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Our email address is editor @realization.org.

Copyright 2002 Realization.org.


Prayer and Medicine

Several scientific studies have been done to determine whether praying for sick people helps them get better. (This is sometimes called intercessory prayer.) So far, the evidence suggests that it does, even when the sick people don't know that someone is praying for them.

In addition, at least one study has shown that prayer can increase a woman's chance of becoming pregnant.

These studies have been published in legitimate, peer-reviewed journals.


A Randomized, Controlled Trial of the Effects of Remote, Intercessory Prayer on Outcomes in Patients Admitted to the Coronary Care Unit
By William S. Harris, Ph.D.; Manohar Gowda, M.D.; Jerry W. Kolb, M.Div.; Christopher P. Strychacz, Ph.D.; James L. Vacek, M.D.; Philip G. Jones, M.S.; Alan Forker, M.D.; James H. O'Keefe, M.D.; Ben D. McCallister, M.D.
This is probably the most rigorous study to date. Published in October 1999, it examined about a thousand heart patients and found a positive effect even though the patients didn't know people were praying for them. From Archives of Internal Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Assocation. The full text is on the web. This paper has a bibliography of previous research studies.

Does Prayer Influence the Success of in Vitro Fertilization-Embryo Transfer?: Report of a Masked, Randomized Trial
By Kwang Y. Cha, M.D., Daniel P. Wirth, J.D., M.S., and Rogerio A. Lobo, M.D.
When intercessory prayers were offered, women's chances of becoming pregnant were twice as great. From Journal of Reproductive Medicine, September 2001.

God On Their Side
By Nell Boyce
A summary for general readers of the paper at the top of this list. From the New Scientist. This article requires registration (the site offers a free seven-day registration).

This page was published on February 2, 2000 and last revised on October 25, 2001.


Copyright 2002 Realization.org