Poll: How Important is Prayer To Heal What Ails You?

A majority of U.S. adults (58%) say they pray at least once a day outside of religious services, and 75% pray at least once a week, according to one study. Is prayer a panacea for healing?


On Monday, a blogger for our Palo Alto Patch , suggesting studies confirm a very strong link.

Eric Nelson reflected on several anecdotal stories in the blog:

  • Gloria Giffords, the mom of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, said she remembered a verse from Psalms when she learned of the assassination attempt on her daughter in Arizona. “Be still, and know that I am God.” "This thing came over me, like a wash of warmth, like a blanket, and I wasn't afraid,” said Gloria Giffords in an interview with the Arizona Star “I thought, wherever she is, she's intact, she's perfect, she's whole, and whether on this plane of reality or somewhere else, she's God's perfect child."
  • A chaplain suggested Andy and Donna Copeland pray for the recovery of their daughter following an injury she received in a zip-lining accident. Bacteria had entered the girl's bloodstream, and she was on the edge of death. Our blogger suggests that this prayer – and many subsequent prayers – give the Copeland’s a great deal of comfort, and is credited for a turnaround in the girl's condition. Though she’s still in intensive care, her prognosis is good.

Writes Nelson: "According to Dr. Harold Koening, Director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health, of the more than 2000 studies conducted over the last 10 years in this area, the clear majority point to a positive relationship between the spiritually uplifted mind and body. Although the research is relatively new, the link between prayer and health can be traced all the way back to the Bible."

What do you think? Is there a tangible, or intangible connection between healing and prayer? Have you ever experienced an occasion where prayer was ultimately the best antidote for a cure? Or is healing best left to medical professionals, whether Western or Eastern in their philosophy?

Let us know in your comments. Then vote in the poll below.

Brash Brazen June 24, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Religious freedom gives you the right to pray for me,not prey on me. Repent sinners !
Reed J January 03, 2013 at 07:10 AM
I too am struggling these days with the reason for all of "this". I am turning to sites that reference prayer because when I pray for strength, or peace or something that has to do with something internal to me I am comforted. I don't know God's name or his story like so many others, I only hope to know his grace. To Quasi Interested and Bren your analysis and comments don't seem to account for free will, St. Augustine's contribution to the dilemma. I am reminded of a documentary on suicide and the fact that almost every survivor to jump off the Golden Gate bridge all shared the same thought right after leaping... 'wish I didn't just do that'. How is God suppose to protect you from harming yourself when it's your choice? Evil? Nature is not evil, evil is what people do to other people. People make choices, sometimes hurtful choices. If you make it out of some dire situation, like a home invasion or a mugging then count yourself lucky. It happens, some people win the lottery and some people are pushed in front of subways. This will never change. This isn't God's will. I'll venture that God willed this isolated world into existence for us to be born, live our lives and die our deaths in. If God exists, and I do believe this, he provided us with the ability to know right from wrong and the freedom to choose and a conscience to reflect on our choices. What more do we need? We are all in this together I just wish we would act like it more often.
Barb Valley January 03, 2013 at 03:29 PM
I have seen and experienced things which cannot be explained. i have known Atheists, Druids, Wiccans and others who do not share my beliefs who are moral,ethical people. My beliefs are mine. I do not need to explain or defend them.
Barb Valley January 03, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Also, I HAVE met folks from Wyoming.
Jo Tog January 03, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Praying, like meditation, is a powerful way to heal what ails you. Taking prescription medicine to make you happy is a cop out.


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