Perspectives on Praying for Healing

By Mark S. Berger

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA), Spring 2002

This piece looks at different perspectives on prayer as it relates to healing. The author tries to answer the question of whether it is appropriate to include prayers for recovery of one's patients in the prayers of the community and whether praying for those who are ill actually helps them. Using the results of a clinical trial, which attempted to test the efficacy of prayer, the trial finds that patients who were prayed for had significantly lower Coronary Care Unit (CCU) scores (a measurement that summarized the events found in a blinded chart review), than those who had to get better on their own. The author however notes that there were problems with the study including the fact that what happened to the patients in the CCU was not a validated measure and may not actually reflect the seriousness of the patient's hospital course, among other problems. The author concludes by questioning whether all prayers for the ill need to be directly efficacious in order to be of religious value.

Topic: Methodology, Prayer, Health and Healing, Study

Name of Publication: The Reconstructionist

Editor: Hirsh, Richard

Volume/Issue: Vol. 66/No. 2

Page Number(s): 79-82

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Berger, Mark S. Perspectives on Praying for Healing. The Reconstructionist. Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA). Spring 2002: 79-82.


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