Near-death experiences champion prayer as a super power. Along with meditation (feeling the Presence of God), feeling and expressing gratitude, cultivating a sense of humor (which includes not taking ourselves too seriously), and learning how to see things from higher perspectives, near-death experiences indicate that prayer can produce miracles. Here are a few quotes from near-death experiencers that illustrate the power — and importance — of prayer…
Pray To God
NDEr Howard Storm
“As I lay on the ground, my tormentors swarming around me, a voice emerged from my chest. It sounded like my voice, but it wasn’t a thought of mine. I didn’t say it. The voice that sounded like my voice, but wasn’t, said, ‘Pray to God.’ I remember thinking, ‘Why? What a stupid idea. That doesn’t work. What a cop-out. Lying here in this darkness, surrounded by hideous creatures, I don’t believe in God. This is utterly hopeless, and I am beyond any possible help whether I believe in God or not. I don’t pray, period.’
“A second time, the voice spoke to me, ‘Pray to God.’ It was recognizably my voice, but I had not spoken. Pray how? Pray what? I hadn’t prayed at any time in my entire adult life. I didn’t know how to pray. I wouldn’t know what the right words were even if I could pray. I can’t pray!
“That voice said it again, ‘Pray to God!’ It was more definite this time. I wasn’t sure what to do. Praying, for me as a child, had been something I had watched adults doing. It was something fancy and had to be done just so. I tried to remember prayers from my childhood experiences in Sunday school. Prayer was something you memorized. What could I remember from so long ago? Tentatively, I murmured a few lines — a jumble from the Twenty-third Psalm, The Star-Spangled Banner, the Lord’s Prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and God Bless America, and whatever other churchly sounding phrases came to mind.
” ‘Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. For purple mountain majesty, mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. Deliver us from evil. One nation under God. God Bless America.’ ”
“To my amazement, the cruel, merciless beings tearing the life out of me were incited to rage by my ragged prayer. It was as if I were throwing boiling oil on them. They screamed at me, ‘There is no God! Who do you think you’re talking to? Nobody can hear you! Now we are really going to hurt you.’ They spoke in the most obscene language, worse than any blasphemy said on earth. But at the same time, they were backing away. I could still hear their voices in the utter darkness, but they were getting more and more distant. I realized that saying things about God was actually driving them away. I became a little more forceful with what I was saying. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, God is going to get you. Leave me alone, the Lord is my shepherd, and one nation under God, and . . .’ Retreating, they became more rabid, cursing and screaming against God. They claimed that what I was praying was worthless and that I was a coward, a nothing. In time they retreated back into the distant gloom, beyond my hearing. I knew they were far away but could return.
“I was alone, destroyed, and yet painfully alive in this revoltingly horrible place. I had no idea where I was. At first, when I was walking with these people, I had thought we were in some foggy part of the hospital. In time, I realized we had gone somewhere else. Now I didn’t know if I was even in the world. How could this be the world?
“There was no indication of a direction to follow even if I had been physically able to crawl. The agony that I had suffered during the day in the hospital was nothing compared to what I was feeling now. The all-consuming physical pain was secondary to the emotional pain. Their psychological cruelty to me was unbearable…
“Then for the first time in my adult life a very old tune from childhood started going through my head. It was my voice, but it sounded like a little boy singing the same line over and over again. The child that I had once been was singing full of innocence, trust, and hope. ‘Jesus loves me, da da da . . .’ There was only that bit of the tune and those few words that I could remember. We had sung those words in Sunday school when I was a child.
“Somewhere out there in that vast darkness there could be something good. There is someone who might love me. I didn’t have any theological interest about what it meant. It was simply a spontaneous recollection from my Sunday school days: Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me.
“I desperately needed someone to love me, someone to know I was alive. A ray of hope began to dawn in me, a belief that there really was something greater out there. For the first time in my adult life I wanted it to be true that Jesus loved me. I didn’t know how to express what I wanted and needed, but with every bit of my last ounce of strength, I yelled out into the darkness, ‘Jesus, save me.’ I yelled that from the core of my being with all the energy I had left. I have never meant anything more strongly in my life.
