The teaching of Centering Prayer specifically calls for the practitioner to not seek to gain anything from the prayer practice, but to let God provide whatever God chooses to provide. However, experience has shown that the gifts of the Holy Spirit normally follow, with a sense of peace being the most common; yet, many more effects have also been observed and experienced. The following research projects are currently being discussed with further details and protocols to follow later:
- Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) – The Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in Houston is the second largest VA hospital in the nation and is treating many vets for PTS. Often, the first struggle is having them recall from their unconscious the trauma that occurred in their past. It has been known for some time that practitioners of Centering Prayer will often recall hurtful thoughts from the past. For example, a few months after being taught Centering Prayer, one Vietnam vet started to dream what happened in Vietnam, and then became consciously aware of it during the day. In his own words, through his Centering Prayer practice, he was able to let the thought go and return to his sacred word, a symbol of his desire to be with God rather than with his thoughts.A chaplain at one Houston hospital and a psychologist at another Houston hospital have ministered and treated people with PTS disorder. Together with these professionals, The Contemplative Network is developing a double-blind research protocol to study the effects of Centering Prayer for the treatment of PTS. The research is expected to start in the summer of 2011. More details will be available once the protocol has been established.
After the initial teaching of Centering Prayer to the patients, volunteer long term practitioners of Centering Prayer are being sought for leading regular prayer sessions with the patients during the on-going research project. (If you are a long-time practitioner of Centering Prayer and would like to volunteer, please contact Carole Pentony to offer your time.
- Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) – In process. Please check back for updates.
- Bio-Feedback Effects – In process. Please check back for updates.