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Medical Professionals say prayer helps

By Editorial Staff
Published April 1, 1989

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (EP) – Prayer for recovery may help the healing process, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A scientific study found that hospitalized heart patients had fewer complications when others prayed for their recovery.

The 1982-83 study was conducted by Dr. Randolph Byrd at San Francisco General Medical Center’s coronary care unit. Byrd’s study randomly assigned half of 393 patients to a control group and half to an experimental group. Members of the experimental group were prayed for by groups of three to seven born-again Christians, while members of the control group were not on the prayer lists.

Patients were not told which group they were in, and had no contact with the praying Christians. Byrd himself did not know which patients were in which group until after he evaluated their progress.

The study found that while the two groups were equally sick when they entered the hospital, patients in the experimental group had fewer complications during their stay, and were less likely to need antibiotics, diuretics, or the insertion of tubes for feeding or breathing.

Past studies have examined the efficacy of prayer by people who know the patient; this is the first controlled study in which strangers prayed for strangers.

Byrd noted that family and friends were probably praying for most of the patients in the study, blurring the distinction between the two groups. He wrote that this “may have resulted in smaller differences between the two groups.”


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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

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All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

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Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

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