IS PRAYER GOOD MEDICINE?
The May 1995 Journal of the American Medical Association contained an article entitled, “Should Physicians Prescribe Prayer for Health?” In recent years several hundred studies have been done concerning the relationship of prayer/religious lifestyle and health. Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D., former chief of staff at Humana Medical City Dallas and former co-chair of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, in his book Prayer is Good Medicine, shares some of the findings of surveys and research.
“When we investigate prayer scientifically we can show only that it works, not how or why it works. This means there is a threshold beyond which science cannot pass. These limits are illustrated in the following interchange between a science professor and the student-candidate he was examining:
Examiner: What is electricity?
Candidate: Oh, sir, I’m sure I have learn’t what it is – I’m sure I did know – but I’ve forgotten.
Examiner: How very unfortunate. Only two persons have ever known what electricity is, the Author of Nature and yourself. Now one of them has forgotten!
Science raises more questions about prayer than it answers. Science cannot measure the unmeasurable.” P. 20, 21
“Recent surveys show that 75 percent of patients believe their physicians should address spiritual issues as part of medical care, and 50 percent want their doctor to pray not just for them but with them. . . ‘Statistically, God is good for you,’ says David B. Larson, M.D., of the National Institute for Healthcare Research in Rockville, Maryland, which studies the relationship between spirituality and health. Larson, a former senior researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, says, ‘I was told by (medical school) professors that religion is harmful. Then I looked at the research, and religion is actually highly beneficial. If you to to church or pray regularly, it’s very beneficial in terms of preventing illness, mental and physical, and you cope with illness much more effectively. If you look at the research, in area after area, it’s 80 percent beneficial. I was shocked.’” P. 2,3
“A recent survey by Dr. David B. Larson and his colleagues at the National Institute for Healthcare Research in Rockville, Maryland, found that 43 percent of American physicians pray for their patients.”
For better health, why not try praying to the Creator God who knows all about us?
-- Wayne Young