bits from bob....

Prayer Works--Medical Evidence

by Robert J. Young
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

"...The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:15-16)

The healing power of prayer "is no longer to be regarded as just a matter of faith." So states Dr. Larry Dossey in his book, Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine (San Francisco: Harper). Dossey claims that one of the best kept secrets in medical research is that good things happen when people pray. In fact more than 250 studies exist that confirm the healthful benefits of religion. But Dossey's research plows new ground in that the benefits that come from prayer are not limited to those who pray. Some have discounted the benefits of prayer for those who pray by nothing that religion itself generally discourages unhealthy habits and often offers group support and proven mental health benefits.

Dossey says that when people pray, good things happen to those they pray for. Research is increasingly showing that people recover faster and more frequently when they are being prayed for, even if they do not know others are praying for them. Dossey's claims are more astounding because he is not a member of any religious group. Dossey calls the evidence "overwhelming," David Larson of the National Institute for Health Care Research calls the evidence "staggering."

While religious people are disagreed about the meaning and validity of the statistical data, may I share three suggestions concerning prayer.

We are focusing this year on our daily walk with God. Prayer is an essential part of that walk with God. We seek to encourage "daily walkers." It is more important to walk daily spiritually than physically. In that daily walk, remember that prayer works. Pray!!

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Last updated January 8, 2002.