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Medical Professional Care

By Editorial Staff
Published December 22, 2007

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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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

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Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

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6. What about the separation of Church and State?
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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

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