CONCLUSION: No scientific study has yet satisfactorily proved the efficacy of prayer. The question one might pose is: Does the efficacy of prayer have to be scientifically proved? For what purpose? Will the majority of mankind change its praying habits on the basis of the results (positive or negative) of such a study?The Bible and the Talmud are rich sources of religious and scientific material. Prayer in Judaism is thought to be efficacious if offered by the proper person at the proper time with the proper intent under the proper circumstances.
The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
The seven survivors of a shipwreck, involving ten men, were interviewed within a few days of rescue. They had been floating in a rubber raft for 9 days and had thereafter been on an isolated rocky beach for four days. Three of the men walked through dense bush to obtain help. Rescue came on the thirteenth day. The purpose of the authors' examination was to identify those behaviours which the survivors reported as helping them to cope during their ordeal. The most prominent of these were attachment ideation, drive to survive, modelling, prayer and hope.
Drugs used in the management of pregnancy-induced hypertension have been reviewed, and their value and adverse effects on both mother and fetus have been considered. Although magnesium and hydralazine remain the stalwarts of therapy, a number of other drugs have potential that may be realized in the future. Several new medications have promise in correcting the derangements of toxemia, but safety for the fetus has yet to be demonstrated.
The British Journal of Psychiatry: The Journal of Mental Science
A description is given of the coping behaviour of seven men who survived a shipwreck and were not rescued until 13 days later. The principal behaviours shown by the men were attachment ideation, drive to survive, modelling, prayer and hope. Particular attention is paid to the first of these, and consideration given to its likely origins in behavioural evolution. It is proposed as a hitherto inadequately recognized coping behaviour.
This study of 106 elderly Central Missourians examines religious behavior as an indication of "disengagement." It is argued that religiosity must be measured in both organizational forms such as attending religious services and the more subjective nonorganizational forms including prayer and listening to religious services and music on radio and television before an assessment of "disengagement" is made. Following Hochschild (1975) it is argued that from the perspective of researchers and others it may appear "engaged".
Terminally ill persons and their families will communicate their own prayer needs to healing persons who are attending carefully. A number of guidelines may also be helpful to healers in developing the personal characteristics needed to minister effectively and in determining when and how to pray with patients.
All persons who serve the Lord through their work in a health care facility should be considered healers and need to be made aware of the special charisms in healing. Among the means of accomplishing this are pastoral department input into new staff orientation, periodic workshops recalling the Church's commitment to healing, special days of recollection, Masses, Bible services, scriptural sharings, and prayer groups. Especially meaningful may be a ceremoney in which individuals are anointed with oil to dedicate them to the charisms of their particular tasks.
The value of the church as a psychological support system in the daily lives of many people is taken for granted. Yet, assiduous attention has not been paid to the specific mechanisms which churches may use to achieve this end. Even less attention has been given to black churches, particularly those which are independent institutions, with a loose regional or national affiliation to the well-known major denominations that allows the maintenance of the church's own autonomy.
This article has attempted to show the relevance of faith and prayer to the healing arts. Whilst its frame of reference differs from that of the medical scientist, its application is not incompatible with conventional medical practice. It springs from a belief that all healing ultimately resides with God, who acts through divinely appointed laws to energize the natural healing processes of the body. Through faith and prayer, attunement is possible with God resulting in an energy flow to the patient. This belief is supported by scientific evidence.