Larry Dossey, MD, took a leap of faith when he wrote the book "Healing Words," about the power of prayer to heal.
The only study to prove the power of prayer to heal at that time was done by a cardiologist named Randolf Byrd. He prayed for half of his patients and left the other half prayer-less.
The control group didn't fare as well as the group Byrd prayed for.
This was the study that inspired Larry Dossey to begin praying for his patients.
Dossey describes his upbringing as Fundamentalist Christian in a Texan community, which he later rejected. By the time he was a doctor, he rebelled against any form of prayer or anything at all having to do with religion.
But the Byrd data provoked an inner change of direction for Dossey.
He decided to incorporate prayer into his daily morning ritual.
He said he locked himself in his office, brought out the incense and shamanistic rattles, as he calls it, and started actively saying unconditional prayers for the well being of his patients.
After these rituals, he felt well. He began to know that the world of medicine was much more than drugs and strict medical interventions.
Oprah had the opportunity to ask Larry Dossey what was the single experience that led him to the work he is doing now.
Dossey explained the time he had an emergency appendectomy and was rushed to surgery without meeting his surgeon or anesthesiologist. When the surgery was done, he woke up fearfully and in tremendous pain.
A nurse saw his distress as she was walking by and stopped to take his hand.
She said soothingly, "Don't worry, Larry. Everything is going to be OK!"
Larry's pain instantly vanished. He remembers feeling confident that he would get better. The fear he felt a moment before receded.
At this point, Larry and Oprah briefly discussed the role of nurse as healer.
Oprah said, "Nurses are healers but are called nurses instead."
Dossey remembers the experience with the nurse healer as pivotal as to why he embarked on the journey he is now on: researching the healing effect of prayer on his patients.
Numerous studies have been done since the Byrd study, proving the power of prayer to heal.
Medical students are now taught about these experiments in their education. Prayer in medicine has reached the mainstream.
There is no turning back.
Dossey says that one person sending compassionate loving thoughts to a person across the planet is just as effective as if she was praying by the bedside.
This is called distant healing, distant prayer.
One of the most remarkable examples of this kind of distant prayer, according to Dossey, was done on a group of women at an Infertility Clinic in Seoul, Korea. One half of the patients were prayed for and the other half were not.
Again, those prayed for had twice the pregnancy rate as the half who were not the recipients of prayer.
Oprah asked, "How does prayer work?"
"No one knows," said Dossey.
Another interesting factor: it matters not if ten or more people prays for you or if one person prays for you, as long as the prayers are authentically done with a compassionate heart.
Quality not quantity is the key to good solid results.
Prayer without the need to control outcome, with an attitude of surrender, of Thy Will Be Done, are the prayers having the most import. Prayer done fearfully with a desperate, bargaining with God mentality do not have any effect. These prayers are called Fox Hole prayers, the "get me out alive and I'll go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life" kind of prayer.
Fear and desperation are low vibrational energies that are best left in the trash heap of the psyche.
Prayer done with a vibration of love and compassionate has a high fast moving vibrational frequency that transforms rather than distorts, heals rather than harms.
Larry Dossey said that studying the effects of prayer in health led him away from the world view taught in Science that says when the body dies, we are gone forever.
The study and practice of prayer put him in touch with the infinite or "nonlocal" part of ourselves that will never die.
Prayers of gratitude and Thanksgiving get us in touch with our own innate sense of optimism, goodwill and the peaceful silence that underlies all peaceful forces.
Albert Einstein said that we live in a friendly universe. By distrusting people and the goodness of life, we halt the body's great ability to heal.
Dossey's book, "The Extraordinary Healing Power Of Ordinary Things," explores different healing modalities that have been known to cause spontaneous healing of incurable conditions.
He cites the use of maggots and leaches in modern surgery to debride diseased staph resistant ulcerations in Diabetic patients. People choose this therapy after trying everything else and modern medicine has failed them at every juncture.
Maggot and leach therapy may seem like a good alternative when all else has failed.
Or take the case of people in comas. When Christmas Carols are played, some of these comatose people rise up, take out their tubes and walk out the door. Carols create tremendous emotional memories that resonate deeply with some people.Those of us raised with this music could have the same emotional reaction.
Spontaneous healing, miraculous cure, prayer from great distances: these are all possibilities in a world full of loving potential. We can learn and immediately practice what Dossey teaches.
Touch your patients with unconditional loving intention.
Pray for and with your patients.
Direct healing rays to everyone you meet today.
You may suddenly realized that you are healed, as well.