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Proof That Prayers Reach Our Loved Ones In Spirit

Afterlife TV Episode 4, Season 9: You don’t want to miss this episode where I answer two really big questions about life and death. One, do our prayers really go anywhere or have any impact? And, more importantly for a show about the afterlife, do our prayers reach our loved ones in spirit? Two, if prayer does help, is there a right or wrong way to pray in order to have our prayers be most effective?

In this thought-provoking episode, I give you evidence from six spiritual experiences that will help you to make up your own mind about the first question. Then we tackle the second question on the best method of praying with the help of two prominent afterlife teachers. Finally, I leave you with a story about something you’d never expect on a show about prayer, yet I promise it’ll have you pondering the idea presented for a day or two. Enjoy the episode!

Photos on the video taken from my personal guru, also known as my wife, Melissa.

With more love than a mountain can hold, Bob Olson and

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Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

Don’t miss another Afterlife TV episode. Join our email list to get new video announcements (and to download a free excerpt of Bob’s book): CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER.

Bob: Hey, everybody. Bob Olson here with “Afterlife TV.” This is where we talk about the big questions you have concerning life and death. You can find this and every episode at Thank you for joining me for episode four of season nine here on “Afterlife TV.”

So today I’m asking the question, have you ever wondered if prayer actually does anything? That’s really the big question that so many of us wonder. We pray all the time, pray for our loved ones in spirit. Right after someone has died, we pray for them to have a smooth transition. We pray for all sorts of different reasons, right? But what we don’t know is if our prayers make any difference, do they really go anywhere? Do they have any effect? This sort of leads into a second question of if they do go somewhere, is there a right way or wrong way to pray? Is there an approach to praying? Perhaps a technique that’s more effective than other approaches? That’s the subject of today’s show.

So let’s go back to that first question. How do we know if our prayers make any difference? If someone’s health improves, we never really know if our prayer is what helps them. If their financial struggles come to an end, did our prayers help them with that? Maybe they get the new job, or given today’s circumstances, they’re able to go back to work after a long layoff. We still don’t know if our prayers helped. Obviously, they didn’t hurt, but we still don’t know if they really helped or do we? The question comes is what evidence do we have that prayers have any positive effect? And ironically, the best evidence that prayers work comes from what we’ve learned about life after death.

As many of you know already, I’ve been investigating the afterlife for over 20 years. And from my investigation of life after death, I have witnessed many different ways that prayers are real. Prayers actually help us and help the people that we’re praying for. I’m going to discuss six of them right here on this show today. And I’ll just keep them brief. But it gives you something to think about.

I’m going to start with what you would probably think is the most obvious mediums. Obviously, I have an entire website, an entire directory of mediums. So everybody thinks that that’s what I’m all about. Obviously, I’m not. I have been investigating all sorts of areas that I consider evidence of life after death. It started with mediums. I am an advocate, if you want to say, for mediums because I think they do wonderful work. And that’s why I came up with the So that’s also where I have had the privilege of witnessing other people’s readings. I’ve had my own, of course, but I’ve also witnessed other people getting readings.

And in doing so, I have noticed that a lot of people in spirit, a lot of spirits, you might say, have thanked their loved ones for their prayers. Of course, the skeptics can go, “Well, how hard is it for a medium to guess that their clients here prayed for their loved ones in spirit?” That’s not hard, but it goes so much further than that. Mediums provide a lot of details in those prayers. They provide exactly what was said when praying, and they provide where the person was exactly when they said it. But that’s just the first one.

Let’s go to the second one. I’ve also talked with people who have had frequent, and that’s a keyword here we’ll get to that, frequent out-of-body experiences. This is called an OBE for short. And it’s when people’s consciousness leaves their body, we don’t really know why. And they sort of lift up from their physical body, they can see their physical body lying in the bed, or on the sofa. And the more often that someone has an out of body experience, the more they get over their fears of what’s happening, and the further they tend to travel. So before you know it, they’re traveling outside the walls of the bedroom, for example, and then outside of the house altogether.

Many people who have had out-of-body experiences travel the world from that point on, and then many travel the spiritual realm as well. Those who travel into the spiritual realm during an OBE have consistently seen prayers going by them. It’s one of the things that so many have…who have had these experiences have told me, “I saw prayers going by, I knew they were prayers.” There’s a knowing when you’re in that realm, I’ll just say. And I’ve had people describe them as shooting stars seeking out their destinations. So that’s the second one. We have mediumship readings, we have out-of-body experiences, and then we have near-death experiences.

