Praying for the healing of others, especially if they are right next to you, might just produce a real healing effect. A scientific study, led by Professor Candy Gunther Brown of the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, of the effects of praying for the healing of a person nearby will be published in the September 2010 issue of the Southern Medical Journal.
The study focused on healing groups in Brazil and Mozambique because of their reputation for being quite effective. These groups pray in particular for improvements in vision and hearing, and they produce measurable results, which is better for a scientific assessment than simply noting that someone says they feel better. The study noted that the improvements measured were significantly more substantial than those found in studies of suggestion or hypnosis.
Unfortunately, the study only focused on the results, not the process. So, we are still left to wonder HOW praying for someone in front of you, or laying hands upon an afflicted person while praying for them, effects a change. Is it divine intervention, some bioelectric process, a freakishly strong placebo effect, or something else entirely?
Some might say it doesn’t matter how it works, as long as it does, but I disagree. If there is any scientific process to it that could be refined and replicated, that could produce a profound benefit for many. If it’s really a matter of faith and divine healing, fine, but wouldn’t that be fascinating to know? Can it occur with all faiths? What about athiests?
What do you think of the power of prayer for healing?