“Far off in the darkness I saw a pinpoint of light like the faintest star in the sky. I wondered why I hadn’t seen it before. The star was rapidly getting brighter and brighter. At first I thought it might be some thing, not someone. It was moving toward me at an alarming rate. As it came closer, I realized that I was right in its path and I might be consumed by its brilliance. I couldn’t take my eyes off it; the light was more intense and more beautiful than anything I had ever seen. It was brighter than the sun, brighter than a flash of lightning. Soon the light was upon me. I knew that while it was indescribably brilliant, it wasn’t just light. This was a living being, a luminous being approximately eight feet tall and surrounded by an oval of radiance. The brilliant intensity of the light penetrated my body. Ecstasy swept away the agony. Tangible hands and arms gently embraced me and lifted me up. I slowly rose up into the presence of the light and the torn pieces of my body miraculously healed before my eyes. All my wounds vanished and I became whole and well in the light. More important, the despair and pain were replaced by love. I had been lost and now was found; I had been dead and now was alive.”
— NDEr Howard Storm, “My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life”, pages 19-25
Prayers Gave Me Energy
NDEr Dr. Eben Alexander
“I moved down through great walls of clouds. There was a murmuring all around me, but I couldn’t understand the words. Then I realized that countless beings were surrounding me, kneeling in arcs that spread into the distance. Looking back on it now, I realize what these half-seen, half-senses hierarchies of beings, stretching out into the dark above and below, were doing. They were praying for me. Two faces I remembered later were those of Michael Sullivan and his wife, Page. I recall seeing them in profile only, but clearly identified them after my return when language came back. Michael had physically been in the ICU room leading prayers numerous times, but Page was never physically there (although she had said prayers for me too). These prayers gave me energy. That’s probably why, profoundly sad as I was, something in me felt a strange confidence that everything would be all right. These beings knew I was undergoing a transition, and they were singing and praying to help me keep my spirits up.”
— NDEr Eben Alexander, “Proof of Heaven”, pages 103-104
I Could Hear Their Thoughts & Prayers
NDEr Anthony M
“I started to hear the prayers of all the people that cared about me. My wife, Pauline Morin, My older neighbors, my mother, my in-laws, and my brothers and sisters. I could hear their thoughts and prayers as if they were right there with me.”
I Viscerally Witnessed Prayers & Intentions Become Physical
NDEr Cami Renfrow
“In the distance a gentle wave swelled up, moving across the ocean of light toward the point of perspective assigned to me. As it arose, I became aware that this wave was the concerns, prayer, and emotions being streamed toward me from hundreds of people I knew in this life and from many others who had only heard about my situation. My point of perspective rose as the wave reached it, and correspondingly, I was lifted, just a little, from the pain in my body. It became a little lighter to bear.
“I had just viscerally witnessed prayers and intentions became physical, tangible reality. (In using the word ‘prayer’ I mean something an atheist could easily do as well as a theologian — no special form, just focused will propelled by the power of love and concern.) It was made known to me that this was consciousness creating form through intention. Nothing exists until it rises into form on this field. Every single bit of material in the world — even the computer or paper you’re reading this on, and the stardust that nourishes your marrow, and the paint on the wall, and the dog you love, and each single hair on his loppy ear must have begun there on the sacred field of consciousness, shaped by the impulse of intention.”
I Could Feel Christ’s Love & Compassion
NDEr Derry Bresee
“Many people ask me what was the first thing I thought or felt when I came out of my coma, about three weeks after the accident. I could feel Christ’s love and compassion for me and I believe the prayers of many for me made him tune into me personally, and led to my incredible experience with Christ in that heavenly garden.”
Prayer Beams That Felt Like Splashes Of Love
NDE Experiencer & Researcher P.M.H. Atwater
“During my research with child experiencers of near-death states, I was continually surprised by the number of kids who saw the actual prayers being said for them, while they were out of their bodies witnessing what their loved ones were doing. They described how the power of those prayers turned into beams of radiant golden or rainbow light… They showed me with gestures how that beam of light arced over from the one saying the prayer, no matter how many miles away, to where they themselves were hovering… Once a prayer beam reached them, some said it felt like a splash of love. Others said it felt warm and tickly. Because they saw prayer as real energy that did real things and had a real effect, these youngsters went on to pray easily and often.”
— NDE Experiencer & Researcher P.M.H. Atwater, We Live Forever: The Real Truth About Death, pages 130-131
Prayers Were Like Musical Notes
NDEr Karen Blance Thomas
“I was shown the image of all the prayers being said by my family and friends — each one appearing like a musical note and linking one to another reaching up toward where I was.”
