How Does Prayer Work?
By Harold Klemp
The Spindrift Organization has done a lot of experiments in the lab trying to prove that prayer works. They set up experiments with plants, and they tried directed prayer. They’d always have a control group. Then they would see if there were any differences in plant growth. And there were.
They did these experiments for a while, and then somebody had an idea. They said, “We’ve proved now that prayer changes things.” In other words, saying to the little plant, “Grow!” “But now let’s see if there’s a difference between directed prayer and other types.” They wanted to look at another kind of prayer, which is nondirected prayer.
Nondirected prayer is more along the lines of “Thy will be done.”
So they took a plate with mold on it. And they put it through a quick rinse of alcohol to give the mold a shock, to almost kill it. And then they drew a line right down the center.
Side A was the control side. They wouldn’t pray for that side. They asked people to pray for the mold on side B, but not on the order of, “Grow, you little green molds, grow!” They didn’t do it like that. They just said, “Thy will be done,” regarding the B side.
By doing this truly, people are giving goodwill to life. They’re passing along the love of God to other people and things.
They found that nondirected prayer worked even better than directed prayer. Then they did other experiments and got the same results: the nondirected prayer was better than telling God what to do. They also found that some kind of attention was better than nothing at all.
It gets very difficult if you have an illness and say, “God, I need more red blood cells. Produce more red blood cells.” It may be exactly the wrong thing. You might need more white blood cells.
Directed prayer doesn’t work as well because it depends upon the human consciousness and all its ignorance. But nondirected prayer depends upon the divine power, the higher power. It depends upon the power of God. So whether you say, “Thy will, not mine, be done,” or “May the blessings be,” this is the proper spiritual way to direct your own life.
You can use it in your own spiritual exercises with a word that you sing to yourself during contemplation (HU is a good one). You can sing the word, but before you start, you can say, “May the blessings be” or “Thy will be done.”
If you have a health problem, or if you’re having a problem finding work or keeping the job you have, or if you’re having a problem with your loved one or someone not so loved—instead of saying, “God, help me be stronger,” maybe just try “Thy will be done.”
It’s unconditional love that makes such a prayer. And this is important.
What many people don’t realize is that God’s love, too, is unconditional love. Soul exists because God loves It. That means you exist because God loves you.
Excerpted from Spiritual Wisdom on Prayer, Meditation, and Contemplation.