By Ian Olver
This ebook relates the event of discovering, making plans, and engaging in a systematic research into intercessory prayer (prayer for others). the aim of the learn was once to envision even if the impression of prayer should be measured in a proper research, in accordance with the big variety of anecdotal studies of efficacy. The research used to be a prospectively randomized double-blind trial that further prayer via a longtime Christian prayer workforce to traditional treatment for melanoma. the original layout function used to be that the first endpoint was once a metamorphosis in a confirmed scale of non secular wellbeing and fitness. The sufferers have been knowledgeable that they have been partaking in a examine approximately religious health and caliber of existence yet remained blinded to the intervention. The preliminary commentary from the baseline information was once that religious wellbeing and fitness made a different contribution to caliber of existence. the ultimate consequence of the learn was once that there has been a statistically major distinction in religious overall healthiness favoring the prayer crew. The heritage encompasses a interesting overview of the clinical literature at the subject, which includes optimistic and detrimental reviews that every draws a full of life debate approximately technique, endpoints, and no matter if metaphysical phenomena can or may be studied utilizing medical method. The complementary and substitute drugs literature can also be equivocal as to if prayer, arguably the most typical complementary clinical remedy, can be incorporated within the variety of interventions grouped less than that heading. as well as reporting the historical past and result of the examine, the ebook explores the reactions of various participants to the trial, all of which support give some thought to the character of prayer.
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Extra resources for Investigating Prayer: Impact on Health and Quality of Life
The result was that the study did not show improvement in treatment outcomes with the addition of intercessory prayer. This was the case even if those patients who knew someone external was praying for them were excluded, although the numbers were becoming very small. If prayer works, exclusion of patients who are being prayed for externally makes it more likely to be able to measure the impact of the prayer offered as part of the trial. However, those participants who knew someone was praying for them were drinking more than the others at 6 months.
The authors then discuss the merits of performing such studies. In responding to the suggestion that it is not ideal for the church to appeal to science to test theology, or that prayer is not amenable to scientific enquiry, or perhaps the argument that such studies are testing God, they simply state that these arguments are confusing the spiritual act of prayer, which is not being investigated, with measurement of its mental and physical consequences, which is the aim of the studies. They later discuss that there is a communication barrier between science and religion in that the requirements of science which include control groups and unbiased observers are irrelevant to the religious believer.
Well, the numbers in this study are very small to expect definitive results either way. One explanation for this negative result of prayer is that with the knowledge that patients are being prayed for, they may make no personal effort to recover, leaving the hard work to a higher 40 2 Studies of Prayer as a Complementary Therapy authority, God. Another possibility is that it suggests that there may be a higher participation in social networks for those prayed for, which could have a complex interaction on recovery from alcohol dependence.
Investigating Prayer: Impact on Health and Quality of Life by Ian Olver