The Best Yet -
Study of prayer efficacy by a psychiatrist...
Psychiatrist Elisabeth Targ's initial study said "YES - all 10 prayed for Aids patients survived, 10 unprayed for died" .
Later investigation show how flawed the study was. Another study by same researcher showed prayer was important. Turns out she cooked the results - changed the tested hypothesis after seeing the data.
Read all about it here: >http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.12/prayer.html?pg=1&topic=&topic_set=
The New York Times wrote this
"In a large and much touted scientific study, one group of patients was told that strangers would pray for them, a second group was told strangers might or might not pray for them, and a third group was not prayed for at all. The $2.4 million study found that the strangers' prayers did not help patients' recovery."
In fact, there wasn't even a placebo effect. The people who knew that they were being prayed for actually did worse than the others.
The Boston Globe
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2005/07/25/a_prayer_for_health/ points out:
"A review of 17 past studies of ''distant healing," … found no significant effect for prayer or other healing methods."
USA Today article http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2004-02-09-cancer_x.htm finds....
"A positive attitude does not improve the chances of surviving cancer and doctors who encourage patients to keep up hope may be burdening them, according to the results of research."
We see this every day:
People who pray die of diseases at exactly the same rate as people who don't pray.
People who pray get divorced at exactly the same rate as people who don't pray.
People who pray win the lottery at the same rate as people who don't pray.
PsychOrg.netPrayers don't help heart surgery patients; Some fare worse when prayed for
says http://www.physorg.com/news63551345.html PsychOrg.Net
God only "intervenes" in a way that exactly follows the natural laws of probability.