And one of the things that I love about investigating the afterlife, is that when I look at different modalities, I know there’s a lot of…I’ve talked to a lot of people here on the show who sort of focus on one area, right? Mediums focus on mediums, people who have had a near-death experience focus on that, people who have out-of-body experiences tend to focus on that. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of being able to investigate lots of areas that I consider evidence of life after death. And one of the things that has always fascinated me and comforted me in a way is that the evidence that comes through is similar. One confirms the other, they don’t contradict one another, they actually parallel one another.

So, just like out-of-body experiences, we have people who have had near-death experiences. And these near-death experiences are often a one-time event. But the people who had these experiences almost always travel into the spiritual realm. And some of these people have also seen prayers traveling by them. One person described them as, “Little balls of light and love.” So that’s the third one.

The fourth one is a little diversion because it’s a little bit different than these others, I think about channelers, some call them channels. They’re kind of like mediums, but they communicate wisdom from ascended masters, a group spiritual entities. It’s not about a personal reading modality, it’s…this isn’t something that they do for one person, channelers typically are speaking to groups. They’re getting information from group entities that sometimes go by one name, right, Seth, Abraham. But the channelers themselves are often speaking to a group, whether it be a live setting in an auditorium, or a live video, live situation online. And the same thing, many of these channelers, these channels have taught us that prayers are effective and always helpful. So it’s something if you really want to look into this more, this is just another avenue for you to investigate on your own, channelers.

Then we have something that’s really kind of unusual for a lot of people. There are ordinary people, people like you and I, who have had what’s called a shared-death experience. When I say ordinary people, I mean people who have not had a near-death experience, people who are not psychics or mediums, people who are not channelers, but ordinary people, right? I don’t know. But they’ve had what’s called a shared-death experience. And they too have seen the shooting star-like prayers.

A shared-death experience is when someone is dying, typically, although not necessarily people who are in the same room as you. And your dying loved one somehow gets you caught up in their afterlife journey, in their transition back to the hereafter. Really, nobody knows how this happens. It’s usually quite random. It’s certainly…you know, it’s not your physical body that’s taken for the ride. It’s your consciousness, your conscious mind that sees, and feels, and knows what your dying loved one is experiencing during this transition. Yet, as I said, many of these shared-death experiencers have observed prayers traveling in the spirit world to their individual destinations. More often than not, loved ones in spirit. And sometimes the loved one that they are in the room with who is dying, who is making the transition.

All right, what’s the next one? People who have had dream visitations. This is number six. This is where a loved one visits you in a dream. We’ve talked about this on the show many times. But they too not all of them, but some of them have been told or have actually seen their own prayers reaching the deceased loved one. So a loved one comes to you in a dream and they might either tell you, “I received your prayers. I know this is what you told…you said in your prayer.” And they’ll repeat it. “I know this is where you were when you were praying for me. I saw you kneeling in front of my photograph over there by the window. And that prayer reached me. And I want to thank you for that.”

So that’s one of the things that’s happening. But sometimes they will actually show what that prayer, reaching them or reaching others or just traveling through the spirit world is like. There’s many different scenarios, it’s not as common as some of the others. Dream visitations typically have their own agenda and they’re pretty quick and they’re pretty simple. But at the same time, some people have much more detailed dreams that seem like they go on forever and ever.

And as you know from this show, a dream visitation is extremely clear and vivid. It’s a dream that you will remember in detail for decades as if it only happened last night. That’s what makes it different than ordinary dreams that you have. Where your mind is just working on your fears and your worries and things just that happen, it’s your brain processing. This is different, this is where you’re having a dream visitation, a visitation from spirit during one of your dreams. It’s an easy way for your loved ones in spirit to communicate with you. And again, some have just had this wonderful gift of recognizing that their prayers or other people’s prayers are getting somewhere, they’re getting to their destinations.

So we have mediumship, mediums giving readings to other people, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, channelers, shared-death experiences, and dream visitations. Six very different spiritual experiences providing us with evidence that prayers meet the destinations. So this now leads to my second question, which is, is there a right or wrong way to pray? Or said another way, is there a method or technique for praying that’s more effective than others?

I did an interview years ago with Medium Mavis Pittilla. Mavis is an icon among mediums who teaches at the esteemed college for psychics and mediums known as Arthur Findlay College, it’s in England. Mavis gave us this advice about praying. Let’s listen to Mavis.

