Intercessory Prayer for the alleviation of ill healthIntercessory prayer is a very common intervention, used with the intention of alleviating illness and promoting good health. It is practised by many faiths and involves a person or group setting time aside to petition God (or a god) on behalf of another who is in some kind of need, often with the use of traditional devotional practices. Intercessory prayer is organised, regular, and committed. This review looks at the evidence from randomised controlled trials to assess the effects of intercessory prayer. We found 10 studies, in which more than 7000 participants were randomly allocated to either be prayed for, or not. Most of the studies show no significant differences in the health related outcomes of patients who were allocated to be prayed for and those who allocated to the other group.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
God's not listening, so who is talking back?
A Cochrane Review on the effectiveness of intercessory prayer on ill people has found statistically insignificant results. So if God isn’t listening, you have to wonder who is talking back to those who claim to receive His word. Could they just be hearing voices from their own imagination? Is this a mild form of psychosis?
I've often wondered about the stupidity of the Christian school praying for fine weather for their sports day while next door an equally pious farmer is praying for rain. How is even an omnipotent god going to decide that one?Image: Anglo-Saxon Jesus in the clouds by me.
The plain-language summary concludes: