Power of prayer flunks an unusual test

Large study had Christians pray for hear

Praying doesn’t help.

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NEW YORK - In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.

Researchers emphasized that their work can’t address whether God exists or answers prayers made on another’s behalf. The study can only look for an effect from prayers offered as part of the research, they said.

They also said they had no explanation for the higher complication rate in patients who knew they were being prayed for, in comparison to patients who only knew it was possible prayers were being said for them.



Harold G. Koenig, director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at the Duke University Medical Center, who didn’t take part in the study, said the results didn’t surprise him.

“There are no scientific grounds to expect a result and there are no real theological grounds to expect a result either,” he said. “There is no god in either the Christian, Jewish or Moslem scriptures that can be constrained to the point that they can be predicted.”

And then again, I personally know a guy who had Multiple Sclerosis to the point of being in a wheelchair, who had some people lay hands on him, pray, and then found that he could walk again… shrug

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In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.

But was that difference statistically significant? Even if it did/didn’t work I’d be expecting a placebo effect.

Ugh… just ugh…

TG

You realize “Mr Soul” by shoving your (lack of) religious views down others throats, that you are no better than those who would shove their religious views down yours. Maybe you believe that prayer is no good. Then just do not ask for people to pray for you. Don’t go out of your way to find a study that proves your point. There happens to be many studies to the contrary, so you have proved nothing except your contempt for prayer.

???

When the New York Times prints this story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006…=slogin

And Reuters prints this story:
http://today.reuters.com/news…&rpc=22

And the American Heart Journal publishes this study: (and this is the one to read BTW)
http://www.ahjonline.com/article…no&vol=

Of course there is this one:
http://news.yahoo.com/s…wM3NTE-

And:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12082681/

Mr Soul hardly had to search high and wide to find a story carried by every major news source and Internet location on planet Earth and in fact missing this story was pretty unavoidable if one visits any news source or blog of substance. This could have been a good discussion of the paranormal. Had the outcome of the study been the opposite just as many news sources and web locations would have carried that story and it too would had made an interesting discussion. Maybe then the Yikes thread would have finally died. The following story illustrates why this could have been an interesting topic:

http://www.valleyskeptic.com/Prayer_Study_Flawed_and_Fraud.html


KingFish

Sigh… despite being a devout non-believer… I do think there can be some very beneficial effects of prayer. I lump prayer and meditation into the same category as far as what it does for your body. Less stress and a positive out look never hurt anyone’s health. I don’t believe that praying for grandpa Joe is going to make him any better (well, perhaps the fact that you are in a better place mentally from prayer might have some effect on grandpa Joe…) but that doesn’t mean prayer in general isn’t positive for one’s health.

This is one of those studies that was designed to fail really. You have to then get into what prayer is… maybe all the people praying were doing it half assed or not “correctly” or who knows. On the other hand, perhaps it doesn’t dojack. Either way, it isn’t something you can take a good scientific approach to.

Jesus says,
“whoever goes in my name signs and wonders will follow”.

So, if no signs and wonders follow, I can only assume they are not going in His name.

You can pray to a rock, and kiss it, but if the prayer doesn’t happen, it’s not the the rocks fault, and certainly not God’s.
Alot of people calling themselves Christians, don’t even know Christ.
They pray to a picture of Jesus, or to who their family told them He is.
Might as well be praying to a rock.
According to scripture, it’s not us that should be praying like…“Lord I really want a million dollars”…tee hee.
It’s my understanding that it should not be “us” praying, but rather the Holy spirit, through us, asking God for the needs of His people.
I have seen people healed, in Jesus name. Heroin addicts, stopping cold turkey, with no ill effects. People with kidney stones, going back to the doctor, and them saying “we see nothing anymore”.
Cancer patients recovering miraculously.
And on and on, the wonders followed those who came in His name.
Did it make it into any study?
NO.
Does that make it any less real?
NO.


keep shinin’

jerm :cool:

I agree with you, jeremy, there a lots of different ways to pray - some are forms of meditation, some are merely asking for divine intervention so we can kill the other guy. I suspect that the effects of the latter are not all positive, apart from the guy who gets killed. Meditation, on the other hand, has demonstrable effects in reducing emotional stress, and that kind of stress (as opposed to physical stress) is very damaging; no supernatural explanation needed in that case. It works for atheists as well as theists and everyone in between.

But the study was about other people praying for a sick person, not about the sick person praying. Esay explanation for the negative effects of the cases in which the patient knew others were praying: people tend to get worried about how their illness will affect those they care about and who care about them, and someone praying for you would tend to fall in that category. Just a suggestion.

