There is so much we can do beyond medicine for our health and well-being. Let medicines do their work but, there are plenty of other tools that can improve our quality of life. One such tool is “prayer”, provided it is done the right way. Neither do you have to be a religious person nor do you need to visit a religious place to do a prayer. This is about honest spirituality and true prayer is free from all of this.
How do prayers work: Everything is energy. The food you eat, the water you drink, the air you breathe. We ourselves are a bundle of energy. We can create bad or good energy. Prayer done with a clean heart and intentions helps generate good energy or change the bad energy into good energy. So, imagine the amount of good energy you can create by praying and how that can be channelised for healing.
Prayers can affect us at a genetic level: They have the ability to awaken certain emotions in our system that has the ability to turn on and turn off certain genes. Our lifestyles have a huge role to play here. While clean lifestyle habits can turn on genes that have the ability to repair and heal you, unhealthy lifestyle habits can turn on genes that can bring about sickness and diseases. This is called epigenetics, where ‘epi’ stands for the environment and how it can control the functionality of a certain gene. For example: watching a clip of a funny video, movie or a good laugh with friends can turn on over 700 genes that are related to our immune system. But a drag, anxious and angry lifestyle can also turn off those same 700 genes thereby dampening your immunity. Prayers work in a similar way, by evoking positive emotions in us that has the capacity to activate the good genes.
Why do most patients who have gone through their journey of cancer turn to spirituality? There are some who never ever prayed in their life but have now come down to praying heavily. What changes? Well, as the mysteries of life unfold and the journey gets challenging, most individuals tend to go through intense emotions of love, lost love, relationship issues, unforgiveness, anger and shifting their focus towards spirituality and prayer asking for safety and recovery. And it doesn’t take a disease to lead to this. As kids and teens, visiting holy places disinterest us, then as we grow older, we gradually move to read holy books and spend time chanting. Some people experience this transition early in life and some later.
We go wrong when spirituality is practiced as a fad and we add more complexity to it. Prayers are not any other to-do list activity in your day. If you pray, let those prayers and their teachings slip into your daily life. The three most essentials when it comes to prayers is Faith, Belief, and Surrendering. So many of us pray fervently almost daily, visit different religious places, but are still anxious and worried about the very problems they prayed for. Instead, pray with utmost faith and belief and just surrender the outcome. Above all, keep practicing your prayers till you build so much faith that there is no room for fear.
The simplest prayer: The simplest one could be to offer gratitude and count your blessings. It doesn’t have to be a prayer for God. Prayer in any form, if done with faith and belief, counts. For example: “Thank you for blessing the air that we breathe, the food that we eat and the water that we drink.” Just because the results of prayers aren’t immediate doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. The power of this simple act is immense, free and we mustn’t take for granted what is free. Sometimes when life hits us through any challenge, financial, emotional, physical—all we need to do is step back, pray and ask for help. Teach this to your kids too.
The author is a Mumbai-based holistic lifestyle coach