The Healing Prayer Question

Posted: November 16, 2017 in Experiences, On Philosophy, Science and Religion
Tags: , , ,

Consider this:

Suppose there were 5 people, all the same age and in the same state of health, who were diagnosed with the same terminal illness that had progressed to the same degree. All were expected to die.

Person 1 has a church full of devout Christians praying for them.

Person 2 has a their Synagogue praying the Mi Sheberach healing prayer for them every day.

Person 3 has everyone in their Mosque praying for them.

Person 4 has every Shinto priest in Japan praying that the ancestors heal them.

Person 5 has there most devoted atheist friends visiting and comforting them each day and hoping for healing.

Would there be a difference in the outcome of the illness for each of these 5 people?

I know what I think and it may not be what you expect. But, I’m not going to tell you until you tell me what you think. If you are willing to play then comment on this post and answer this;

1. Would there be a difference in the outcome of the illness for each person?

2. Why?

3. If you answered question 2 by saying that God, Spirit, the universe, the ancestors, whatever, intervenes in what happens then do the people with the illness deserve what happens to them and why would that “higher power” choose to help some but not others?

I’ll tell you what I think in another post. Right now I want to give you a voice.

  1. Cindy Doak says:

    There was a study done about this – see this link for more details. One set was told that people would be praying for their recovery and one set was told no one was praying for them. The set without those praying for them had significantly better outcomes so I always tell people, please don’t pray for me. I suppose it depends on how each individual views the power of prayer. If you are one who believes prayer will help, than perhaps it will because it is a matter of mind over matter. For me, I don’t believe that prayer has any effect so it isn’t of any help to me.

  2. Kendall Auel says:

    As an atheist, I first have to say “there most devoted” should be possessive. And studies have shown that people who correct grammar are generally antisocial. Thus, the crowd of friends might be very small. But surely having visitors come would provide more psychological strength than people in a place of worship offering prayers.

    My brother-in-law who is Jewish visited me multiple times after a personal tragedy. It was extremely beneficial – and I think in part a religious tradition for him. There is a lot we can gain in our society by studying and applying ancient traditions, including gathering in groups to focus our love and support toward people in need. And… actually visiting and sitting with someone who is suffering.

  3. Great question! I’m running out the door but hope to come back and respond later!! Nicky

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