Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Is This Why We Should Pray for Our Enemies?

A new scientific study on the power of prayer offers new insight regarding why we should pray for our enemies.

Keep Osama in your prayers. And with General Conference coming up, pray for those street preachers who work so hard to reach out to Mormons near Temple Square. Pray for them frequently, and kindly let them know you are praying for them. Science is on your side.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Appleton Post crescent had an article that reported that Prayer by others did not help open heart surgery patients. It also stated that those with people praying for them had a slightly higher rate of complications following surgery.

Curtis said...

This study was ridiculous in that a congregation was asked to pray for an individual for the purposes of the study. There is no control for those who pray with a sincere heart and those who pray for money or glory (were those in the praying congregations given part of the $2.4 million used on the study?). There was no control for the righteousness level of the prayer givers (remember, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much according to James). There was no control for God's will in the matter.
Overall, I'd say this study is about as informative as a study where aspirin was thrown at the back of 50% of study subject's heads in a blizzard, and yet they still sufferred heart attacks at an equal level to those who experienced only the blizzard alone.

Mormanity said...

That's an important point. To get the scientifically demonstrated benefit of an adverse health effect, perhaps the prayer needs to be insincere. Hey, that still works. Pray for Osama - just don't be sincere.

annegb said...

I pray for my enemies, and I have quite a few. When I'm really mad, I pray, "God, could you smack her really hard and let her know what a jerk she is?" Then I add, "God, could you soften my heart and help me to see her as you do, in case I'm wrong."

I mean it, that's how I do it. And it works. Usually He softens my heart, but sometimes what comes around goes around.

Stephen M. gave a good post on that idea of being kind to your enemies.

In Osama's case, I would say, "God, could you help the US to find him and bring him to justice so that he can repent?"

annegb said...

I pray for my enemies, and I have quite a few. When I'm really mad, I pray, "God, could you smack her really hard and let her know what a jerk she is?" Then I add, "God, could you soften my heart and help me to see her as you do, in case I'm wrong."

I mean it, that's how I do it. And it works. Usually He softens my heart, but sometimes what comes around goes around.

Stephen M. gave a good post on that idea of being kind to your enemies.

In Osama's case, I would say, "God, could you help the US to find him and bring him to justice so that he can repent?"

annegb said...

guess I double clicked.

How can I make that picture bigger?
gardnera@netutah.com

Ryan said...

I'm not an expert in designing studies, but it seems like there's a major confounding factor here.

65% of the study participants believed in prayer, right? Let's say that's typical, meaning that 65% of each participant's friends and family were praying for them, regardless of the participant's own thoughts on prayer.

My money's on those unsanctioned prayers, and they were completely unaccounted for.

Even if you assume that people who don't believe in prayer had no friends or family praying for them, if the 65% were distributed uniformly the effect is the same.

Or, maybe God was in a good mood and healed a few extra non-praying people to balance out the others. Did the researchers compare the group as a whole against the national average?