Or, a theological explanation: prayers that ask for God’s intervention make God angry. Prayers that are meditative and not demanding get a better reception on high. The thing is, this is an untestable thesis, since it involves supernatural processes, and hence is not a scientific claim.

We pray not to change God but rather to change ourselves.

Prayers of beseechment (God, give me a car; God, make my boss disappear) are about the same as wishing upon a star. Praying instead: “God, give me the strength to trust that Your will is being revealed to me by these circumstances that try me” is an attempt to align our will with His.

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You realize “Mr Soul” by shoving your (lack of) religious views down others throats, that you are no better than those who would shove their religious views down yours.

Huh - I’m not shoving my religous views on anyone, I’m just citing a scientific study???

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Maybe you believe that prayer is no good.

I have no idea whether prayer does any good or not? I’ve heard people say that it does, but this study seems to indicate otherwise. My personal beliefs don’t enter in here.

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Don’t go out of your way to find a study that proves your point. There happens to be many studies to the contrary, so you have proved nothing except your contempt for prayer.

Please show me a study that shows that prayer is scientifically proven.

I also know lots of people who believe in astrology & I used to dabble in it alittle bit, but there is no scientific basis for it. There was a famous double-blind study done a while back & it showed astrology is CRAP.

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I have seen people healed, in Jesus name.

And I’ve supposed you’ve seen a blind man see also?
Quote (Mr Soul @ Mar. 31 2006,12:36)
I have seen people healed, in Jesus name.

And I've supposed you've seen a blind man see also?
It was for me, to see, not you. For I suppose even if you would have seen, you still would not believe.
It would be better that one be physicaly blind than to be spiritualy blind and numb.
For the physical handicap ends with the body in death.
But the spiritual effects ones eternity.

There was a another study I'm familiar with Mike.
It was a study to see which sense is most crutial to the preservation of ones own life.
Not sight, nor hearing, nor smell.

But touch, proved to be most crucial.
For if we cannot feel, than we know not when we are in danger physicaly. One would not know when something is squeezing them tighter and tighter. Or if they are inflicting there own selves with life threatening pain.
The same can be said for ones soul.

Peace be with you.

jerm
:cool:

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It would be better that one be physicaly blind than to be spiritualy blind and numb.

Uh, yeah.

Keep walking through those walls Jerm.
Quote (Willy @ Mar. 31 2006,23:35)
It would be better that one be physicaly blind than to be spiritualy blind and numb.

Uh, yeah.

Keep walking through those walls Jerm.
It has been said that a certain someone is not foolish, but in fact holds quiet the brilliant mind.

So far have have seen no such evidence to collaborate that statement.

The only walls here are the spiritual ones men have built high enough that they cannot see the truth on the other side.

A closed heart, is worse than a closed mind.


Peace be in your house, today and always,

jerm

:cool:

A few responses:

I wouldn’t say I have a closed heart Jerm, but I certainly haven’t seen any form of formal worship that particulary resonates with me. I don’t discount or advocate any theory towards god or his non/existance - have you read some of my earlier posts?

Foolish? Brilliant? You might be holding me up as a fool, but I don’t see anyone holding me up as genius! If anything I probably agree with you to an extent as I seem to be missing a link between mouth and brain that’s gotten me into trouble more than once, but I’ve also done some things that seem pretty spectacular (usually unintentionally) in hindsight. Just like anyone else I guess, but FWIW, I am yet to see any correlation between faith and, intelligence, wisdom or common sense in my short time here.

The walking through walls comment, Jerm, was in relation to a comment you made about our physical reality just being constructs of out imperfect human nature and once we rose above that they would cease to be (as I understood it). Maybe you could take solace in your faith if you were blinded for whatever reason, but I know that if it were to happen to me now I doubt any amount of love for a higher being would make it better or more bearable.

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For the physical handicap ends with the body in death.

I probably agree with you on that, but for different reasons.

Willy.

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It was for me, to see, not you. For I suppose even if you would have seen, you still would not believe.

Maybe, maybe not. However, I don’t really believe in the supernatural, so I would also look towards a logical, scientific expanation for a “miracle” healing.

You could call it a miracle that the guy survived that mining disaster in WV recently, and it certainly was a miracle on one level. However, was is God or prayer that saved this fellow or was it something. I think it was something else, i.e., he was very lucky & he was almost dead actually when he reached the hospital. He would have died if it weren’t more modern medicine.