All Thought Is Prayer That Affects The Entire Universe
Near-Death-Like Experiencer Chief Petty Officer Tony Woody
“Prayer is powerful… Conscious prayer, everybody knows and understands what it’s purpose is. What I now understand is all thought is prayer and it affects the entire universe because of quantum entanglement. So be careful what you pray for all day long…”
The World Could Be Saved By Prayer Groups
NDEr Ned Dougherty
“I was told that the world could be saved, not by its leaders, but by prayer groups throughout the world. I was told that the prayers of a group of twenty could save a nation from war. I was told that the fate of mankind rested on our ability, individually and collectively, to change the direction of mankind in accordance with God’s plan.”
Prayers Are Answered Within Seconds
“My final heavenly lesson taught me that all of our prayers are answered within seconds of being heard. Although it can seem like several months or years before they are answered, heaven does hear us immediately.”
Prayer Is The Most Powerful Tool In The Universe
NDEr Tara S.
“I think that we put up morphagenetic fields in our universe through our conscious thought. So I now believe that prayer is the most powerful tool in the universe.”
Six Clouds That Rose Straight To Heaven
NDEr Jim Woodford
“Of particular fascination were the sight of six clouds that rose straight up into Heaven. When I inquired about this phenomenon, the guardians told me that these were the prayers being offered for my return and healing. I later found out that at that same time, six people, including my wife and other family members, were gathered in a circle praying for me. What an opportunity to see prayer from Heaven’s perspective!”
Their Prayers Exploded Into The Brightest Light You Could Ever Imagine
“After I fell from my horse, the cowboys in the arena got on a knee, took off their hats, and began to pray. The cowboys and their wives and their children, all these folks were praying. At that point, God allowed me to see the prayers that were coming up for me. It started out with one single bolt of lightning. It was like a lightning bolt in a thunder storm, it started down below and it came all the way up to God’s presence. And then there were two and three and five, ten and hundred. Then there were a thousand. And once there were that many, they exploded into the brightest light you could ever imagine. And that’s when God took me back.”
— Near-Death Experiencer Freddie Best
Prayer Is My Refuge & Strength
NDEr Peter Panagore
“I practiced meditative prayer everyday for decades until my prayer became burned into my mind so deeply that it now it plays as an endless loop inside my subconscious. Sometimes it rises up on its own and I find my mind in prayer without my intention making it so.
“In this way, as Paul (the apostle) said, I have learned to pray ceaselessly. Prayer is my only way back to God while I am here on earth. Prayer is my refuge and my strength. My NDE drove me in desperation to find a way or ways to let more light in, to create more space for God inside me, to sit as close to God as I could.”
How Prayer Is Used In A Vision Of The Future
NDEr Howard Storm
“If a person, in this view of the future, became disturbed, then the community of people all cared about the disturbed person falling away from the harmony of the group. Spiritually, through prayer and love, the others would elevate the afflicted person.
“What people did with the rest of their time was that they gardened, with almost no physical effort. They showed me that plants, with prayer, would produce huge fruits and vegetables.
“People, in unison, could control the climate of the planet through prayer. Everybody would work with mutual trust and the people would call the rain, when needed, and the sun to shine.
“Animals lived with people, in harmony.
“People, in this best of all worlds, weren’t interested in knowledge; they were interested in wisdom. This was because they were in a position where anything they needed to know, in the knowledge category, they could receive simply through prayer. Everything, to them, was solvable. They could do anything they wanted to do.”
Prayer Can Move Mountains
NDEr Lorna Bryne
“Prayer is such a powerful force. We underestimate it so much. Prayer can move mountains if only we would let it. If only you would realise just how powerful prayer can be, you would never feel hopeless.
“I talk and ask the angels to help; I ask angels to intercede but I don’t pray to them. I pray only to God. Prayer is direct communication with God.
“No one ever prays alone. When you pray to God there is a multitude of angels of prayer there, praying with you, regardless of your religious faith or how you are behaving. They are there enhancing your prayer, interceding on your behalf and imploring God to grant your prayer. Every time you pray, even if it is only one word, the angels of prayer are like a never-ending stream, flowing at tremendous speed to Heaven with your prayers.
“Nothing is too trivial … or too big to pray for either. Sometimes, we get overwhelmed by a situation such as a war or a famine and feel we can do nothing to help. We can. We can pray. When we are moved by something we see on the TV news or read about in a newspaper we should say a prayer.
“When you hear an ambulance or walk past a hospital, say a quick prayer for whoever is sick and for those who are caring for them. When you see someone in difficulties on the street, say a prayer for them. We all need to expand our circle of prayers out from ourselves, our family and friends. You are being called upon to pray for other people — including people in the world whom you have never met.
