Power of Prayer

This article explores the power of prayer. Because everything is interconnected, collective prayer by relatively few can have a profound effect on the consciousness of many, and even on the physical world surrounding us.

Global Interconnection

Like a field of sage plants, humans are all connected at the roots. A single thread of awareness binds us as a family. We don’t see the system connecting us, the “universal mind” or consciousness, but it exists nonetheless, and under the right conditions can be felt. It has been proven beyond doubt that many benefit from the experience of just a few, e.g., the measurable positive effects of mass prayer and meditation.

There is a relationship between consciousness and daily events. If our minds and bodies mirror the earth and vice versa, it follows that the extremes in one may be considered as metaphors for changes in the other. Therefore weather extremes and destructive weather patterns may reflect the unsettled consciousness of people. By the same token, shifts in our belief systems may ease or even eradicate negative conditions. This can give us hope for the times ahead. Rather than protecting ourselves from events that may appear to have power over us, we may actually choose the life affirming conditions that transcend illness, suffering, and war in our future.

Our Bodies as Holy Temples

The body has been regarded by some traditions as the soft, sacred and vulnerable temple of the soul, as well as a convergence point through which the forces of creation express the will of God. Within our body-temple, the forces of the cosmos unite as an expression of time, space, spirit and matter. It is through the experience of time and space that spirit works through matter to find the fullest expression honoring life. Within our bodies is a “holy land” – a place where to build a holy temple. This is comparable to the various inner sections – “the Holy of Holies” – in many ancient physical temples where the world of spirit interacted with the world of matter.

It has been documented that in our bodies, matter is touched by spirit through the non-physical force of emotion. Emotion has been shown to actually change the physical DNA molecule. Individuals trained in generating focused feelings of deep love were able to intentionally cause a change in the shape of DNA, at least in laboratory conditions. Emotion also affects our health and quality of life. In addition, it can be seen as a direct line of communication to the very core of life itself. The “Holy of Holies” where spirit and matter interact would then include each cell of our bodies.

Similar to computer technology, we are from the moment of birth conduits of easy-to-use, yet highly sophisticated, technology to transform the world. Ancient writings hint at the lost language and forgotten power of prayer within each of us. If used, this allows us to become gateways, bringing the qualities of heaven to earth. The wisdom, peace, love and compassion we dream of may become the reality of our world by reflecting these qualities in our lives.

Healing Power of Prayer

Prayer links the worlds of heaven and earth. We each participate in the outcome of global events as well as the health of our bodies and the quality of our relationships – whether or not we are aware of it. Our time on earth is an opportunity to manage our choices through which we can create our outer world that mirrors our innermost prayer and dreams.

The power of prayer in the case of mass prayers or meditation has now been documented beyond doubt. There are incidents where the circumstances heading for a tragic outcome and loss of life unexpectedly shifted. This shift was found to be coincident with the coordinated effort of individuals and groups  in prayer. Western science has now validated that, at least to a degree, our outer world of atoms and elements mirrors our inner world of thoughts and emotions. Could creating peace and cooperation in our world be as simple as joining in unified prayers for the same?

For generations, the framework of prayer has served as a support system in times of both joy and crisis. Transcending boundaries of culture, age, religion and geography, this silent, sacred language that speaks to the unseen forces of our world and one another, may be the most universal custom we share as a species. The power of prayer can be seen by tangible evidence, as well as having been scientifically documented.

Healing Human Separateness

Presently, humanity is very divided and has grown separate from the earth and one another. Some suggest that only a crisis of immense proportions (into which we seem to be rapidly heading) will awaken our memories of oneness and renew the possibility of cooperation. Strangely, adversity tends to draw from us our deepest knowledge, expressed as our deepest strengths to triumph over shared ordeals. A common goal supersedes individual differences of ethnic origin, social class, and culture.

Multiple millions have been killed in wars and conflicts in the last century alone. The world overall is in a fragile state of peace. However, visions of war pervade many prophecies for our time – and sometimes a minor local event had resulted in a major global crisis (the “Butterfly Effect”). Nonetheless, we also need to remember that prophecies are possibilities of events that haven’t played out yet. What can we learn from these? If we recognize the conditions of our world as pointing to those prophecy fulfillments, perhaps it is time to employ the forgotten technology and use the power of prayer to redirect the ancient visions of tragedy and suffering.

Mass Prayer and Mustard Seeds

We can again learn from the Hopi people regarding the events that precede a time of the prophesied great warfare. They tell us that each time humanity strays from the laws that affirm life, our choices are mirrored in our societies and nature. As human minds and hearts become so separate that people forget one another, the earth acts to bring the memory of our greatest attributes back into focus. “When earthquakes, floods, hailstorms, droughts, and famine will be the life of every day, the time will then have come for the return to the true path.” The recommended course of action for bringing human hearts and minds back into alignment with the earth is prayer and meditation.

“When prayer and meditation are used rather than relying on new inventions to create more imbalance, then they (humanity) will also find the true path.” This agrees with the quantum principle that to change the outcome of events already in motion, we are invited to shift our beliefs regarding the outcome itself. In doing so, we attract the possibility that matches our new belief, and we release the present undesirable conditions, even those already under way.

