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The Power Of Prayer In Heart Coronary Care Patients
The prestigious journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, 1999;159:2273-2278, published a study regarding prayer. Over a twelve-month period, William S. Harris, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, studied the value of intercessory prayer insofar as how it affected 990 people who were admitted to a coronary care unit.
The goal of the researchers was to determine whether intercessory prayer (prayer without the knowledge of the one being prayed for) would affect the patients. At the time the patients were admitted, each of them was randomly assigned to one of two groups. In general, half of them were assigned to Group-1, in which they were prayed for daily for 28 days by volunteers who believed in the healing power of prayer. The other half were assigned to Group-2, in which no prayer was offered.
None of the patients knew the study was being conducted and the volunteers never met the person they were praying for-they never even visited the hospital. The intercessors prayed for "a speedy recovery with no complications" and anything else that seemed appropriate. The only information that they had was the patient's first name.
The researchers studied the data using a scale that considers negative health events such as infection, pneumonia or even death, and concluded that the group that was prayed for scored eleven percent better than the control group. They concluded that "remote, intercessory prayer…may be an effective adjunct to standard medical care."