Sometime back a cardiologist at a California hospital conducted an experiment in healing. The study included 393 seriously ill cardiac patients. From this group 192 were selected randomly for special treatment. The special treatment was prayer. Selected people around the country were asked to pray for each of these 192 patients. Their conditions were described in detail. The people praying were to focus their prayers toward "beneficial healing and quick recovery." The remaining patients were given the usual medical care without prayer.

Ten months later, the results revealed a startling conclusion. The patients who were prayed for experienced markedly fewer incidences of cardiac related infections, pulmonary edema and mortality than did the 201 patients not prayed for. It's important to note that the patients selected for prayer did not even know they were being prayed for. And the people praying had never met the patients for whom they were asking Divine help. To them they were just names. And yet, their prayers worked!

If prayer can accomplish so much at a distance, what might happen in our lives and our church if we were to pray for those close at hand?