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Does prayer really work?

Does prayer really work?

Does Prayer Really Work? Some believers say yes, and some skeptics say no. On the yes side, there have been immense amounts of studies that have noted the responses of patients who had a myriad of different ailments who responded better to treatment, had a positive treatment, had a better prognosis, and who had better results because someone was praying for them or because they believed in the power of prayer.

Dr. Mitch Krucoff is a leading physician of medicine at Duke University Medical Center and a world renowned authority on spirituality and medicine and how they are intertwined. "Of all patients tested, the lowest absolute patient complications were observed in patients assigned to offsite prayer," he said. His research has demonstrated that even though the practice of praying to a higher power has existed for literally thousands of years, it is beginning to become that patients who have prayer partners are able to recover faster and have less complications than those who did not have a prayer partner. People are beginning to realize the importance of prayer for a quicker and more efficient recovery.

Although spiritual care is becoming mainstream in some hospitals, there are still individuals that approach the topic of prayer in a medical setting with some skepticism. They feel that believing that "prayer changes things" is the equivalent of a divine vending machine where if you put in the right amount of coins and in the right combination you will get the result that you want. However, as Rabbi Brad Hirschfield notes, "If I, or any other believer, know that our prayers won’t get us what we want, at least not in any direct way, why bother? Because, and I mean this quite seriously, as the Rollings Stones sang, "you can’t always get what you want, but if you try real hard, you just may find, you get what you need."

Prayer, in the ultimate sense, always works. The reason is because this Higher Being, in their Divine Providence, always know what we need.

 

About Sandy Kubrick

Sandy Kubrick is a staff editor for God Discussion. Posts by Sandy may come from diverse contributors.
  • Caveat M. Tor

    With all due respect, Dr. Krucoff misrepresented his study's results in a later interview (see good website.) "Immense amounts of studies"? Name just one specific, controlled, double-blind study which has shown any value of intercessory prayer. The evidence simply isn't there.

  • colourmegone .

    "there have been immense amounts of studies that have noted the responses
    of patients who had a myriad of different ailments who responded better
    to treatment, had a positive treatment, had a better prognosis, and who
    had better results because someone was praying for them or because they
    believed in the power of prayer."

    This is an outright lie. The only scientific studies on the effects of prayer show no effect. In fact in one study focussing on heart patients, the group prayed for presented with slightly more complications than those not prayed for.

  • Patricia Arnold

    I certainly believe that the Divine is omniscient and knows what we need. However, if your position is that "prayer works," you're saying: 1) Everything everyone has prayed for has always been granted. 2) The Divine always gives us what we want, even though it might not be what we think we need.

    Unless you have evidence that 100% of us receive whatever we want whenever we pray I'd suggest re-thinking your position on the work of prayer.

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