Bishop Patterson believed in "Power of Prayer"

Three services are scheduled this week to honor the late COGIC Presiding Bishop G.E. Patterson.

Since his death last Tuesday we've been telling you about the outpouring of condolences for Patterson, his family and millions of COGIC members.

Now, we take you back to 2001 when we interviewed Patterson about one of his favorite subjects: "The Power Of Prayer."

"Prayer is keeping in contact with God, simply put, when you pray you speak to the father," explained Bishop Patterson.

And for believers the power of prayer is unmatchable.

McStella Hinds tells anyone who'll listen that the power of prayer delivered her from breast cancer.

"It's in remission and I know that I have the faith and I don't believe it will attack my body again.

Hinds' battle with cancer wasn't easy.

"I had to have a masoctmy in 1993 and I had family and friends and co-workers praying with me and thru that that gave me the strength to go on and know that I could live beyond cancer," said Hinds.

And as someone who works around people with cancer at Methodist Hospital, she was well aware of the many risks.

Hinds is convinced prayer's the reason her treatment worked.

We asked Hinds if there was ever a time she thought prayer was not going to be enough.

Hinds adds, "no. Because I believe that God grants every sincere prayer."

But while Hinds is convinced, there are some who doubt the healing power of prayer.

Ministers say believing may come down to the strength of your faith.

"And if a person does not believe the scriptures there is nothing that can happen that will make them believe, they'll call it magic they will call it anything they will want to call it other than the will of God," said Patterson.

Dr. Scott Morris doesn't have to be convinced about prayer's power, he's one of many doctors who prays every day.

And he says the evidence of prayer's power is growing.

"There are studies all over the country going on at Duke, East TN State, at the Mayo Clinic where the impact of prayer on people lives is being documented to have a very positive significant effect," said Morris.

One theory being looked at is that when people pray chemicals are released into the brain that help the body fight illness.

But perhaps the most widespread theory among believers is that God allows prayer and medicine to work together.

"I often say to people as it related to prayer that prayer does not always change the condition - that if prayer does not change the condition prayer will condition you," said Bishop Patterson.

"He gives the doctors the powers to see our infirmities and to give us the medication for our infirmities but its his spirit that goes into the medecine and it goes in there with the doctors and it brings us thru," said Hinds.