I don’t doubt that prayer does have some power. I’ve experienced tremendous peace of mind due to prayer and meditation, and it has led to profound life-changing decisions on my part. I try to meditate as often as I can–sometimes its as simple as sorting through my thoughts as I’m driving in the car. I also believe that our minds are capable of much more than we realize, and possibly more than modern science currently can measure. I read once, several years ago, about an idea that the human mind may operate on a quantum level–able to affect things outside of itself. After all, some things that were once considered “pseudo-science” are generally accepted as scientific fact now. One example is the theory of plate tectonics. Not long ago, orthodox geology did not accept this theory. Now, it is textbook geology. My point is, just because we aren’t able to prove it now, doesn’t mean it isn’t true or possible, and we shouldn’t immediately tear it apart and mock evidence that favours a new idea or theory. Look at it objectively and dispassionately. If it works, it works. Simple as that. I think there are many aspects of the universe of which we know nothing of.
On the other side of the coin, there are some theories and ideas that make some wild claims that simply haven’t proven to be true time and time again. They mask themselves as proven scientific fact, yet do not stand up to even the slightest scrutiny–even resist it, and in my own experience, I’ve seen them fail miserably and tragically. Christian Science is one of them. It claims to be able to heal anything. Well, if it truly did, my Mom wouldn’t have died due to the effects of some horrible (but undiagnosed) tumour growing in her abdomen, and my Dad wouldn’t have suffered for many years with and ultimately died of heart failure*, and my younger brother would have jumped up out of the wheelchair he spent his life in and had a conversation with me (he wasn’t able to walk or talk due to cerebral palsy). In my own personal experience, I once suffered with the pain of kidney stones, praying diligently in Christian Science for relief, until I sought that relief from somewhat more “material means”. If Christian Science healed like Jesus did as it promises it does, Christian Scientists would not be so fearful of scrutiny, or the power of someone else’s thought to affect the outcome of a healing. I never read anywhere that Jesus concerned himself with such things.
No, Christian Science has not healed anything physical I can think of in my life or that of others close to me. I think prayer in general can be a tremendous help in the healing process. The mind is powerful, and I think can have an enormous effect on the body, but can prayer in and of itself cure cancer? I don’t think so. I think prayer and positive thinking can lead us to right action, and can have some positive effect physiologically. Negative thought, and fear filled thought can limit and hold one back.
So, do you want to jump without a parachute and cast your physical fate entirely on the wild ideas of a delusional 19th century woman? That’s your choice. However, don’t impose it on others, such as children, who can’t make the decision for themselves.
*See posts under the topic “Death in my Family“.