Scientific Studies on Prayer
In recent years there has been an explosion of interest about intercessory prayer. A revealing survey showed 79 of the nation’s medical schools offer courses on prayer, spirituality, and healing. In the 1980 era, only three medical schools offered such courses.
Many large, (and randomized, double-blind) studies have revealed most positive results in the majority of cases. One such study was conducted at the San Francisco General Coronary Care Unit. None of the participants knew who was being prayed for and who wasn’t. Remarkable things happened when committed believers prayed. The specific patients prayed for suffered less congestive heart failure and fewer cardiac arrests. They recovered with less tubes, ventilation, and medication.
Another impressive study was conducted at Duke University Medical Center. When patients were admitted into Emergency with severe chest pain, they were given the option of participating. Neither patients or doctors knew who was, and was not being prayed for. Names of the randomly selected patients were sent to prayer gatherings around the world. Both groups received identical medical treatment. The prayed for individuals had half as many or no complications from medical treatment.
There is no scientific explanation for the tangible medical improvements verified in these and hundreds of studies. And yes, there are other prayer studies that do not show the positive outcomes as the above.
My own experience has confirmed the effectiveness of prayer, in daily life, and when all other forms of human intervention have failed. There will always be room to doubt, but much more reason to believe.
Ponder these things on your journey…