“I believe that each and every one of you has been demonstrated the power of prayer in your own life. Think about it!”
The Project Afterlife television series features many near-death experiencers who believe they were brought back to this world (and often healed) by the prayers of others. This series includes near-death experiencers telling their stories, along with the testimonials of family, friends, and doctors who were involved. Watch all six episodes of this series here.
• Click Here To Download Season 1, Episode 1 (.mov file, 476 MB)
• Click Here To Download Season 1, Episode 2 (.mov file, 501 MB)
• Click Here To Download Season 1, Episode 3 (.mov file, 395 MB)
• Click Here To Download Season 1, Episode 4 (.mov file, 440 MB)
• Click Here To Download Season 1, Episode 5 (.mov file, 669 MB)
• Click Here To Download Season 1, Episode 6 (.mov file, 431 MB)
A Silent Form Of Prayer
By Near-Death Experiencer Nancy Rynes
We humans can be such talkative creatures. We speak out loud to communicate our thoughts and feelings to one another. Most of us have an inner voice, too: our ego perhaps, or our fears, or even a mimic of what we heard from a parent or spouse. Some of us talk in our sleep, and often we talk when we pray or meditate.
I’m not saying that talking is a bad thing, not at all. But I’m offering a suggestion that perhaps it might be fun to vary things a little.
Give silent prayer a try.
During my near-death experience (NDE), Mari, my spiritual guide to heaven, mentioned something that I’ll admit to not really understanding at first. She told me that while the Divine loves all of our prayers, we might consider sometimes praying in silence. She told me that “going into” silence was another way to connect with Spirit. Mari also said that she didn’t necessarily mean “meditation” — she was adamant that it was more of a form of prayer to which she referred.
It took me a year before I really thought about that particular request and when I did, I assumed that she meant either contemplative prayer (which I do daily), or engaging in favorite activities in which our ego minds could go silent (hiking, running, gardening, knitting, etc.). While these can bring great benefits to us by enhancing communication with Spirit, in hindsight I think she was talking about something else:
Truly Silent Prayer
What do I mean by “Silent Prayer?”
Here is my take on it:
Spend some quiet time filling your heart, mind, and physical body with a positive feeling-state such as love or gratitude.
Let go of the need to have words in your mind while you do this. Words are not necessary, really. Focus instead on the positive feeling-state. It’s OK if words are in your mind at first but with practice, I’ll bet you’ll find that the positive feeling becomes so strong that it overcomes any need to have words in your mind.
Let go of the need to “do” something, too. Just “be.”
Try to bask in that positive, high-vibrational feeling-state such for a few moments. Let it wash over you and through you. Focus on the feeling.
I stumbled on this form of prayer only in the last month. One evening I was having some difficulty getting to sleep so I decided to do a little contemplative prayer. It often helps me calm down and reconnect with Spirit after a hectic day so I thought it might help me sleep. Well, part of the way through my session I was overcome with a gigantic feeling of gratitude that started in my heart area and seemed to expand to engulf my whole body.
I stayed in that feeling-state of gratitude for about five minutes, just letting it wash through my body. No words, no “doing.” Just sitting in gratitude.
In the days following, I decided to try simply going directly into a positive feeling-state, bypassing the contemplative prayer. For me, the results were wonderful! I increasingly felt lighter in my heart and more upbeat as the days went on. I felt more in touch with Divine guidance, too. In each of my sessions I focused on love, and while it wasn’t exactly the same as being in heaven, it’s the best way I have found (for myself) to replicate that otherworldly experience. Now I’m able to go into one of those positive feeling states and just sit with it for 10 minutes or more.
There is another bonus to silent prayer, besides possibly feeling more upbeat. If you recall my newsletters about the music of heaven, being in a positive feeling-state sends out a spiritual energy wave from you. This spiritual energy becomes part of the music of heaven. Remember, the love in your heart is God’s favorite song. The Divine really does hear it when you allow yourself to relax into love, gratitude, happiness, or other positive states.
If you would like to try silent prayer but are having difficulty getting in to a positive feeling in your heart, allow yourself to think about someone you love dearly, or perhaps something for which you are deeply grateful. Keep that loving or grateful thought going through your mind while you reach into yourself to feel the feeling associated with the thought. It might take some practice but in time, and with patience, I bet most of you will be able to hang out in a positive feeling-state for at least a few minutes…
If you are interested in deepening your prayer life, check out this page on Prayer Bowls.