There is nothing difficult about prayer. Whoever reads this book and applies the principles set forth will be able to pray effectively for him and others. True prayer utilizes the Universal Law of action and reaction. Thought is incipient action; the reaction is the response from a Deeper Mind which corresponds with the nature of the thought. Think good, good follows; think evil, evil follows.
Following is a prayer which has helped numerous people to completely transform their lives. As you meditate on these wonderful truths, you, too, will shortly discover that wonders are happening in your life!
If you would become a master of the art of prayer, begin immediately to attach yourself mentally and emotionally to an idea, a plan, or a purpose; it will not be long before you will begin to experience physical evidence of the physical reaction to your thoughts. However, do not discontinue your prayers with the first evidence of results. You must keep on praying with the conviction that you are operating a mental and spiritual Law which responds to your mental activity which maintains you in peace. Remember that any idea on which you meditate and feel as true incubates in your subconscious mind and is expressed in your life. To know what you are doing and why you are doing it will give you faith and confidence in your prayer life.
My friend then agreed to see to it that this inner, silent thought would conform to his desired aim, which was a successful conclusion of the legal case. Regularly and systematically, he applied the following prayer which I gave to him: I give thanks for the perfect, harmonious solution which takes place through the wisdom of the All-Wise One.
He frequently repeated this prayer to himself during the day, and when difficulties, delays, set-backs, arguments, doubts, and fear came to his mind, he would silently affirm the above truth. He completely ceased making negative statements, and he also controlled his silent thoughts, knowing that his inner thought and feeling always would be made manifest.
In prayer you experience a change of mind as you discover what the truth is, and your mind begins to conform to that truth. Prayer reveals the truth that God is supreme and omnipotent to solve all human problems. No matter what kind of difficulty may be facing you, no matter how complicated the situation may seem, prayer can bring about a harmonious resolution and rearrangement of your affairs in accord with divine order.
Wise action will follow wise thoughts. A wise thought is to know that God or Infinite Intelligence is guiding you now, and that He knows the answer; therefore you affirm boldly that you know the answer. Before they call, I will answer! In praying for an answer to your problem it is foolish to neglect or overlook the obvious and common sense thing to do; take whatever practical steps that seem necessary. Claim divine guidance, and the steps you take will be dictated and governed by Divine Wisdom which is the dominant belief of your mind. In prayer you make contact through your thoughts with the Divine Presence which dwells within you, and having consciously done that, you call forth His Wisdom, Power, and Infinite Intelligence to solve the various difficulties or troubles in your life, taking them in due order by solving the most pressing problems first. The right way to pray for the answer to all your problems is to feel and know that the Indwelling God knows only the answer; because this is true, you will know the answer and recall the truth; he never faileth.
The good and evil we experience are simply due to our personal relationship through our thinking to the Life Principle which is forever Whole, Pure, and Perfect in Itself. Be sure not to give power to created things or effects; go to the cause of all, the Spirit within you. This Spirit or God is conditioned in your life according to the nature of your thought-life. There is only one Creative principle and it is forever flowing through your habitual thought-patterns and imagery. This is why you make or create all experiences, events, and conditions of your life after your own image and likeness. This is the basis of all prayer whether we use this law consciously or unconsciously.
Comprehensive rehabilitation programs are considered as an appropriate way to prevent and overcome the physical and mental health problems of patients with CAD. Moreover, psychological therapies and their beneficial effects on improving the mental health of patients with CAD have been supported.[8,9] However, implementation of these interventions has been reported to face challenges such as obstacles to program implementation and adherence to these programs. In this regard, the focus is on interventions based on which patients can, after receiving education, easily and with minimum professional assistance benefit from them. Therefore, the use of complementary therapies and nonmedical methods including relaxation techniques and prayer therapy is expanding.
The relaxation techniques include a series of physical (i.e., respiratory and muscular) and mental exercises being made to reduce stress and increase calmness. Benson's relaxation technique is an easy-to-use relaxation technique which is effective on the pulse rate, respiratory function, and heart workload. The results of some studies have supported positive effects of relaxation techniques in promoting mental health.[15,16] The effect of this intervention has also been supported in reducing the stress and anxiety of hemodialysis patients as well as reducing anxiety in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization and reducing anxiety and increasing hope in women with breast cancer. However, patients' adherence to such interventions has been identified among inhibiting factors. A more common and easy-to-use alternative to relaxation techniques is prayer therapy.
Praying is defined as a deep human instinct of humanity where one becomes aware of his connection with the source of life. The association between the use of prayer therapy and decreasing anxiety in patients with cancer and increased hope of them has already been supported. Despite supporting evidences, the effectiveness of prayer therapy depends on context-specific determinants such as culture and believes.
Power analysis for a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with three groups was conducted in G*Power software to determine a sufficient sample size using an alpha of 0.05, a power of 0.80, and an effect size (f = 0.40). Based on the aforementioned assumptions, the desired sample size was obtained as 66. The effect size used to calculate sample size was estimated based on studies that examined the effect of relaxation and prayer on the mental health status of chronic patients. With respect to probability of attrition, 10% were added to the sample size; it was considered as 75 people for all groups. The samples were randomly allocated to three groups of 25 people (two groups of relaxation and prayer therapy intervention and a control group). SPSS software was used to allocate subjects as randomly as possible to control and intervention groups. First, a list of numbers from 1 to 75 was prepared and divided into three random groups of numbers. The patients were assigned a number in the order they were recruited into the study, and therefore were entered into an intervention or control group. However, practically we had to made few changes in group assignments to avoid contamination bias. Therefore, we had no real randomization, and hence the study design is quasi-experimental. The flow diagram of the study is presented in Figure 1. For the first group, Benson's relaxation technique was performed during six sessions twice a day (9 am and 6 am) for 3 consecutive days. Each session lasted 30 min and covered the following steps: sitting in a comfortable position, closing the eyes, deeply relaxing all the muscles, beginning at the feet and progressing up to the face, breathing through nose while becoming aware of one's own breathing, continuing this practice for 20 min, and finally sitting quietly for several minutes, at first with closed eyes and later with eyes open. The second group (i.e., prayer therapy) underwent the same timeframe for the intervention and covered the following steps: humility which is admission of limitations of our personal power and believing on a greater power that can restore us to health; alignment which is aligning the body, mind, and spirit with the help of deep breathing and visualization; stating our purpose or the situation we want to achieve; offering which means giving something to get something else and can consist of leaving the things that make us angry and dependent; gratitude that is expression of appreciation in advanced of fulfillment; reception that consisted of creating enough time and space to receive whatever we were asking for and for example included asking for all the guidance we want; and finally, realization and fulfillment that consisted of being open to change, to receive, and to fulfillment. Both interventions were performed in groups of three to five patients in patients' rooms by the first author (SS) under the supervision of the corresponding author. After the interventions, a posttest was performed for each group by an independent person (i.e., a nurse) who was unaware of the kind of interventions on each group. The interval between pre- and posttest for the control group was similar to that of intervention groups.
The results of this study also showed that prayer therapy reduced anxiety in patients with CAD. In line with this result, however, in subjects other than patients with heart disease, Boelens et al. also supported the positive influence of prayer therapy on anxiety, and some other evidences have also supported the relationship between religious activities and positive health outcomes.