Prayer changes things - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Prayer changes things

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –There are many mechanisms that help people deal with terminal illness. Things like exercising, poetry and even counseling are known to reduce stress. But a new study suggest that prayers in close proximity may actually heal or help in the recovery process.

Health officials say there's no real way to measure the effect of prayer. And that study is measuring the un-measurable. However they do agree that prayer or believe in a higher power impacts patients in a positive way.

5 years ago, Arma Gene Archer had a nagging cough that would not go away."It was just one day, I knew I would never work again, because of the sickness," said Arma Gene Archer. 

After searching for the reason why, she was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. "And being a pleasingly plump sister made it worse," said Archer. Spending months in the hospital not being able to work brought her to a breaking point. And then her church members started to pray.

"All these prayers, and hands touching me, I'm a believer and I know the Lord through them helped renew my strength, and today I'm able to walk in the living room,"said Archer. And the hospital staff over at Phoebe Putney agrees that pray changes things.

"To me you do have to have faith for this to work as a spiritual person," said Spiritual Coordinator Connie Tucker. "I know in my own life ,and observation of many patients from over 27 years, prayer makes a difference," said Senior Vice President at Phoebe Putney Hospital Dr. Doug Patten. 

But critics say that's stuff is all in your mind."If they're psychological views change toward the illness, and they get better than that's a valid statement," said Dr. Patten."I knew times when I couldn't walk and he lifted me up. I know by faith prayer is the key to the kingdom," said Archer. 

The unexplained healing's of people with terminal illness after prayer can be pretty convincing."I have seen people ,who've been diagnosed with an illness, that we have no way of providing a cure, live long lives," said Dr. Patten. 

"And if you get in trouble pick up your phone. I call it p.r.a.y.e.r and you don't have to worry about an operator picking up the phone," said Archer.  Prayer that many believe has the ultimate healing power.

Phoebe Putney Hospital has a new program called Blessing of The Hands. It's strictly voluntary. All the nurses and doctors come together, praying to God that they're hands, will provide healing to the sick.

Proximal intercessory prayer is really common among Pentecostal groups. And they have over a half- billion members world wide. Which makes them the fastest growing denomination according to research.

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