The Power of Prayer and the Placebo Effect

I am curious why the power of prayer and the placebo effect are not being explored more fully. There are studies that show people in hospitals have better results when they are prayed for and / or believe the treatment they are receiving will help them.

Um, why would anyone want to pooh-pooh that? Especially without further research? I find it fascinating that someone somewhere can pray for people in the hospital and there be a result that wasn’t expected. If I were running a hospital, I’d do a study on the results if people were hired to pray made the same difference.

If hired prayers made the same or greater difference, I’d be the first hospital to do so.

And on the placebo effect, I would study how serious the condition vs the belief in the treatment. How far could we take the sugar pill? I’m not saying stop doing research on the medicines that do work. I’m saying study what the patient believes.

Does the patient have to know about the prayer to make a difference? And does the patient have to start with the belief in the treatment? Can doctors effect change the outcome if they change the outlook of the patent? Can their statement, “you are getting better.” make it true? Or truer?

When my ex-husband had his first heart attack, I met my daughter at the hospital. To tell you the truth, I went for her. He had made life so difficult for us that I wouldn’t have gone for him.

We sat in the waiting room, until he was out of surgery. They had put in a stint. It went well. Since I do believe in prayer, I prayed quietly. I had started praying as soon as I got the call. I have turned to prayer most of my life, especially when I don’t know what else to do. I feel like I’m doing something useful.

Before we left the hospital, we were able to see him. Several of his friends showed up and we all traipsed in, totally disregarding the rules. I figured I didn’t need to go in the room for there were too many people and as an ex, I might make things worse.

However, my daughter got mad that I would leave without saying good-bye. So I took my turn going into the room. The nurse was at his bedside, trying to do something. I couldn’t tell but I could tell our group had outgrown our welcome.

So I kept it short. Told him hello, and to get better. He replied and then shifted to get more comfortable. He seemed less agitated.

And as I left, I was less agitated. I think the power of prayer helps the pray-er as much as the pray-ee. We may never know. I’m not sure there’s a study on that.

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