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Mar 31 2006
scientific study finds no prayer benefit to cardiac patients

The largest study of its kind has finally been completed after years of research. Seeking to find whether there is a benefit to intercessory prayer (others praying for you), the study compared a control group which did not have prayers with TWO other groups, one that had people praying for them but did not know it and one that knew that people were praying for them. In this large study, the group which had prayers but did not know it did no better than the control, and the group that knew they were being prayed for did worse.

For more details see this NYT article.

Of course, although the results themselves seem beyond question (the study was carefully done, monitored and controlled), what it MEANS (as with any statistical study) is open to interpretation. Some argue that this just goes to show that you cannot test religion with science. Of course, to me, it demonstrates quite clearly the fact that praying for someone else to get better is not actually going to help them get better. If you really want to do some good for a sick loved one, there are probably more useful things you could be doing with your time.


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