In my comprehensive eBook on cancer alternatives (Cancer Confidential), I addressed the question of whether prayer works for healing.
In medicine, we see the touch of God all the time, but it is called “spontaneous remission.” If it happens at a prayer meeting, then God gets the credit! Otherwise it is just said to be one of those inexplicable marvels of the human body.
Is there any science that tells us whether prayer is working or not? You bet!
Dr. Randolph Byrd, a Christian cardiologist, conducted a study in 1984 that has led to a resurgence of scientific evaluation of the effect of prayer on healing.
393 patients, admitted to the coronary care unit at San Francisco General Hospital, over a 10 month period were randomly selected, by computer, to either a 201 patient control group or the 192 patients who were prayed for daily by 5-7 people in home prayer groups. This was a randomized, double-blind experiment in which neither the patients, nurses, nor doctors knew which group the patients were in.
Dr. Byrd discovered a definite pattern of obvious differences between the control group and those prayed for:
- None of those prayed for required endotracheal intubation compared with twelve in the control group requiring the insertion of an artificial airway in the throat.
- The prayed for group experienced fewer cases of pneumonia and cardiopulmonary arrests.
- Those prayed for were five times less likely to require antibiotics.
- The prayed for group were three times less likely to develop pulmonary edema, a condition where the lungs fill with fluid.
- Fewer patients in the prayed for group died.
Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D., referring to Dr. Byrd’s remarkable experiment, states that “If the technique being studied had been a new drug or a surgical procedure instead of prayer, it would almost certainly have been heralded as some sort of amazing breakthrough.”
As you would expect, most doctors ignored the proven vallue of prayer.
Now a new study has confirmed yet again that prayer works.
The experiences of 24 Mozambicans, part of a study reported in the September issue of the Southern Medical Journal, a peer-reviewed journal, suggest to the researchers that “proximal intercessory prayer (PIP)” — in which the healer is in close proximity to the patient, often touching or hugging him or her — may be a useful complement to Western medical practice.
In this study, the degree of improvement seen in people with vision and hearing impairments was more than that seen previously in hypnosis or “suggestion” studies.
“We found a statistically significant effect of PIP for the population of both those with auditory and visual impairments,” said study lead author Candy Gunther Brown, associate professor of religious studies at Indiana University in Bloomington.
“We didn’t generally find that people who were totally deaf or blind to start with ended up with 20/20 vision and perfect hearing,” she remarks, “But those with moderate to severe impairments when tested before the intervention, had a much, much improved threshold.”
In “Cancer Confidential” I also looked into the research into what is called distant intercessory prayer. There was some evidence that even that works. But don’t forget, that’s not how people actually pray for healing, so researchers were not testing something valid.
[SOURCE: September 2010, Southern Medical Journal]
Not a Christian? I don’t think it matters at all. You can pray to any higher authority you respect. It’s a myth that prayer is somehow “Christian”. It is common to all Mankind, as is the Creator, of course.
If you still haven’t got “Cancer Confidential” eBook, there’s a good price on it right now. You can get it by clicking on this link: Cancer Confidential.