Quote (Willy @ April 01 2006,11:28)
A few responses:

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The walking through walls comment, Jerm, was in relation to a comment you made about our physical reality just being constructs of out imperfect human nature and once we rose above that they would cease to be (as I understood it)

Oh, not that my reponce was in reference to you.
I did make a genreal reference to “men” who build walls around themselves, if you are including yourself in with those men, so be it.
But I will respond to you directly now that I know the context of the statement. (being that it came from another discussion on quantum physics.)
I don’t beleive I said our human nature was less than perfect.
God made humans, and our nature, and God does not make things imperfect.
That being said…
Yes, I do believe that our environment, and the way we perceive it, is shaped out of a taught and learned set of guidelines.
Had we had better teachers, (like God for instance) our perception’s would certainly be different.
For we know that if you take a ball and throw it to a wall it bounces back. And in our perception the ball is solid, as is the wall.
But talk to the one who created the matter to make the ball and the wall, and learn from Him.
Then maybe, there are other possibilities for the outcome not previously fathomed.
But see, that is the hardest part for man. And the main reason why we cannot walk on water (unless it’s frozen).
Because of our learned perception, which I see as a limitation to exploration of an uncharted area of being.
The mind holds many things which we are only begining to undersand with technology.
We also hold other things to be true, that are later found false.
Who knows what kind of understading can be found, when we let go of the things we hold true, and search for things with a new perspective?
Why is it that most brilliant minds are considered insane in there time; until the rest of the worlds perception catches up to that one who saw it first?
I can hear the people laughing now…
(to the Wright brothers)…“You mean you guys think man can fly!”
“If God wanted us to fly he’s of had us born with wings”.
Nevertheless, they were not insane, and flight is now common place, in places it was once considered insane.
I can only imagine the jokes and comments that were made in Einstiens peer group!
Nevertheless his theory changed the way matter is used.
So I don’t pay much attention to the hecklers. For what are they going to leave behind?
Certainly not innovation, and certainly not anything that will change perception.

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Just like anyone else I guess, but FWIW, I am yet to see any correlation between faith and, intelligence, wisdom or common sense in my short time here.

Er, uh, maybe your not looking in the right place. Have ya cracked open the Bible?
I’m sure you will find what ye seek, but are you willing to look? That is the question. It’s easy for someone to say “I have yet to see” when they really haven’t spent any time looking. Or perhaps they turned over one rock, and said, "Nope, it’s not here, I’m done.“
I have found that people who are truley interested in finding something will go the distance nessicary.

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I wouldn’t say I have a closed heart Jerm, but I certainly haven’t seen any form of formal worship that particulary resonates with me.


Neither would I, (say that anyone has a closed heart). It’s not for me to judge anyones heart. That task is given to He who has that authority.
I wouldn’t expect anyone to worship, or find a form of worship they enjoy, when they don’t believe in who they are worshiping.
Worshiping will resonate with he who enjoys giving praise to His creator.
You can say quietly, " Lord thank you, for all you have done for me”, and that in itself is worship.
Or you can join a band and sing His praise through a huge PA system. Either way He hears us just the same.

BTW I never held you up as a fool.
I certaily said that the post you posted from evil bible was foolish, and the fact that you didn’t mention it was a quote, may have joined you somehow with that responce.
But I would never call anyone a fool , for to do so, goes against the fathers teaching.


MIKE:

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However, I don’t really believe in the supernatural, so I would also look towards a logical, scientific expanation for a “miracle” healing.


That truly saddens me, as it does my Lord.
There was one who saw Jesus preform many miracles in front of Him, and still didn’t believe (I believe His name was Thomas).
Did he try to find a logical explination for the things he saw, or was it something more?
A wall he built himself, within his mind and heart?
Mike I would say this to you.
If you should take your belief to the grave would that make it continue beyond the grave? Or does it end there?
And what if, just if, you are wrong? Can you really afford to take that gamble?
Death is a finality.
God is offering you a chance to join Him, in a place without all the hardships that sin has caused to manifest itself on this earth.
And all you have to do is believe.
You don’t have to live a perfect life.
You don’t have to try and change.
You don’t have to understand everything.
All that is required is that you believe.
Ya, know Mike, over the years I have grown a fondness of you, and others in this forum. And it saddenes my heart to know that so many of whom I would call freinds have no desire to join me in heaven.
Or that so many have misconseptions of CHristianity and Christ, that limit them from opening their hearts to the Father, of all things.
This is not about spirituality, or having to see things produced in a logical manner.
For what science is there after death?
How are we measuring that?
Is there any scientific proof of the world beyond the grave?
After all, everything (according to the world) has a scientific explination. So where are those reports?
Where is that data? Man has been here even according to science for at least 8000 years. So there has to be loads of studies and information that we as a group have compiled and braught back from beyond the grave.
Well, without all that information, I guess it leaves us with only one conclusion. That it all ends in death.
But if that is true, that what purpose does life serve?
If there is no judegment for our sins, than why do we feel bad when we do something wrong? Why bother having laws? Or following them, if there is no justic in the afterlife, or universe.
Why does our heart feel things, if all we are is a group of molecules that randomly evolved over millions of years?
Even science itself makes note of an order. There is an order to everything, for without it all the molecules would simply drift apart.
But where does that order come from?
Are we to believe that order just randomly created itself?
And that the things we do that disrupt this order don’t matter because the order just will somehow re-create itself again?
All the answers are around us, His creation cries out with the truth.
And in your heart, you know also. Right from wrong. Justic is universal, and knowone escapes judgement.

