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Discussion 2 to Meditation 743
Effectiveness of prayer has not been demonstrated

by: JT

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Paleface:

I have to disagree (with one exception) with your claim that prayer can be effective, and that it has been shown to be effective. I am unaware of any properly conducted study which has shown that prayer is effective in achieving the outcome requested. The Templeton study of heart patients which was conducted with proper controls showed quite conclusively that prayer is not effective for male heart patients.

The exception is contemplative prayer which in my view has similar benefits for the person praying (not for a third party prayed for) as does meditation, a regular good night's sleep, or for me, an hour spent in quiet observation of the view from Zion's East Rim Overlook.

But other than that beneficial aspect, which is generally irrelevant to the actual object of the prayer, prayer has not been shown to be effective.

However, I will agree with you that, if prayer is effective, then it says nothing about the mechanism by which prayer might lead to the sick being healed, the paths of hurricanes changed, the drought ended, or the tidal wave dissipated. Prayer working would not prove God exists any more than prayer not working proves God does not exist.