Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.
-Corrie ten Boom
"What's the Best Way to Pray When Facing Surgery?" from Spirituality and Health magazine:
In the anxious days before heart surgery - a life-or-death event where the outcome is out of a patient's direct control - many people use prayer to cope. University of Washington psychologist Amy L. Ai and three colleagues from the University of Michigan wanted to explore what heart patients pray for and how it helps. Does prayer allow patients to feel more in control, because it's something they can do for themselves? Or does it enable them to feel more at peace with being out of control, since through prayer they can surrender to God? After administering interviews and questionnaires to 202 middle-aged and older patients awaiting surgery and analyzing the data, the researchers found that the patients in their group used both mechanisms, and that both eased the anxiety of feeling out of control. They hypothesize that the combination of control and surrender, while it may sound contradictory, actually represents a healthier balance than either approach by itself.