Now, what about prayer? I think a lot of people, you know, we’ve learned through religion how to pray, but prayer is sort of the same idea. It’s a way of, you know, if we’re praying for our loved ones, in a sense, it’s a way of communicating. Is there a right or wrong way to pray and do the prayers help our loved ones in spirit?

Mavis: Absolutely. What you’ve got to remember before you pray is to thank God that there was somebody there to take care of them. Because it should be a thank you for their lives. A thank you for the blessings you’ve received from them. And then the blessings that they’re receiving now on this next phase of their journey. And then to say, could I be a light upon their path? Can I put my love into them so that they can feel my presence in their world? Not just asking them to come here. But can I be…can I offer myself and my love to be a light on that path? So I feel that the prayers that we give should be ones of thanksgiving.

We’ve got to move away from religion, where they demand. We have no need to demand, our lives are fulfilled through the good we do and what we give away, not what we demand of other people. So prayer should always be based on a thank you. And, you know, when you’ve got someone who has to leave [inaudible 00:14:11] because they’re too sick to stay here, I sometimes feel that our prayers are to keep them here. Where actually the healing is just asking for God’s divine intervention. I really believe that that’s unconditional love that you and I can give to those who need to go. And it’s a hard one that one, you’ve got to love a lot to be able to let somebody go. You’ve got enough love, and God’s divine intervention is there. They’ll go safely with your loving.

Bob: Amazing advice, right? Now, here’s a clip very different, but very similar in its message from my interview with Dr. Eben Alexander which I played for you in the last episode. You may or may not have caught this, but it’s worth revisiting. Here’s what Eben said about prayer and from his knowledge while having a near-death experience.

Dr. Alexander: …and it was then that I became aware of the power of prayer. Because I sensed these arcs of beings, everyone kneeling, many clothed, holding candles, and there was this murmuring coming out from them. And there were thousands of them going off into the darkness, some with candles, and that murmuring and that energy was building these beautiful, brilliant clouds that were kind of bubbling me up and bringing me back up to this realm. And when I was writing it all up a few weeks later, the word I used, they were praying for me because that’s exactly what they were doing. And that word was not in my mind at the time.

In a sense, it was very comforting because when I had found that the melody no longer worked to take me into that beautiful realm, I was very sad. I mean, sad beyond description that the gates of heaven were closed. And that is when I had this beautiful vision of those praying for me and how they were on Earth. This is not from any earthly scene, but, you know, that was the origin of that scene of thousands of people kneeling and murmuring, and the energy coming from it.

And that’s what I often tell healthcare workers and families of very sick patients in talking about this is never ever think that the soul of that loved one is not present and that the prayers get in. And I don’t try and tell people that I came back because of prayer. I mean, there was a lot of prayer in my case, but I’ve known many similar cases as a neurosurgeon, where wonderful families, patients with terminal diseases, lots of prayer, and yet that patient did not come back to us physically.

And it wasn’t for any lack of prayer or belief. But the important thing is the prayers do get in. And I don’t care if the patient has already been pronounced, you know, dead in our medical terms, know that that soul is present and aware. And how you treat that and how you think about that is very important. And so, prayer does have tremendous power. And it’s very comforting to that soul that is being prayed for.

Bob: And that’s really important to hear, a great reminder. Is there a wrong way to pray? Is there a right way to pray?

Dr. Alexander: I think just by believing and by knowing that there’s a divine plan, thy will not mine be done. I mean, for those eight years before my coma, I’d given up on God, given up on prayer. I was praying for the wrong things. And I was trying to pray for things that, you know, that my ego and self might want. And those prayers went unanswered. And just know there’s a divine plan and just have faith that that love will carry us through whatever we face in this realm.

Bob: I also like the idea, you know, when you were going back to the earthworm view after leaving the core, and then you thought about the spinny melody again, and it brought you back up. I thought what a wonderful metaphor, I understand that’s a real experience. But it was a wonderful metaphor for our physical life here. When we’re feeling down, when things are down, when things are bad, to think of light to think…to have faith, those types of things. I wonder if it works the same way you get the sense that it does? It lifts us up.

