When the faithful gather and lend their healing hands to one another then science gets a little less “scientific”. What do you think of using prayer? Are you a believer?
Findings reported today from a new international study of healing prayer suggest that prayer for another person’s healing just might help — especially if the one praying is physically near the person being prayed for.
Candy Gunther Brown, an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, led the study of “proximal intercessory prayer” for healing. It is available online today and will be published in the September 2010 issue of the Southern Medical Journal.
The study, titled “Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Proximal Intercessory Prayer (STEPP) on Auditory and Visual Impairments in Rural Mozambique,” measured surprising improvements in vision and hearing in economically disadvantaged areas where eyeglasses and hearing aids are not readily available.
Scientific research on intercessory prayer has in recent decades generated a firestorm of controversy, with critics charging that attempts to study the efficacy of prayer are inherently unscientific and should be abandoned because the mechanisms are poorly understood. Several studies have produced contradictory findings.
“If empirical research continues to indicate that PIP may be therapeutically beneficial, then — whether or not the mechanisms are adequately understood — there are ethical and nonpartisan public policy reasons to encourage further related research,” Brown said. “It is a primary privilege and responsibility of medical science to pursue a better understanding of therapeutic inventions that may advance global health, especially in contexts where conventional medical treatments are inadequate or unavailable.”Read more at www.newswise.com