Tuesday, October 16, 2001

A Heartfelt Invitation

Results of an experiment have shown that the prayer, "Please bless (this person) with a baby" are actually effective. This study was written up in a recent edition of the "Journal of Reproductive Medicine", a respected medical publication, so must be scientifically sound. Since there have been a number of past studies that have verified the effects of prayer, it can be said that this experiment has gone further in confirming that "prayer is effective." However, the "whys" and "hows" of the connection between the mind and pregnancy, and the prayer mechanism are not known.

It's probably safe to say that the stage for this experiment was "the whole world." Those who were receivers of the prayers were 219 women who, from December 1998 to March 1999, were undergoing treatment for infertility at Cha General Hospital in Seoul, Korea. Those who were responsible for giving the prayers were members of various Christian denominations in the United States, Canada and Australia. The prayer givers were only given photos of half the women in the study, in batches of five at a time, and during the course of the three weeks of treatments, they gave direct prayers such as, "May this person definitely get pregnant" or indirect prayers such as, "May our prayers for her pregnancy be answered." As a result, of those who did not receive prayers, 26% became pregnant, but, of those who did receive prayers, 50% became pregnant. None of the women in either group knew that the prayers were taking place.

The women in this study were undergoing in vitro fertilization. The fertilization rate was about the same for both the prayer receivers and non-receivers, but the big difference came when the embryo was transferred to the woman's uterus to develop naturally. Although the probability of multiple births increases due to the administering of hormones during the in vitro process, the proportion for these multiple births was greater in those who received prayers than those who did not. Dr. Rogerio Lobo, Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University, who headed the team conducting this study said, "We set out with the expectation that we would show no benefit of prayer."

We can't blame them for thinking that since the predominant thinking of modern day scientists is that our mind's are generated by electro-chemical reactions within our brains. So, it would be impossible for such a faint, miniscule amount of energy such as that to cross the Pacific Ocean and travel to Korea, through the concrete walls of the hospital in Seoul, and stimulate the fertilized eggs in the uteri of the women there. This time science proved that "there actually are things that science cannot explain." It's no mistaking, then, that the hearts of many Japanese citizens played a large part in Crown Princess Masako's pregnancy.

- MT

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