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  1. This is a really interesting article. Spiritual healing is a very mysterious art to me, but it is also really interesting, I think. The experiment you did was good, but I don’t know if you can really test something like this? Maybe you can, I don’t know, but I have heard a lot of good things about spiritual healing.

  2. I have been practicing reiki since 1994 and received reiki in the early 90’s for the first time. I know it was helpful to me innitially and continues to be twenty years later. I have offered and sent reiki to many people over the years and have received gifts in the mail with thanks. Whether psychological or not, it almost always seems to work. I have not charged for this service ever as I have a full-time position and have used reiki most often for myself, family and friends. I strongly believe in the power of prayer. I have asked for prayers when I’ve been ill. I seem to be able to feel the difference with and without prayer. I accept prayer from anyone willing to send prayer. I’m Indigenous to the United States and believe in traditional practices and prayers to the creator and I will take prayers from Christian, Bahai, Muslem, Budhist, Jewish, Pagans, Athiest or Agnostics sending good thoughts.

  3. Working with people in poverty experiencing addictions, mental and physical illness, PTSD vets, as well as the grieving depressed, we find prayer as a starting point. In all the material I have read and considered, even the above mentioned, our experience with prayer has been modeled from the Bible. James 5:16 “The effective prayers of a righteous man can accomplish much.” Our prayers here are directed to The Living God described in the Bible. The results of our prayers here at the mission are unexplained by science.

    • I am very encouraged by your posting! Thank you!!

    • For the best research on the relationship between prayer, other faith practices, and physical / mental health, look for studies done by people trained at the Duke University Institute on Spirituality, Theology and Health. Harold Koenig there has been doing wonderful work training researchers for a decade or so.

  4. I have been reading a really great book titled, “A Country Where All Colors Are Sacred and Alive” by Geoffrey Oelsner and have learned the possibility that we can have some degree of positive impact on environmental well-being through prayer, meditation, attunement to nature, and so forth. Pretty interesting information that I strongly agree with.

  5. It is pointless to attempt to evaluate the efficacy of prayer scientifically. Science and religion are
    worlds apart. Faith and “proof” are at odds. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. God
    works miracles. Saints work miracles. Period. You are fools, the whole lot of you!

  6. I like the way you have contextualised this study with others, rather than leaving it standing alone as you often do. And you have also shown its huge flaw, in the unblinding. As we know, single studies mean very little, and are merely an invitation for the sine qua non of science, namely whether the results are replicable especially by those with an opposite hypothesis. We psychologists know this, and many others don’t, and I think it’s important not to flag a study as meaning anything, except something to be examined again. It seems to me most of the people on this list are not psychologists, and have no idea of the importance of studies being replicated.
    People want to believe in the unbelievable and, I need a critical review of the studies before anything is of interest to me. I await the seminar tomorrow.

  7. In response to Heidi Seagle. The plethora of books concerning “spooky action at a distance” (A. Einstein) is almost overwhelming; McTaggert seems to have the skill to pull a lot of seemingly disparate information together and discuss the wholistic underpinnings.
    However, if one can tolerate the exquisite detail, there is really only one book available with plausible science: Life Force, The Scientific Basis, by Claude Swanson, PhD. A tough read, but as close as anyone has gotten to a reasonable answer for most people interested in psychoneuroimmunology, PSI, and Quantum Mechanics, sans the religious whiff.
    And to Marie holistic therapist, do you honestly dismiss Spindrifts research ? To say nothing of Targ’s extensive and very practical work? (both father and daughter) calling it a, “questionable body of work”. Have you read that stuff ?
    An then reference that zenith of scientific knowledge: The Skeptics Dictionary, . . come on.

  8. It seems to me that there will always be an element of mystery when it comes to prayer, and matters of the soul and spirit… We as humans have an insatiable desire to question, to explore, to define and understand.This certainly has been and is beneficial. However, I believe that our God,Source,the Universe, Great One… is SO much more vast, and beyond our comprehension that our research designs, will never completely be able to define the limits, the essence of that which is limitless and that which is based on loving relationship with us.
    As we look back at the history of medicine, we see that we are aided AND limited by the tools(studies, instruments) that we had and have…. microscope, XRay, CT, MRI, PET… progress? Yes. Still limited in the ability to grasp the mystery of the whole human… body mind and spirit… YES! Thank God!

    • I appreciate the acknowledgment of our God, Source, and Power who is of this mysterious spiritual realm, and the One to whom we can pray. He can make the unnatural and impossible happen in answer to prayer. How amazing that He would respond to us! And what hope!

  9. As a New Thought spiritual councilor, we believe that everything is connected to the greater Power.
    Therefore when we pray we believe there is no seperation between the one praying and the one we are praying for, and the One Infinite Source of Life. We see healings all the time.

  10. I am the U.S. coordinator for a system of energy healing called Life Alignment that I use as a form of body centered psychotherapy in my practice. I also teach this at Holos University. I have many examples of the efficacy of distance healing.
    The latest one is a man in Las Vegas whom I’ve never met who has frequently been hospitalized for excruciating pain. The physicians are baffled as to what is going on with him. He was referred to me by a mutual friend. The man and I have never met and so far, I’ve worked on him three times over the phone.
    He reports that he has significantly reduced pain, is taking fewer pain meds, has improved sleep and hasn’t been to the emergency room for pain since we have begun working together.

