According to a recent article in Alternative Medicine magazine (What’s behind the power of prayer?, Sept. 2003, pp.66-70, 106-108.), there’s scientific evidence to show that prayer has healing potential. The article offers 4 suggestions (p. 70):
1. Don't let "I'm not religious" thoughts stop you. You don't have to be religious to pray or meditate. Meditation is as simple as silently repeating a mantra - a word or sound like "om," "one," or a chant - and focusing on the in-and-out tide of breathing. When your mind wanders, gently return to the mantra. 2. Keep more formal prayers simple and loving. "Help!" counts as a prayer. Or you might just ask God or a higher power to heal mind, body, and spirit. When Catherine Karas, an energy healer based in New Jersey who volunteers in an NIH study, prays, or meditates, for patients, she invokes energies and calls in "guides." And then, she says, "I surrender to a higher power for the highest good." 3. Consider joining a group or congregation that prays. Not only can it help make prayer a regular part of your life, it's got solid scientific backing: In several studies, membership in such a community has been linked with good health. 4. Make prayer or meditation a habit. Aim for at least 10 minutes twice a day, and don't just pray when you're sick or in trouble. A steady practice of prayer can reduce stress, help prevent stress-related illness, and make it easier and more natural for you to pray when times are hard.