For centuries, science has been trying to prove or disprove the power of prayer.
Now a new study of MRI brain scans shows that there is power in prayer, or meditation. Not just spiritual power, but actual physical healing power.
The study says prayer is essentially a workout for the brain, whether you are a believer or not.
Billy Dorsey was ready to die.
“I couldn’t take it anymore and I cried out,” said Dorsey.
In 2001, he was homeless on the streets of Fifth Ward in Houston and ended up locked inside a building for over a week. He had been left behind by the drug addicted building owner who locked the burglar bars doors on the place when he took off.
“‘God? Why am I going through this?’ Those were my exact words,” Dorsey said.
He said his prayer was answered immediately by a voice.
“Peaceful, gentle. Not this big booming voice. It is the kind of voice that you hear maybe with your ears, but you definitely hear it here,” Dorsey said as he pointed at his chest. “For me it was definitely a physical shift.”
There are thousands of stories and many describe that physical feeling as a cognitive shift.
“It absolutely was,” said Pastor Joel Osteen. ” It was clear. You could never talk me out of it.”
Pastor Osteen hears those stories every day, in and out of church.
Dr. Andrew Newberg has heard the stories, too.
He is director of research at Thomas Jefferson Hospital and Medical College and is board certified in internal and nuclear medicine.
When he thinks of prayer, he thinks of the brain itself.
“When we look at how the brain works,” said Dr. Newberg. “It looks like the brain is very easily able to engage in religious and spiritual practices.”
He figured inside the brain was the only place to answer the question: what happens when we pray?
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SOURCE: KHOU 11 News