Meta-studies have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is "no discernable effect" while a systemic review of studies on intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that seven of 17 studies had "small, but significant, effect sizes" but the review noted that the most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings.
The efficacy of petition in prayer for physical healing to a deity has been evaluated in numerous other studies, with contradictory results. Some attempt to heal by prayer, mental practices, spiritual insights, or other techniques, claiming they can summon divine or supernatural intervention on behalf of the ill. Others advocate that ill people may achieve healing through prayer performed by themselves.
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Faith healing has been criticized on the grounds that those who use it may delay seeking potentially curative conventional medical care. This is particularly problematic when parents use faith healing techniques on children. In , Francis Galton conducted a famous statistical experiment to determine whether prayer had a physical effect on the external environment. Galton hypothesized that if prayer was effective, members of the British Royal family would live longer, given that thousands prayed for their wellbeing every Sunday.
He therefore compared longevity in the British Royal family with that of the general population, and found no difference. Two studies claimed that patients who are being prayed for recover more quickly or more frequently although critics have claimed that the methodology of such studies are flawed, and the perceived effect disappears when controls are tightened.
One of the largest randomized, blind clinical trials was a remote retroactive intercessory prayer study conducted in Israel by Leibovici. This study used patient records from —96, and blindly assigned some of these to an intercessory prayer group. The prayer group had shorter hospital stays and duration of fever. Several studies of prayer effectiveness have yielded null results. Many believe that prayer can aid in recovery, not due to divine influence but due to psychological and physical benefits.
It has also been suggested that if a person knows that he or she is being prayed for it can be uplifting and increase morale, thus aiding recovery. See Subject-expectancy effect. Many studies have suggested that prayer can reduce physical stress, regardless of the god or gods a person prays to, and this may be true for many worldly reasons. According to a study by Centra State Hospital, "the psychological benefits of prayer may help reduce stress and anxiety, promote a more positive outlook, and strengthen the will to live.
Others feel that the concept of conducting prayer experiments reflects a misunderstanding of the purpose of prayer.
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The previously mentioned study published in the American Heart Journal indicated that some of the intercessors who took part in it complained about the scripted nature of the prayers that were imposed to them,  saying that this is not the way they usually conduct prayer:. One scientific movement attempts to track the physical effects of prayer through neuroscience. In Newberg's brain scans, monks, priests, nuns, sisters and gurus alike have exceptionally focused attention and compassion sites.
Newburg believes that anybody can connect to the supernatural with practice. Those without religious affiliations benefit from the connection to the metaphysical as well. Newberg also states that further evidence towards humans' need for metaphysical relationships is that as science had increased spirituality has not decreased. However, two hundred years later, the perception of spirituality, in many instances, appears to be gaining in strength Newberg's research also provides the connection between prayer and meditation and health.
By understanding how the brain works during religious experiences and practices Newberg's research shows that the brain changes during these practices allowing an understanding of how religion affects psychological and physical health For example, brain activity during meditation indicates that people who frequently practice prayer or meditation experience lower blood-pressure, lower heart rates, decreased anxiety, and decreased depression.
One study found that prayer combined with IVF treatment nearly doubled the number of women who were successfully pregnant, and more than doubled the number of successful implantations. Some modalities of alternative medicine employ prayer. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Prayer disambiguation. For other uses, see Pray disambiguation. For the Jesus Prayer, see Jesus Prayer. Deification Glorification Intercession Reverence Veneration.
God Divine love Divine presence Spirituality. Muslim men prostrating during prayer in a mosque. This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page. May Main article: Prayer in the Hebrew Bible.
Main article: Prayer in the New Testament. Main article: Jewish prayer.
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Main articles: Christian prayer and Christian worship. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. Main articles: Salah and Dua. Further information: Eastern religions , Meditation , and Mantra. Main article: Prayer in Hinduism.
Main article: Faith healing. Main article: Efficacy of prayer. The Christian model of dramatic conversions, based on the role-model of Paul's conversion, may also have served as a model for Western interpretations and expectations regarding "enlightenment", similar to Protestant influences on Theravada Buddhism, as described by Carrithers: "It rests upon the notion of the primacy of religious experiences, preferably spectacular ones, as the origin and legitimation of religious action. But this presupposition has a natural home, not in Buddhism, but in Christian and especially Protestant Christian movements which prescribe a radical conversion.
Both historical and ethnographic evidence suggests that the privileging of experience may well be traced to certain twentieth-century reform movements, notably those that urge a return to zazen or vipassana meditation, and these reforms were profoundly influenced by religious developments in the west [ For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' narrow chinks of his cavern. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 30 December Via Old French prier , nominalised use of the Latin adjective precaria "something obtained by entreating, something given as a favour", from precari "to ask for, entreat".
Richard C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, s. Archived from the original on This practice is known, in Yiddish , as shuckling. Quaker Information Center. Retrieved Christian theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House. In Herbermann, Charles ed. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
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January The Marian Catechists. Pacific Asia Museum. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Islam. Indianapolis, IN: Alpha Books. Netherlands Journal of Zoology. Prayer: A History. Boston: Mariner Books. University of California Press. Nova Roma.
The Concept of the Goddess , p. Anglo-Saxon Poetry. Everyman's Library Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature , p. No, I'm not at all sure about that. For one thing, if they really wanted to do something useful, they could devote their prayer time and energy to some pressing project that they can do something about" Dennett, Daniel C. In Hitchens, Christopher ed.
Philadelphia: Da Capo Press. The New York Times. New York: Twelve. The Necessity of Prayer. AGES Software. Retrieved August 26, Australian Broadcasting Company. University of Chicago Press, Macmillan, New York, , quote on p. Coughlin, p.
Oxford: Oneworld Publications. Harvard University Press, , p. Selfless Persons.