"Is there anyone suffering evil among you? Is there anyone sick among you? .. let them pray over him. And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well.. if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him" (James 5:13-15).
Yes it is that the power of prayer has been explored both scientifically and of course believed by many to be a cure. Shown not to be a mere placebo effect, even knowing that a prayers is broadcasted for one's illness or sickness can help with recovery. How about in relationships? Would a prayer mend a broken relationship?
Prayer or meditation associated with relationships may act as a desensitizer. That may be conducted systematically - in an orderly fashion, as in systematic desensitization, or in an unsystematic way, adding to external validity. That is the effect of the prayer would expand beyond the context in which prayer is conducted.
Couples who may benefit from prayer include those who:
- show conditioned emotional reactions because of stress, fear or distress
- "lose" their faith
- question their marital wows
- fuse their emotion with their intellect
- become resentful or revengeful
- unforgiving or bitter
- transfer their parental issues into the relationships
- are traumatized or victimized
- feel betrayed
- are anxiously detached
In a 2013 issue of the journal "Personal Relationships", titled "Shifting toward cooperative tendencies and forgiveness: How partner-focused prayer transforms motivation", Nathaniel Lambert, Frank D. Fincham, Nathan C. Dewall, Richard Pond, and Steven R. Beach reported that praying for ones partner can turn the partners to become more cooperative and forgiving.
Frequency of praying for ones partner tended to reduce becoming revengeful, in other words "ruthless". As compared to just thinking positively about ones partner, praying for the romantic partner affected the level of forgiveness in the other partner and made the praying partner more accommodating, supportive, helpful or "cooperative"; i.e., in the aftermath of unkind, upsetting, insensitive, inappropriate, cruel or hurtful actions of the other.
The role of desensitizing prayer, meditation, religion and spirituality can be very important in the health of the relationship.