The headline reads “Study fails to show healing power of prayer.”
Has science proven that prayer makes no difference? Here are a few preliminary thoughts:
- God cannot be put in a box. I believe He acts in answer to prayer, but as He pleases, and not necessarily to prove Himself through a $2.4 million scientific study.
- Praying to God is not like giving Him our Christmas gift wish.
- All pray-ers prayed a standard prayer. I’m not necessarily opposed to written prayers, but it would be interesting to know what that standard prayer was. In addition, the pray-ers were free to pray additional prayers. It would be interesting to know what those prayers were, though of course there is no way of knowing.
- Two of the groups that prayed for the patients were Roman Catholic. I don’t have a big problem with that. The “Protestant” group was unitarian. I do have a problem with that.
- I’ve never been too excited about TV evangelists who ask their viewers to send in their prayer requests, with the assurance that they will be prayed for. I can picture a large pile of envelopes with a generic “God bless these prayer requests” kind of prayer. Were these prayers any more heart-felt?
- Certainly some in the “not prayed for” group were prayed for by friends, relatives, doctors, nurses, or themselves. What impact did this have on the results?
We (those with faith in Christ) have all prayed, and seen powerful answers to prayer. Not every time, but that is OK—God knows better than us. I don’t think this “scientific” study is going to shake the faith of those whose trust is in God and his powerful sovereignty.
Grace and Peace