    • Hello, I have been alone for 4 years now. I live by myself and miss fmelae company, but more importantly someone to share my life with.I meet different people each day but feel unsure about reaching out. I always look for ways to help others in my day to life.I would love to meet someone I am attracted to both internally and physically. I feel so sad with Christmas coming as I don’t want to spend another Christmas alone.It may sound shallow. But I am not perfect and don’t want perfect, only perfect for me. I have certain likes and dislikes. Someone I can be just myself with and they with me. But I believe in my heart the person I do choose, if I truly take care of their heart and support their desires to be a better person and help them fulfill their dreams as much as I have many dreams, I think God would be pleased at the end of my life.I would love to have a child, my heart feels so sad when I see couples with children. I know a child is a life commitment and I want to share parenthood.Please pray for me.Thank you!Lawrence F.

  11. Last year I was introduced, quite unexpectedly, to a book entitled Spindrift: A Journey Into Prayer, by Bill Sweet.
    The book details the rigorously scientific experiments of two Christian Science practitioners, a father and son team (Bruce and John Klingbeil), into the efficacy of two approaches to intercessory prayer: goal directed, in which the prayer asks for that which he or she thinks is indicated, and quality directed, in which the prayer focuses on whatever the recipient might need, with no attachment to outcome. The outcomes of their research were enlightening, even alarming to some, on many levels. Please look into this publication for an eye-opening account of how prayer is viewed and used by various interests.

  12. Some years back, a small group met once a month.. We met with the specific intention of praying for healing. We had a list of 10 names each time – sometimes the names were the same, sometimes a completely new list. Everyone on that list had been personally asked if they wanted to be prayed for, and made aware of the timeframe the prayers would be offered. The group was not made aware of any details of illnesses, depressions etc relating to these people. Only their names. The names came from around the world, not just locally. As it was a small private group, the people requesting healing prayers were known to someone in that group. It was not uncommon for someone who was prayed for to let their friend/acquaintance/colleague know that they ‘felt’ ‘sensed’ something change in themselves around the time of the prayer group gathering abeit at times just a feeling of peacefulness, support, caring come over them. I cannot quantify, nor qualify the hows, wheres, whats. Simply to know there was some connection between the recipients and the prayers.
    All I can offer is the thought that where a group gathers and forms ‘a container of intention’ there seems to be an expansion/increase in the energy generated from the collective concentration. To set parameters or a control group presupposes conditions and perhaps ‘limits’ any ‘results, by virtue of assuming there will be results. Prayer, by it’s very nature is ‘limitless’ and invites with it the intangible: faith.

    • Divine Mother Azna, Please pray for me and my family, I have been pryaing to God to win or hit the Florida Fantasy five because this is the only way, that we will be able to afford a new car, we got all kinds of debts and to win the Lottery will really help us now in Jesus name. And the reason I have been pryaing to God to hit the lottery is because I have arthritis in my right knees which the bad one and I have it in my left knee, also and I am constantly in a lot of pain and I don’t want to have surgery, so I have been pryaing to God for healing in both. So I need a car because I am not really have a hard time catching the bus, and I really don’t know much about the buses. Thank you in Jesus name. It’s really hard for me pray for us.

  13. Doubt with questioning is good. Skepticism is always saying “yeah, but”. There are so many pharmaceutical experiments that have holes in it. In 75% of the studies “scientists” are paid for by the companies who will profit by certain outcomes. Yet we buy into their pronouncements hook, line and sinker.
    It’s good to question. But stay open to things that aren’t so easy to prove beyond a doubt. Take the “God” out of prayer and acknowledge that this universe is made of electrical magnetic fields. We cannot see them with our eyes, but like radio or tv waves in the air, the are capable of bringing sound and images with the proper equipment. I’ve not been a prayer, yet you can be sure that I will be making prayer a part of my day. May all be happy, may all realize what is good, may all be actuated by nobel thoughts, may Suzie’s cancer cells be swallowed up by the healthy cells that surround it….. And may NICABM keep stimulating discussion and exploration about things that seem outrageous, but so many of us know bring health and well being to so many people.

  14. As a New Thought minister, we strongly believe in the power of prayer. Spirit, through my prayer work, has healed dozens of people from things such as: rectal cancer, liver cancer, sight loss, fatigue, breast cancer and all types of diagnosis. I strongly believe in this, but it must be done by someone who has a consciousness of health.
    Blessings to all.

  15. I appreciate this blog and especially the somatic, body-mind and spiritual aspects that you help introduce clinicians to in order to enhance their work. I integrate the three in my work, and enjoy the resources you share. However, I am a little surprised that you’d cite research on intercessory prayer when the whole body of research surrounding it is mostly unsound. The Skeptic’s Dictionary has a very thorough write-up on the topic, which includes Targ’s controversial article:
    I am not saying that prayer doesn’t help (some of my clients find solace and strength in it, as a contemplative practice that helps to ground and focus them – similar to mindfulness, but with a different intent), only that I think there are better ways to introduce the topic of spirituality than by citing a questionable body of work…

    • At last! Something clear I can unrdsdtane. Thanks!

    • While serving in the Army, I contcarted a severe case of Poison Ivy. I telephoned a Christian Science Minister stationed at the post to ask for his assistance. Upon seeing me, he said, So, what’s the matter? I should have been very obvious, since I was pretty much covered with open sores on arms, legs and face. Then he said, “I don’t see anything wrong. What he was saying, was that he was striving to see the perfect God like man, not the matter based human concept. We talked at some length about the perfection of God’s creation and how I had only that image to reflect. By the next day, all traces of the sores were gone and I had my complete freedom. No lotions. No medication. Just absolute Christian Science treatment.This was in 1967. No further trouble since the situation was handled completely and forever.

  16. i’m wondering about the relevance here of the books by Lynne McTaggart – ‘The Field’, ‘The Intention Experiment’ and ‘The Bond’.