Peace will be in your house soon, Mike, Amen.

jerm












:cool:

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And all you have to do is believe.
You don’t have to live a perfect life.
You don’t have to try and change.
You don’t have to understand everything.
All that is required is that you believe.


Funny thing is, that’s not what Jesus said, Jeremy. The idea that one doesn’t need to walk the walk, all that one needs is to believe, is a later theological development. And “walking the walk” meant a lot more than just being a nice guy and being honest and that sort of thing. :)

Anyway - can I use your bit of prose poetry in a song i’m working on? ???
Quote (TomS @ April 01 2006,17:17)
And all you have to do is believe.
You don't have to live a perfect life.
You don't have to try and change.
You don't have to understand everything.
All that is required is that you believe.


Funny thing is, that's not what Jesus said, Jeremy. The idea that one doesn't need to walk the walk, all that one needs is to believe, is a later theological development. And "walking the walk" meant a lot more than just being a nice guy and being honest and that sort of thing. :)

Anyway - can I use your bit of prose poetry in a song i'm working on? ???
Sure sure, use me and abuse me, my only use for it was to explain something.

But it is true, according to Jesus's teachings.

YOU don't have to do anything yourself, except believe.

HE is the one who corrects us.
HE is the one who changes our very beings.
HE is the one who offers us perfetion, in eternal life.
He is the one who gives us understanding.

So all my sentences hold true.

We should remain humble in all things and give Him glory for all things.

So to say, " I changed my life" is to boast at steal His glory.

Man can change his habits, on his own, but it never last, and often he just replace one vice with another.
But when He changes us, it's forever, as is His love for us.
But first, as I said, you must believe, just as you believe the seat you are sitting in now, is solid and will keep you from falling to the ground.


I would like to see the scripture that says it is by works that we are saved, and not grace.

Jesus did tell His diciples the two most important things are Love the Father (GOD) and thy neighbor. That seems to imply beleiving in Him.
Funny thing is if you Love the Father, you automatically Love your neighbor. For the Love of the Father brings obedience to Him, which in turn makes you love your neighbor. But it is not YOU who loves your neighbor, but rather He who resides in you, manifesting His Love through you to them.

So yes, YOU don't have to do anything, but beleive...He does the rest.


jerm




:D

Some sick people get better.
Some sick people remain stable.
Some sick people get worse.

These outcomes are based on physical factors and will occur just the same whether the person is being prayed for or not.

It’s like cheering on your snail in a snail race, or shouting at it to switch to a new tactic, events will unfold naturally in their own way despite your efforts.

Claiming that your prayers carry any weight is just like claiming, if your snail did by chance win, that your encouragements or tactical coaching steered it to victory.

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Well, without all that information, I guess it leaves us with only one conclusion. That it all ends in death.
But if that is true, that what purpose does life serve?


I’ve never understood this strain of logic - “there must be a god because otherwise our existance would be meaningless”.
What’s your point?
You can’t disregard the possibility that life is meaningless just because you don’t like the idea of it.

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If there is no judegment for our sins, than why do we feel bad when we do something wrong?


So you’re saying that christians act in a ‘moral’ way because they believe that an all-powerful god is looking over them?
That doesn’t sound like true morality to me.
True morality is what occurs when no one is watching.

I act in a moral way depsite the fact that I believe in no gods, for this reason I will always hold the moral high-ground over a theist.

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Why bother having laws? Or following them, if there is no justic in the afterlife, or universe.


At the fundametal level each human being is interested in it’s own survival.
People grouping together to create groups is a natural progression because it enhances the survival chances of everyone within it.
Rules and the enforcment of those rules were the next logical progression.

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Why does our heart feel things, if all we are is a group of molecules that randomly evolved over millions of years?


Our heart is responsible for pumping blood around our body…?

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Even science itself makes note of an order. There is an order to everything, for without it all the molecules would simply drift apart.
But where does that order come from?
Are we to believe that order just randomly created itself?


These questions just highlight a gap in our current science and understanding. They prove or disprove nothing.

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All the answers are around us, His creation cries out with the truth.


I look at flowers, animals, scenery, all the same things you do, and I see evolution with the same conviction that you see creation.