Growing scientific evidence supports the notion of the ancients that we can “do something” about the horrors of this world through large-scale focused prayers. Scientists attribute the relationship between mass prayer and the activity of individuals in communities to a phenomenon known as the field effect of consciousness. This can be seen as a zone of consciousness, a level of universal mind, that touches every life. By using specific thought, feeling and emotion, we may tap into this universal mind and share in its benefits. The purpose of many prayers and meditative techniques is to achieve precisely such a condition.

Ancient teachings, such as the Vedic tradition, also include a belief in a field of consciousness. Changes made in collective consciousness will correspondingly reflect in the outer world. For example, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation, if we view conflict, aggression and war as indicators of stress in our collective consciousness, then collective stress relief would relieve global tensions. The beauty of the field effect is that when stress is relieved within a group, the effects are registered beyond the immediate group into a larger area.

It has been found that as little as 1% of a population practicing a unified form of peaceful prayer and meditation was enough to reduce crime rates, accidents and suicides in an area (Maharishi Effect) There has been a high correlation between the number of people in prayer and the quality of life in the immediate vicinity.

“The Harvest Is Great, Though the Laborers Are Few”

Prophets and sages have suggested that only 0.1% of a population working together in a unified effort may shift the consciousness of the whole world. If this is so, surprisingly few individuals may plant the seeds of great possibilities. In the world of 7 billion, 0.1% is only 7 million. Possibly even a square root of 1% or 100 people in a city of 1 million may make a difference to the entire world. This power of prayer could be the proverbial mustard seed that will eventually cover the world.

Another Bible verse takes on an interesting meaning and that is Matthew 24:21-22 which is a part of a longer prophetic passage and says: “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”

The passage talks about a time when it would be possible for all life to be annihilated. Soberingly, we live in such a time! However, the hellish days will be shortened “for the sake of the elect”. I believe the “elect” are those on a love path and include members of churches, New Age writers and their followers, those of other spiritual traditions, and whoever else that promotes a message of love, harmony, good will, and compassion. All of this has an impact in that it raises at least some people’s consciousness and that in turn counteracts the darkness of the world. These people will be the crucial 1% (or less) who will make the difference and be instrumental in bringing about the new, higher consciousness to the world where people will come to realize that greed and war are not the way to go.

Bridge to a New Way of Thinking

The last century and especially recent decades have witnessed a combination of politics, social changes and rogue weather patterns take the lives of millions. Efforts have been made to alleviate suffering, but with limited results. Perhaps the key is a change of thinking that will eliminate causes of suffering, rather than treating just the effects. It appears that the politics of demands followed by the use of force no longer works. The answer to changing the conditions that allow war, oppression, and mass suffering is to change the thinking that has allowed the conditions to exist.

We live in a world of collective consent. Our personal thinking, attitudes and action in families and small groups reflect and contribute to our beliefs in the society as a whole. Warlike thinking has become deeply imbedded in our culture. Mass killings in our homes, schools and streets reflect the social thinking on a larger scale in the name of peace, e.g. to kill a dictator or organization leader. Quantum physics reminds us that individual expressions of “defending ourselves”, “outsmarting” others, or other unloving approaches pave the way to similar expressions, amplified by many orders of magnitude, in another time and place. To know peace in the world, we must become peace in our lives.

Prayer transcends imposing our will on others by force and represents an opportunity to employ feeling to bring new possibilities to our existing situation. Both science and ancient philosophy remind us that there can be no “us” and “them”, only “we”. Prayer may appear as a passive act or secondary to “doing something”. Yet from the perspective offered by ancient traditions and supported by modern research, our ability to commune with the forces of the cosmos to choose our path through time and determine our course of future history may be the single most sophisticated and empowering force to grace the world. As we choose to honor life in our everyday world, we’ll witness the power of prayer through our choices to end war and render aggression obsolete.

Prayer is a concrete, measurable, and directive force in creation. It is the act of redefining the foundation of hate, ethnic violence and war. It has been shown that it is possible to mirror the peace in our hearts in the reality of our world by choosing the reality by feeling the outcome.

With the understanding we have and the possibility to marry science with ancient spirituality, our time could be a rare moment to determine the outcome of a world on the brink of disaster and possible annihilation. Transcending science, religion and mystic traditions, the Essenes suggest that during this time in history, through the re-discovered tools of prayer and prophecy, healing can come to all beings and peace cover the world.

Without judging the daily events as good/right or bad/wrong, we are invited to choose a new viewpoint, a higher option, in response to the horror of such events. Since everything is interconnected, others’ suffering is our suffering. As we alleviate the pain of others, we help ourselves. In loving others, we love ourselves. Each person has the power of prayer – the ability to create a new possibility, to change the thinking that allows suffering. We are invited to think and do in our world as those of the heavens do in theirs. In so doing – “thinking the thoughts of angels, speaking the thoughts of angels, and doing as angels do” – we awaken a forgotten technology from the sleep of our collective memory and, at last, through the power of prayer, bring the conditions of heaven to earth.


Reference: Gregg Braden, The Isaiah Effect, © 2000, Chapter 9.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Menking


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