The question of whether prayer works is one that is receiving a lot of attention both in the social and traditional media.
People of faith have absolutely no doubt about the effectiveness of a fervent prayer.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” according to James 5:16 (KJV).
In fact, the call to prayer is one that is entrenched and an indispensable part of the Christian faith.
On the other hand, nonbelievers will pass off prayers as a feel good exercise and at best a placebo.
Dr. Jacqueline E. Campbell, a family physician, university lecturer, and pharmacologist in an article in the jamaicaobserver.com noted the following:
Many years ago my father developed a huge lump at the back of his neck. He was examined on more than one occasion by a surgeon and scheduled for surgery. As he prepared himself mentally to undergo the procedure, my grandmother (mummy’s mother) decided to put the matter in different hands. She declared that he would not be having any surgery and she, along with others, prayed for him.
When he presented himself for surgery, the lump, to the amazement of the surgeon who had examined him the previous day, had totally disappeared.
So what is prayer? It can be described, in the broadest sense, as thoughts, words, or deeds that address or petition a divine entity. Prayer has been categorized by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health as a mind-body intervention designed to enhance the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function.
Prayer is the most common complement to mainstream medicine far outpacing acupuncture, herbs, vitamins, and other alternative remedies. It is one of the most prevalent forms of healing.
Marcia Wright, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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