The Institute for Spirituality and Health
Exploring the connections between spirituality and health.


Spirited Words

See below for a collection of reflections, writings, essays, poems, and other contributions that the ISH community has submitted over the years. We hope you enjoy.

If you are interested in submitting a piece to our blog, please contact Anyang Anyang <>. We publish writing that relates to our mission of enhancing well-being by exploring the relationship between spirituality and health.


The Paradox of Prayer by Bill Newcott

By John Graham

February 11th, 2015

Okay, I am over 55 years old and a member of AARP.  Every member receives a monthly magazine and in the March 2015 issue there is a nice article by Bill Newcott entitled, “The Paradox of Prayer.”  In his article the author reveals prayer to be a universal experience and says it has been common to people of all faiths throughout all of human history.

According to a recent Pew survey, almost 50 per cent of Americans ages 18-29 pray every day.  The frequency goes up with age.  Sixty per cent of the 50 – 59 age group pray daily and for the 70-plus group the number rises to over 70 percent.  As far as people of the various faiths, 82 percent of Muslims, 79 percent of Catholics and 44 per cent of Jews pray daily.  Interestingly, even two-thirds of people who say they are without any religion pray weekly.

I enjoyed reading the article and liked his comments concerning music and worship.  He says that Gospel music, “born in the cotton fields of the South, is music as prayer, and it rises, beautifully, from the lips of the faithful, who sway, dance and raise their hands in worship.  Music, like prayer, has a way of building our faith, and those songs have a way of causing us to remember what the Lord has done.”

In case you think the article is sugar-coated, it is not.  Newcott says people pray but asks, “Is anybody listening?”  To find the answer to his question, “Is anybody listening, ” read the attached articles below.  When you find the answer that he gives, I would welcome a comment of your own?  What do you think about the paradox of prayer?


John K Graham, M.D., President and CEO

Sara Moore