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  1. #1
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    Proof of the healing power of prayer

    I ran across this fascinating article the other day that shows medical science has proven the healing power of prayer. I thought it was interesting because I read some posts on this forum that says God does not answer prayer so therefore the Bible is false because it says God does answer prayer. Now numerous scientific studies show that prayer does work and a belief in God is good for you. In the article a one-time atheist became a regular worshipper after doing in-depth study of the medical benefits of faith.

    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/headlin...06/443812.html


    Clifford

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford View Post
    I ran across this fascinating article the other day that shows medical science has proven the healing power of prayer. I thought it was interesting because I read some posts on this forum that says God does not answer prayer so therefore the Bible is false because it says God does answer prayer. Now numerous scientific studies show that prayer does work and a belief in God is good for you. In the article a one-time atheist became a regular worshipper after doing in-depth study of the medical benefits of faith.

    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/headlin...06/443812.html


    Clifford
    Hi Clifford,

    It is good to hear from you. But there are conflicting reports, and many facts left unsaid, so it is difficult to evalutate the meaning of the article you linked. It is particularly curious that Dr. Koenig gives contrary statements concerning the effectiveness of prayer. The article you cited reports he said this:
    Dr. Koenig, director of Dukeís Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, and the author of several authoritative books on faith and healing, says a striking study published in the Southern Medical Journal last year demonstrated that prayer has a remarkable effect on patients with hearing and visual deficiencies. After prayer sessions, 'They showed significant improvements based on audio and visual tests,' Koenig says.

    Whatís more, he says, 'The benefits of devout religious practice, particularly involvement in a faith community and religious commitment, are that people cope better. In general, they cope with stress better, they experience greater well-being because they have more hope, they're more optimistic, they experience less depression, less anxiety, and they commit suicide less often.' He adds, 'They have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and probably better cardiovascular functioning.'
    But when he was asked about another study which showed no effect of prayer on the recovering of people with heart bypasses, he said this:
    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.
    Dr. 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."

    Within the Christian tradition, God would be expected to be concerned with a person's eternal salvation, he said, and "why would God change his plans for a particular person just because they're in a research study?"
    Here we have a direct and total refutation of the other statement attributed to him!

    There are many problems with the whole study. There is no indication that any specific prayer was answered by an agent like the God of the Bible. On the contrary, the results look more psychological - people feel better when they have faith in God and it's natural that their bodies would respond. This is made clear by Dr. Koenig himself, who said "prayer or meditation" helps patients. And what about different religions? Does "God" answer the prayers of Muslims and Hindus in the study?

    Bottom line: There is not a single word in the study that suggests there is a God that actually answers prayers, such as restoring missing limbs or healing from cancer, which is what we would expect from the things promised in the Bible.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford View Post
    I ran across this fascinating article the other day that shows medical science has proven the healing power of prayer. I thought it was interesting because I read some posts on this forum that says God does not answer prayer so therefore the Bible is false because it says God does answer prayer. Now numerous scientific studies show that prayer does work and a belief in God is good for you. In the article a one-time atheist became a regular worshiper after doing in-depth study of the medical benefits of faith.

    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/headlin...06/443812.html


    Clifford
    Hi Clifford,

    Nice to see you back on the Forum.

    Prayer, positive thinking, good thoughts, or whatever you want to call communal thinking that focuses on another persons well being is beneficial no matter what religion or faith a person has. If you ask a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist who believes their prayers have been answered they will tell you that the god of their religion answered them, but then you need to ask; if prayers are being answered whose god is doing the answering?

    I think there probably are many benefits to positive thoughts, or believing that a god is watching out for you especially when it comes to alleviating worry. It is well known that people with a positive attitude are much better off when it comes to stress related illnesses than their negative counterparts.

    All the best,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi Clifford,

    Nice to see you back on the Forum.

    Prayer, positive thinking, good thoughts, or whatever you want to call communal thinking that focuses on another persons well being is beneficial no matter what religion or faith a person has. If you ask a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist who believes their prayers have been answered they will tell you that the god of their religion answered them, but then you need to ask; if prayers are being answered whose god is doing the answering?

    I think there probably are many benefits to positive thoughts, or believing that a god is watching out for you especially when it comes to alleviating worry. It is well known that people with a positive attitude are much better off when it comes to stress related illnesses than their negative counterparts.

    All the best,
    Rose
    Very well stated!
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  5. #5
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    Hi Richard,

    The whole study was about a large group of people so they were summarizing the results so its not suprising that they did not cite a specific prayer being answered, but I am sure if you looked at the raw results you would find that specific prayers were answered. You said "On the contrary, the results look more psychological - people feel better when they have faith in God and it's natural that their bodies would respond" In some of the studies it did not say anything about the patients having any faith in God. Here is an example from the article.

