It’s a phrase I hear often, “I’ll keep you in my prayers!” It comes with an expectation of good, not just nice words. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health), prayer for oneself and prayer for others are the two most common forms of complementary and alternative therapies.
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords continues an ongoing remarkable recovery from gunshots wounds suffered on January 8, 2011. Her hard work and determination have been documented, along with the diligent support of her husband and his advocacy on Giffords behalf. Her mother, Gloria Giffords, has also been a constant presence in the Congresswoman’s recovery.
In an interview with the Arizona Daily Star, Gloria Giffords illustrates how she is actively praying for her daughter. She is described by her son-in-law Mark Kelly as a raging optimist. But it goes deeper than that. She is accustomed to turning to God in prayer and expecting a positive outcome. From the very beginning she maintains she was not afraid of the situation.While Giffords was in surgery, she describes her focus, “ I knew that she was God’s child, perfect. I knew that she was never going to change.” And, has ,”…a thought process where I don’t dwell on recrimination and anger.” Her prayer continues, she expects her daughter’s recovery and says, “Being with [Gabby] at any stage in her progress has been a joyous experience for me.” Watching Gabby’s improvement, she observes, “…I think it’s probably going to be better than we imagined.”
As a nation expectantly watches Congresswoman Giffords’ recovery, it’s important to consider a 2002 study of patients in intensive care. The study followed 39 patients and found the patients treated with prayer were able to leave the hospital sooner than the patients who were not treated with prayer.