Friday, March 31, 2006
Prayers and Patients
Do prayers by well-wishers help sick people? Some of us do not believe in the power of prayer while others do. A study,to be published in the April 4th issue of the American Heart Journal, based on 1800 heart by-pass patients, by the Harvard Medical School confirms "Praying for other people to recover from an illness is ineffective, ......" The study covered " "distant" or "intercessory" prayer". This is not going to deter the believers and rightly so. If they find solace in prayer more power to them.
- The study of more than 1,800 heart-bypass patients found that those who had people praying for them had as many complications as those who did not. In fact, one group of patients who knew they were the subject of prayers fared worse.
- The long-awaited results, the latest in a series of studies that have not found any benefit from "distant" or "intercessory" prayer, came as a blow to those hoping scientific research would validate the popular notion that people can influence others' health, even if the sick do not know that someone is praying for them.