I very much like the projects that Rupert Sheldrake began with his Seven Experiments That Could Change the World. The idea of bringing the public into scientific research appeals to me very much. In that spirit, I'm proposing an experiment of my own devising -- a prayer experiment.

Let's assume, for purposes of the experiment, that prayer "works." Certainly we have very substantial evidence that it does, even if we exclude all anecdotal evidence and rely only on meticulously controlled research done in recent years by skilled scientific investigators. The issue of how it works -- whether it's because it results in divine intervention, or because it sets in motion some human ability that we don't yet understand -- isn't a part of this experiment. Here's the prayer:

Holy One,
have mercy on the torturers;
transform them, and open their hearts.
Have mercy on all abusers --
on all those so deformed of spirit that they rejoice
in the suffering of other living things.
Transform them, and open their hearts;
bring them back,
into the fold of humankind.


I've been praying this a while now; anyone interested in joining in would be very welcome. Let's see what happens. I would of course be very glad to hear from you.....

-- Suzette Haden Elgin; 1998

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