Friday, May 04, 2007

Does prayer work?

Strictly speaking, whether prayer works is an empirical question. Pray for some, not others, see who gets better. Now, I realize there are possible theological implications to this kind of study, but various researchers have done it.

Recently David Hodges, of Arizona State, did a meta-analysis of 17 empirical studies "the effect of intercessory prayer among people with psychological or medical problems," and he found an overall positive effect.

His conclusion: "prayer is effective." Cool!

Thanks to Gary Sweeten for point out this article.

7 comments:

S.S.Stone said...

Yes, prayer definitely works(Matthew 18:20)*smile* I've read several studies in regard to prayer as healer. The studies that fascinated me most were the ones where the ill person didn't even know they were being prayed for...hmmm interesting eh? ( or should that be huh? lol)At the Princess Margaret Hospital here in Toronto (world leader in cancer research/devel) We have some great programs-psychosocial oncology- & visualization -it's wonderful that we treat the patient holistically and not just the disease...in Ontario we're still very far behind as compared to BC-thank you for this post!

Brad Wright said...

Interesting about the holistic health. It seems the more trouble we're in, e.g., cancer, the more willing we are to accept/ reach out for the unseen.

S.S.Stone said...

It's the only true way to treat the patient...the mental, physcial, emotional and spiritual all are interwoven...it's difficult to explain here without my filling your page...but it's that mind over matter. ...k let me give you an example...a woman has a heart attack - she's worried about her children at home so she stesses out...so mentally she's an emotional wreck..unless those needs can be met she'll not heal/get better as quickly as if some of those concerns are remedied...we've become such a society that doesn't look deep into the other person, their needs...at the funeral service the other day i sat with an elderly uncle of my g/f...he complained to me that when he goes to his doctor now it's like a business...in and out as fast as you can go....what about the person? what's going on with their lives...it's so vital for health...i'm rambling now...

Brad Wright said...

Some very good points, Sharon. It also makes proper medical training very difficult, for it's more than just cutting straight. It seems, though, that the non-surgery/pharmacy care aspects of hospitals would be discounted in terms of $ and status.

S.S.Stone said...

"makes proper medical training very difficult"---not sure if it's the training that is made difficult but perhaps more the administering of that training.

the_burning_bush said...

What about walking by faith and not by sight?

(2 Corithians 5:7)

Brad Wright said...

I think that I know what you mean, that not all things of God are tangible, and we shouldn't be put off by that.

Yet... there are various scenes in the Bible of people showing others what God has done/ validating miracles.

Perhaps walk by faith and not by sight doesn't mean we're to ignore sight?