The Power of Prayer

More things are wrought by prayer

than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice

rise like a fountain for me night and day.

For what are men better than sheep or goats

That nourish a blind life within the brain,

If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer

Both for themselves and those who call them friends?

                                                      —- Alfred Tennyson

“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.”  

                                                      —- Martin Luther King

“Prayer is not only worship; it is also an invisible emanation of man’s worshipping spirit – the most powerful form of energy that one can generate. The influence of prayer on the human body is as demonstratable as that of secreting glands. Its results can be measured in terms of increased physical buoyancy, greater intellectual vigour, moral stamina, and a deeper understanding of the realities underlying human relationships.

If you make a habit of sincere prayer, your life will be very noticeably and profoundly altered. Prayer stamps with its indelible mark our actions and demeanour. A tranquillity of bearing, a facial and bodily repose, are observed in those whose inner lives are thus enriched. Within the depth of consciousness, a flame kindles and man sees himself. He discovers his selfishness, his silly pride, his fears, his greed, his blunders. He develops a sense of moral obligation, intellectual humility. Thus begins the journey of the soul towards the realm of grace.

Prayer is a force as real as terrestrial gravity. As a physician, I have seen men, after all the therapy has failed, lifted out of disease and melancholy by the serene effort of prayer. It is the only power in the world that seems to overcome the so-called “laws of nature”; the occasion on which prayer has dramatically done this have been termed “miracles”. But a constant hourly miracle takes place in the hearts of men and women who have discovered that prayer supplies them with a steady flow of sustainable power in their daily lives.

Too many people regard prayer as a formalised routine of words, a refuge for weaklings, or a childish petition for material things. We sadly undervalue prayer when we conceive it in these terms, just as we underestimate rain by describing it as something that fills a birdbath in our garden. Properly understood, prayer is a mature activity indispensable to the fullest development of personality – the ultimate integration of man’s highest faculties. Only in prayer do we achieve that complete and harmonious assembly of the body, mind and spirit which gives the frail human reed its unshakeable strength. “

This excerpt is from the book “Man, the Unknown” by Dr.Alexis Carrell, published in 1935.

Dr.Alexis Carrell was a French surgeon and biologist who pioneered methods of suture and transplant that changed surgery from a high-risk gamble into a tool with far reaching potential to save lives. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1912.

Pearl Jasra
Author: Pearl Jasra