The healing mediunity does not come to supplant medicine and doctors; it simply comes to prove that there are things that they don't know and invite to study them; that nature has resources that they ignore; that the spiritual element that they ignore is not a chimera, and that, when they take it into account they will open new horizons to science and will be more successful than now". ( 1)
There are researches about the effects of the prayer in the health of people. One of them was performed by the Laboratory of Cellular Immunology of the University of Medicine of the University of Brasília, with the active participation of more than fifty-two students of medicine, from 2000 to 2003. The research, as its results published in the major newspapers of the Country, showed positive results which were materialized in the increase of cellular stability in individuals who received prayers.
According to the study under discussion, one of the main defense mechanisms of the organism - the phagocytosis (*) - may have its function stabilized with prayers made at a distance. "In the analysis of the fifty-two volunteers, each week a pair provided blood samples and answered a questionnaire about stress. A picture of the volunteer would be forwarded, identified only by the name, to a group of ten religious people from different creeds, who, for one week, would make prayers for that person. Coordinated by the immunology professor Carlos Eduardo Tosta, the research lasted three years. ( 2)
Prayer works on health individuals, influencing the immune system, according to a pioneer study performed in 1988, in the San Francisco General Hospital, in California. In that hospital it was possible to prove that the patients who received prayers showed significant improvements, needing even smaller amounts of medicines". ( 3) For us, Spiritualists, it takes special features, for "differently from normal medicine, created by Science, magnetism tells us about the power of the fluid action and Spiritualism reveals another powerful force in the healing mediunity and the influence of prayer " (4) Allan Kardec, when making his remarks about question 662 of The Book of the Spirits, states that "thought and will represent a great action power in us, which goes much beyond the limits of our corporeal realm ".(5) In fact "electricity is dynamic energy; magnetism is static energy; thought is electromagnetic power "(6) .Considering the property of the magnetic flow for us to be mutually influenced, and "recognizing the capacity of the magnetic fluid for creatures to be reciprocally influenced, with much greater amplitude and effectiveness will it operate on the cellular entities of the Organic State - specially the blood and hystiocitary ones -, determining their satisfactory level, migration or extreme mobility, the production of antibodies or even the improvising of other fighting and immunological resources, in the defense against bacterial invasions and in the reduction or extension of pathogenic processes (...)"(7)
A lot has been said about the prayer, but very little is known about its operating mechanism. That's why we value it little, and sometimes even forget it. It is probably an understandable procedure, since Spiritism is a relatively new Doctrine, approximately 150 years old, and the analysis of its scientific aspects demand basic knowledge, without which we would not understand its explanations, we would then need to have notions of physics, sciences, biology, fluids, magnetism, electromagnetism, electricity, telecommunications, etc. But one thing is certain, prayer cannot change the nature of the trials through which man has to pass, or even change his course, and that is why they are in the hands of God and there are those which have to be endured until the end, but God always takes resignation into account.
Often come those who challenge the effectiveness of the prayer, alleging that since God knows the human needs, it is not necessary to pray, for if the Universe is ruled by wise and eternal laws, supplications will never be able to alter the Creator's purposes. However, one should not forget the Master's assertion that "whatever you ask in prayer, have faith that you will obtain, and it will be granted to you." (8)
Although the prayers we make will not deflect our problems and delusions, they will be a comforting balm for our sour soul, for they make us enter in states of peace and enjoyment which only those who pray can decipher. Prayer has then the ineffable gift of giving us strength to stand internal and external fights and problems, of putting us in a position where we can surpass the obstacles that seemed impossible before. Kardec gave so much importance to the act of thinking that one day he wrote in the book "Genesis": "Thought produces a type of physical effect that reacts over the moral: and it is only that the Spiritism could make understand". (9)
It is the thought that gives healing quality to the fluids, which exist in natural state around us. It is what transforms inert fluid in energy capable of recomposing a sick tissue or reducing the hazards of spiritual nature that affect individuals.
It is also thought the thread that allows us to establish a positive relationship with the spirits that participate in the healing activities. But, at the same time that it allows us all this, it may also connect us to spirits whose presence will be harmful to the act of healing. Every coin has two sides, the laws of the nature are two-way roads. The mind is a source of healing or destructive energy.
Prayer, no doubt, is one of the means through which the cure of a hazard can be reached. But it is also one of the most difficult ones, considering the small mental capacity we have to pray. That is because praying has been a mechanical act, done with the lips. However, the prayer is something that greatly depends on thought and will. Without those two requirements, the prayer becomes something without any further value. Thus, we believe that the topic prayer should be a constant topic for study in spiritualistic centers, however, serious study and not just becoming the object of purely mystic considerations, that prevent it from reaching its essence and importance.
(*) Incorporation of solid particles by one cell through the involvment of those by it. (That process does not implicate penetration of the cellular membrane and serves to nutrition and defense against foreign elements to the organism).
1- Kardec, Allan. Magazine Espírita, November, 1866.
2- Published in the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, July 09, 2004.
3- Article by Kátia Penteado, called "Efeitos da Prece na Saúde: a Ciência confirma a Doutrina Espírita (Effects of Prayer on Health: Science Confirms Spiritualist Doctrine) - Nov/2004
4- Kardec, Allan. Gospel According to Spiritism, Rio de Janeiro: Ed FEB, 2004, Chapter 28, item 77.
5- Kardec, Allan. The Book of the Spirits (O Livro dos Espíritos), Rio de Janeiro: Ed FEB, 2003, question 662.
6- Xavier, Francisco Cândido. Pensamento e Vida(Thought and Life),9thed. Rio de Janeiro:FEB,1991.page 16
7- Xavier, Francisco Cândido. Evolução em Dois Mundos (Evolution in Two Worlds), 16th ed. Rio de Janeiro: FEB, 1998, in: Passe Magnético (Magnetic Passes)
8- Mark 11:24
9- Available in www.espirito.org.br/portal/artigos/gebm/as-curas-espirituais.html>acessed, September 07, 2005