Research on the Healing Power of Distant Intercessory Prayer: Disconnect Between Science and Faith

Volume
Volume 33
Issue
Winter 2005
Title
Research on the Healing Power of Distant Intercessory Prayer: Disconnect Between Science and Faith
Abstract

Interest in non-medical treatments for illness has grown exponentially in recent years as evidenced by the expansion of health psychology and establishment of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. One particular area of research that has generated attention and even enthusiasm from the media and Christian groups alike is distant intercessory prayer (IP) for healing. Several double blind, randomized, controlled studies have examined whether a statistically significant effect can be found when prayed for groups are compared with controls. The central premise of this article is these studies lack any theological or rational theoretical foundation and consequently produce non-interpretable findings. It is further argued that the experimental methods of science are based on important assumptions that render them ill-equipped to study divine intervention. As a result IP studies are seen as a distraction from more appropriate work that should be done in the areas of religion and health.

Author
Dr. K.S. Masters
Pages
268 - 277
Price
Add to Cart $5.00