaries, weekly Mass, and religious celebrations. All of these buffered the sad components of family life. I’m convinced that prayer cushions the brain and gives us the reserve we all need to cope. Connecting with a higher power charges our whole being with hope. I now realize that many of the prayer postures may actually have their origin in Eastern healing practices. For example, praying hand positions are found in Qigong and tai chi exercises; the sign of the cross integrates bodily chakras; and kneeling balances out root energies.

If my assumption is true, this may partially explain why members of religious orders have greater longevity than the general population.

Science now supports the healing power of prayer. According to studies conducted at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida and Wayne State University in Detroit, prayer

Has physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits for both genders and young and old alike.

Physical benefits of prayer:

  • Fewer visits to doctors. Canadian students who are involved in campus ministries see the doctor less often than their non- believing counterparts.
  • Less Concern about Death: Study participants who had religious affiliations had less worry about death.
  • Greater Psychological Well Being:  Religious participants had higher levels of happiness and contentment.
  • Greater Ability to Deal With Stress: Those who had a religious affiliation had more stress dealing tools.
  • Better health
  • Less hypertension
  • Less stress, even during difficult times
  • More positive feelings
  • Less depression
  • Greater psychological well-being
  • Superior ability to handle stress

Emotional Benefits of Prayer:

  • Calming anger: Researchers at Ohio state University learned that praying for one’s protagonists relieves anger and creates positive attitudes. It improves overall health and well-being. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin)
  • Prayer Improves mood:  Researchers at the University of Amsterdam concluded that religious people were less likely to suffer from psychological issues even if their life situations were traumatic.
  • Better Life Satisfaction: A large study of more than 2,000 church members in the U. S. showed that giving creates better life satisfaction than receiving.
  • Reduced fear of death: researchers in Germany found that religious people had less fear of death, terror attacks, and less concern about terror attacks. (source: Journal Personality & Social Psychology)





Spiritual Benefits of Prayer

  1. Prayer deepens our relationship with God and helps us to connect with Him.
  2. Prayer purifies our live and relieves us of guilt and shame.
  3. Prayer helps us establish trust in God
  4.  Prayer brings spiritual maturity.





If you are someone you know is suffering from major depression, showing signs of depression, is manic depressive, or is looking for how to deal with depression please subscribe to Barb’s blog. She has advice on such topics as, coping with depression, teen depression, anxiety and depression, depression in children,  and other types of depression disorders. You can visit her website at


Her book “Recovering from Depression, Anxiety, and Psychosis is now available on Amazon here.




Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>