Dr. Alexander: So much and my youngest sister, Phyllis, often tells me that when I first was waking up on that seventh morning, and the doctors were shocked, you know, “You can’t be coming back,” and ended up pulling the breathing tube out. I’d been on a ventilator all week. And she came up within, you know, minutes of my coming out of all this. And she said I looked like a little Buddha sitting there on the bed, and I would look around at each one of the people, you know, doctors, nurses, family, totally shocked that I was back. And I’d look at each one of them, kind of acknowledging the divine miracle that we’re here. And each breath is a miracle. And I would say “All is well.”

Bob: Now, I’m glad that Eben brought up that our prayers are not always answered in the way that we might have imagined it or the way we wanted it. Some people pray that they’ll survive a medical crisis or that their loved ones who they’re praying for will do so, and yet those people still die. If it’s our time to go, all the praying in the world isn’t going to change that. But if we pray by just sending love to someone, even after they have passed, that love always reaches that person. And I think that’s what’s really important from what both of these clips are illustrating for us, is that perhaps the answer to my question about the best method of praying, maybe our prayers are just best for sending love.

Love heals on levels that are beyond the physical, love comforts, love even provides inner peace. So possibly, the most effective prayers are for the recipient just to feel our love. And love will do all that it’s supposed to do. The more I think about this question, the more I realize that humans praying for a certain outcome ignores the fact that we don’t know what’s in the best spiritual interest of everyone involved. If two baseball teams pray to win the game, there’s usually going to be one team whose prayers are answered, and one team whose prayers are not.

When I was thinking about these baseball teams, it reminded me of an article I wrote about an experience I had in the 1990s. At the end of the article, I contemplate the concept of luck. Is there really such a thing as luck? Somehow I feel that prayer and luck fall within the same category spiritually. In other words, maybe we’ve been thinking about prayer in the wrong way. In the same way that we’ve been thinking about luck in the wrong way. Maybe, just maybe, the baseball team that loses is gaining the most from life. And rather than being unlucky, or rather than their prayers being unanswered, perhaps the losing team is benefiting the most of all. I’ll let you decide, as I leave you with the story that I wrote more than 30 years ago. Here it is.

“In 1990, my wife Melissa and I lived in Los Angeles for a year. Being in our 20s and just getting started in life, we decided to try city life for a change. We had a Ford Bronco 2 that we drove across the country. And yet when we got there in Los Angeles, it was just like constantly in the mechanic shop. So one day after our little SUV was towed to the garage for repairs once again, I had to rent a car. Although I rented the cheapest car the rental company offered, they upgraded me to a midsize car since they didn’t have any of the cheap cars left.

They gave me a brand new Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme in red, which I thought was just the coolest car in the world. In fact, the first car I ever owned was 1971 Cutlass, not a Supreme but one of the first Cutlasses which will still always be my favorite car that I’ve ever driven. So to drive a new Cutlass Supreme for a couple of days was just testosterone bliss.

About 11:00 that night, it was time to pick Melissa up from work, who was working at Pier 1 Imports in Santa Monica. It was Christmas season, so they were open later than normal. And I had to wait in the car for her to close up the store. Melissa was the assistant manager, so she was always the last one to leave. And I was so used to waiting for her that it wasn’t unusual for me to fall asleep in the parking lot.

And while I normally sat in my car with the windows open as it was Southern California after all, this particular night was chilly. So I kept the windows closed, ah, the truth is that I was sitting in the car playing with the electric windows and door locks to entertain my boredom. Not having these luxuries in my own car, I kind of had a slight fascination with them. At one point, I noticed in my rearview mirror that five young guys in their late teens or early 20s were walking into the park lot. I didn’t think much of it and assumed they were just passing through until I noticed one of them was standing to my right by the passenger side door with a smile on his face.

Since I was used to people in the city asking for spare change, I expected this guy was going to ask me for some change. After all, I was now sitting in a brand new sporty car, so I probably looked like I had money to spare. As I was about to roll down the window to talk to him. That’s when I noticed all five guys had surrounded my car. One stood in front of it, one stood behind it, and two at either door on the driver’s side, and then there was this guy smiling at me through the passenger’s side door. Before I had a chance to think the three guys at the doors were attempting to open them, lucky for me I unknowingly left all the doors locked when I was playing with the door lock button.

Within seconds after failing to open my doors, the guy standing beside me began to beat on my window with his fist which had absolutely no effects on the glass. That’s when he pulled a gigantic screwdriver out of his belt that must have been over a foot long. All this was happening so fast that my brain hadn’t yet acknowledged that I was being carjacked. I didn’t even know what carjacking was yet. Within seconds, however, my mind and body went into fight or flight mode. I knew I had to get the heck out of there awkwardly because I wasn’t used to this car I faltered when trying to get the car started and into gear.

