Questioning The Power of Prayer

Don't be surprised if you hear people on the tube knocking the power of prayer after American researchers found it had no effect on patients recovering from heart surgery.

For the record, scientists split some 1,800 patients hospitalized for coronary bypass surgery into three groups, two of which were prayed for and third who wasn't. And, half the patients surveyed were told they were receiving prayers. The rest were told they may or may not receive prayers. A month later, researchers found no difference in the health of patients whether they were prayed for or not.

Nevertheless, the lead researcher believes these findings weren't the last word of the benefits of intercessory prayer. In fact, the results raised questions about how and whether patients should be told that prayers were being offered for them at all.

The key to remember here is that this study was primarily for surrogate prayer. In other words, the effect of someone else praying for others. While this isn't the last definitive word on the subject, it is also very clear that the most powerful form of prayer comes from people is praying for themselves and not for others.

When you pray for others, you may not be able to overcome their belief systems and their ability to manifest their intentions which are frequently negative due to a variety of self-sabotaging experiences and beliefs.

American Heart Journal, Vol. 151, No. 4, April 2006: 934-942

New York Times March 31, 2006 Registration Required

BerkshireEagle.com March 31, 2006

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