    "A massive 12-month study from a Kansas City hospital showed patients admitted with heart trouble did better when somebody was praying for them. Amazingly, the patients were not told people were praying for them. Volunteers from a local church were given the first name of a patient on a piece of paper and asked to pray for that person."

    These patients did not even know people were praying for them and there is no indication that they had any faith in God to heal them or even believed in God.

    Here another example from the article that shows the same thing.

    Research at San Francisco General Hospital looked at the effect of prayer on 393 cardiac patients. Half were prayed for by strangers who had only the patientsí names. Those patients had fewer complications, fewer cases of pneumonia, and needed less drug treatment. They also got better quicker and left the hospital earlier.
    Nothing in that study that said anything about the patients having faith in God or that they expected God would heal them. So your statement that it is all psychological is without any proof or foundation.

    Bottom line: There is not a single word in the study that suggests there is a God that actually answers prayers, such as restoring missing limbs or healing from cancer, which is what we would expect from the things promised in the Bible
    The whole study was about answered prayer!! I like the conclusion of the article.

    Concluded Knox: 'Atheists can sneer at faith all they like, but they canít assume science is on their side.'
    All the best,

    Clifford

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi Clifford,

    Nice to see you back on the Forum.

    Prayer, positive thinking, good thoughts, or whatever you want to call communal thinking that focuses on another persons well being is beneficial no matter what religion or faith a person has. If you ask a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist who believes their prayers have been answered they will tell you that the god of their religion answered them, but then you need to ask; if prayers are being answered whose god is doing the answering?

    I think there probably are many benefits to positive thoughts, or believing that a god is watching out for you especially when it comes to alleviating worry. It is well known that people with a positive attitude are much better off when it comes to stress related illnesses than their negative counterparts.

    All the best,
    Rose
    Hi Rose,

    I think there probably are many benefits to positive thoughts, or believing that a god is watching out for you especially when it comes to alleviating worry. It is well known that people with a positive attitude are much better off when it comes to stress related illnesses than their negative counterparts.
    As I cited in my reply to Richard several of the studies did not say anything about the patients having positive thoughts or that God was watching out for them etc. So I don't think you can use that line of reasoning to discount the article.

    Clifford

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford View Post
    Hi Rose,



    As I cited in my reply to Richard several of the studies did not say anything about the patients having positive thoughts or that God was watching out for them etc. So I don't think you can use that line of reasoning to discount the article.

    Clifford
    Hi Clifford,

    I wasn't discounting the article in respect to prayer making a difference in a persons mental well being, because I think it can...what I do wonder though is if the patients had no paticular faith or religious affiliation, why do you think generic prayer works sometimes and why do people only do better, instead of being healed?

    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi Clifford,

    I wasn't discounting the article in respect to prayer making a difference in a persons mental well being, because I think it can...what I do wonder though is if the patients had no paticular faith or religious affiliation, why do you think generic prayer works sometimes and why do people only do better, instead of being healed?

    Rose
    Hi Rose,

    The study showed it also made a difference in their physical well being too. I think in the case of the people who had no particular faith or religious affiliation it had more to do with the faith of the person praying. They did get healed. Healing doesn't necessarily mean instantly getting cured, but it also includes getting better over time too.

    Clifford

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford View Post
    Hi Rose,

    The study showed it also made a difference in their physical well being too. I think in the case of the people who had no particular faith or religious affiliation it had more to do with the faith of the person praying. They did get healed. Healing doesn't necessarily mean instantly getting cured, but it also includes getting better over time too.

    Clifford
    Hi Clifford

    My point is that praying and having faith that a person will get better is far different than asking the Christian god Yahweh to heal someone. Getting better over time is the natural way people get healed, so trying to prove that prayer was the reason for a persons gradual improvement would be an impossible study to prove.

    I do believe that faith and positive healing thoughts help the recipient of those thoughts to heal, which has nothing to do with any paticular religions god.

    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi Clifford

    My point is that praying and having faith that a person will get better is far different than asking the Christian god Yahweh to heal someone. Getting better over time is the natural way people get healed, so trying to prove that prayer was the reason for a persons gradual improvement would be an impossible study to prove.

    I do believe that faith and positive healing thoughts help the recipient of those thoughts to heal, which has nothing to do with any paticular religions god.

    Rose
    Hi Rose,

    The whole point of the studies showed that people that got prayed for improved
    quicker than those who did not receive prayer so it was something more than the body's natural healing process that was involved.

    Clifford

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