As I strained to get the car started and then shift it into drive, the guy at my door began jamming the screwdriver into the side of the car window where it met the door. He then began prying it and attempt to buckle and shatter the glass. Instead of the glass breaking however, the molding around the window fell off. So the carjacker turned the screwdriver around and started slamming it like a hammer into my window, which further distracted me from fighting the shifter. Instead, I prepared to protect my face and eyes from the broken glass. Even as this guy slammed the screwdriver into the glass, the window wouldn’t break. I finally got the car into drive and hit the gas pedal.

The guy standing in front of the car opened his eyes wide and dove to the side of the Cutlass Supreme as it shot forward, causing two of the guys who had jumped on the car to take to the air. I drove behind Pier 1 Imports, and arrived at an adjacent street causing me to stop and wait for traffic. In seconds, all five guys had caught up to my car and once again took to slamming the windows with screwdrivers and fists. Once traffic allowed, I spun into the street squealing the tires and drove down to a gas station about a quarter-mile down the road. I jumped out of the car to a payphone as cell phones were still a luxury at this time that I couldn’t afford.

And I phoned Melissa at work warning her not to leave the building. Melissa explained to me that she’d already heard noises of someone trying to break into the store. So she had locked herself in the back office and called 911. But the 911 operator told her to go into the store to see if anyone was there, which Melissa realized was ridiculous advice. So she hung up on the dispatcher and hid under the desk. She was about to call 911 again when I called. I advised Melissa to stay under her desk, and I called 911 myself guiding the police to Pier 1 Imports.

I then sped back to Pier 1 and waited, no sign of the five carjackers. In minutes, the police arrived by car and helicopter, but never caught the young criminals. All I cared about was that Melissa was safe. The police told me that I was lucky. ‘Carjackers genuinely shoot through the window,’ they said, ‘shooting the driver and gaining access into the car at the same time. That way, they simply yank out the driver and take the car.’ Police said, ‘The screwdriver is typically used to stab the driver if they don’t have a gun, once they get the door open.’ But the unbreakable Cutlass windows never allow them to get that far.

In the days after this happened, everyone who heard the story seemed to agree I was lucky. I was lucky that the windows didn’t break. I was lucky that I coincidentally left the doors locked after playing with the lock button. I was lucky that it was unusually chilly this night so that I had the windows closed instead of open as usual. I was even lucky that I was awake this particular night instead of sleeping. Imagine how long it would have taken me to react if I were sleeping.

On the other hand, one could also say that I was unlucky that my car broke down because that led me to rent the nice car. Nobody would have wanted to carjack my crappy car. I was also unlucky that the car rental company was out of cheap cars, so they upgraded me to a midsize car, brand new red Cutlass Supreme. I was also unlucky that I was in the wrong place at the right time. Which means I was right in the random path of these thugs who saw my fancy sports car as they’re walking down the street.

So was I lucky or unlucky? We can ask ourselves these questions all day long. Was I lucky that I beat my illness or unlucky that I got sick in the first place? Was I lucky to have survived the plane crash? Or unlucky that the plane crashed at all? Was I lucky that my team won? Or was the other team unlucky and lost? And what does that mean when my team loses tomorrow? Does that change my luck? Does it change from day to day, hour to hour, or minute to minute? What if this is not a matter of luck at all?

What if this is simply a matter of experiencing life, knowing that good and bad things will happen to us, and then moving forward in the best way possible without giving the incident a label or placing responsibility for anywhere or on anyone? Maybe our human minds are simply unable to fathom the infinite pros and cons of any single outcome in order to give it a label as good or bad. And what we really need to be doing is having faith that whatever the outcome it is somehow in our best interest, not as human beings necessarily but as spiritual beings. Because the truth of the matter is, we don’t have nearly as much control over it as we prefer to believe.” That’s the article.

Thanks for listening. Till the next episode, let’s just love one another in our words, and our actions, and yes, in our prayers. Until next time, be well. So that’s another episode of “Afterlife TV.” Thank you for joining us, please like us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube or sign up for our newsletter at so you don’t miss our next episode. See you next time.

Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

Don’t miss another Afterlife TV episode. Join our email list to get new video announcements (and to download a free excerpt of Bob’s book): CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER.

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