A Study of 1,802 heart bypass patients and how prayer might effect recovery, concluded with some surprising results. Those who knew they were being prayed for actually fared worse, than the other two test groups who received prayer unknowingly, and those who unknowingly received no prayer at all.
One major problem that I see in the study, is the fact that those who did the praying, had no actual contact or knowledge of those who they were praying for. In order to maintain a ‘blind’ study, the people who prayed, were only given the first name and last initial of those they were expected to pray for. See Story: www.ocregister.com /March 31, 2006/Health, www.nytimes.com /March 31, 2006/Health
This leads to a number of questions. Did the members of the prayer team actually believe in the power of prayer? Better yet, that their prayers could result in healing? Also, one wonders what God may have thought about this study–did he really like being put to the test? This could really affect the results.
Personally, I have always believed that prayer could bring healing from God. Yet there was a time in my ministry when I had very little faith that ‘my prayers’ would be effective, and most of the time they weren’t. But then there were those surprising occasions when healing really did come, and my faith was lifted to a different level. There are still times when I pray for the sick, that I feel that I am just going through the motions, but other times The Holy Spirit comes and brings compassion & faith that is well beyond my natural capacity. The results are far greater on those occasions.