A study that had a prayer, but still didn’t suceed

April 3rd, 2006

A new study on the effectiveness of intercessionary prayer in reducing complications following heart surgery seemed to show that having strangers pray for you didn’t help people recover any better than not having strangers pray for you.

(In an odd twist, viagra canada cialis patients who KNEW other people were praying for them actually fared worse than any other group in the study.)

A guest on Kathleen Dunn’s show on WPR this morning used this study as an example of why we shouldn’t mix our science and religion.

As I’ve said before, viagra I think science and relgion should just leave each other alone.

But imagine if this study HAD proven something.

What if prayer not only had a measurable effect, but it only seemed to work for a single denomination?

Maybe only Catholics got better faster.

Or Hindus.

What sort of impact would that have had on our religous beliefs?

Would it have had any at all?

Or would believers stick to their own faiths in the face of positive evidence as stubbornly as they stick to it in the face of negative evidence?

Which raises a question I’ve always been interested in: why does God work so hard to hide himself in the modern world?

In the Old Testament he spoke to us.

In the New Testament he became one of us.

When did He get so shy?

Where’s my burning bush?

Where’s my mana from heaven?

Pillars of salt? Partings of seas?

Did God suddenly become insistent on blind faith?

Or have we always just turned a blind eye to anything that disputes our faith?

(Unsurprisingly Shark and Shepherd has his own take. (A lovely one, by the way.))

Entry Filed under: Philosophy

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dean Mundy  |  April 5th, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    God has always been shy, my friend. Longer periods of time have passed without God being active in the world than those periods of time when He’s active. “God is a gentlemen” He bides his time; waiting for us to seek Him.

    I haven’t studied the study, so I can’t refute it. All I can say is that any believer knows that prayer works. Not all the time; not even the way we want it to (as I think Rick explains in Scott Walker’s case).

    Can I explain God to a non-believer? Nope. I can explain my feelings, my understandings. But if I can explain God, He seeks to be God. A wonderful coincidence for Christians, I guess.

    But thanks for your thoughts and thanks for pointing me to Rick’s post.

  • 2. Administrator  |  April 5th, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    God answers all prayers.

    Sometimes, the answer is “no.” ;)

  • 3. Nick  |  April 10th, 2006 at 8:17 am

    I wouldn’t say that God suddenly got shy. We did get George Burns.

  • 4. Administrator  |  April 10th, 2006 at 11:00 am

    I wonder if God pretended to look like George Burns when John Denver got to heaven just to screw with him? ;)

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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