This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Biology Of Prayer And Healing

1033 words - 4 pages

The Biology of Prayer and Healing

“When we set ourselves to the work of collecting or re-collecting
the scattered pieces of ourselves, we begin a task which,
if carried to its natural conclusions,
ultimately becomes prayer.”


Science and Faith: Freud, one of the most well respected researchers of the human experience, claims that religion is a “universal neurosis that civilization substitutes for a more authentic personal reality based on scientific knowledge” (Jones and Butman, 1991, 77). Thus, to presume that illness and healing have anything to do with spirituality is absurd.

Testability: Prayer and faith have no universal method of testing. Nor can it be proven that prayer is effective, for who can determine what is efficacious if one is dealing with a divine being? “If people do not receive what is construed to be an immediate positive response to a petition, should they immediately deduce that prayer was ineffective or unanswered? . . . Can the intricacies and complexities of God’s response to prayer be adequately and accurately observed and measured?” (Chamberlin, 2000, 31)

Operational Definitions

Even though religious practices and experiences seem too subjective to quantify and describe, if they are to be used as test material, scientific research demands salient classifications for the factors it seeks to study.

Religion: the “service of progress using cumulative traditions of past and depending on reenactment of belief as true” (Chamberlin, 2000, 10)

Faith: the trust in a human quest for relation to transcendence (Fowler, 1991).
Faith Development: the process of “finding and making meaning as a human activity” and the subsequent growth in self and other awareness one experiences (Fowler , 1991, 17).

Prayer: from the Latin precari meaning “to entreat,” it is hardly definable in words, as it begins in the unconscious and takes on a different form for each participant. For all intents and purposes, prayer in this discussion simply means a non-local language that says something about who we are and where our destiny may be (Dossey, 1993, 6).

Prayer Treatment: the practice of people praying for someone else. This does not imply medical or surgical treatments may not also be prescribed.


• The first accepted study correlating prayer to physical health was Collipp (1969), who followed eighteen terminally ill children. Ten were selected to be prayed for by Protestant Christians, while the other eight had no known prayer for their healing. The people praying only knew the names, genders, and basic conditions of those for whom they were praying. Neither the children, nor their families, nor the doctors were informed of the prayer treatment. After fifteen months, seven of the ten children receiving prayer treatment were alive, while only two of the eight not receiving treatment survived.

• Byrd (1988) retested Collipp’s findings with a larger sample. 393 patients in the...

Find Another Essay On The Biology of Prayer and Healing

Healing By Prayer: What Is It and What Are Its Ramifications?

1122 words - 5 pages Healing by Prayer: What is it and What are it ramifications? Healing, that is the process of restoring health to an organism, literally to make whole again. This is a process that has been performed for many years, by many different means. Since before time was recorded people have been finding new ways to heal each other. A person gets sick or broken, and they want to be healed. That is the way of human nature. Healing can happen in almost

The Placebo Response and the Power of Unconscious Healing

1691 words - 7 pages The art and science of medicine is a continuously growing field of knowledge. In spite of the vast developments that have transpired through the ages in the history of healing, scientists have barely uncovered everything there is to know about how the healthy body functions and how it reacts to disease. We cannot assume that what we know now is sufficient to solve our common problems in health or that in some cases, there is no remedy for yet

Prayer and Fasting: Traditions That Cross the Barriar of Religions

1501 words - 6 pages and believe that God revealed himself to the patriarch. When one takes a closer look at these religions, one encounters that there is more in common than just the common ancestry. Take Islam and Christianity, Islam is founded on the five pillars of: confession of faith, canonical prayer, charity, observance of Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca. Christianity is founded on Jesus Christ and the faith of the apostles, but both have teachings on prayer

Humor and Healing the Research

1383 words - 6 pages Humor and Healing the Research General Purpose: To inform Specific Purpose: To inform my listeners about the benefits of laughter & how to incorporate it in their daily life Central Idea: Humor incorporated in your daily life promotes emotional, mental, and physiological healing INTRODUCTION I. Attention Device & Rapport Building (Self-Disclosure) A. Humor [Infomercial]. 1. Different types of humor- this product is

The Inspiring Art of Healing

643 words - 3 pages language plays in connecting with patients, and the socio-emotional aspects of healing that may be overlooked in a field that tends to prioritize biological mechanisms. Growing up as a second generation Indian, I was fortunate to have learned and preserved my mother tongues through speaking Hindi and Punjabi with my parents on a daily basis. At UCSF, I reached out to Indian patients who were experiencing language barriers, and was surprised to

The Healing Power of Poetry

1656 words - 7 pages "The Healing Power of Poetry" The devastations and repercussions of war are inimitable, and can sometimes be left unhealed. However, men and women have had to find cures to lick their wounds and resettle the turbulence existing within their minds. In Pat Barker's emotionally powerful war novel Regeneration, we are introduced to a war journal, called the Hydra, on page 84, which served as healing tool for WWI soldiers. This journal contained

The Healing Power of Music

1537 words - 6 pages healing power (Podolsky). It gained resurgence during World Wars I and II, when volunteers played instruments and sang for wounded soldiers in hospitals. Music is integral to our culture and emotional health. Barbara Crowe, president of National Association for Music Therapy stated, "Music therapy can make the difference between withdrawal and awareness, between isolation and interaction, between chronic pain and comfort.” More research is clearly

The Healing Power of Music

982 words - 4 pages embrace the healing power of music is because we have such an abundant supply. Today, our culture glorifies music, whether it is in our cars, on television, in the elevator, or in our ipods. Music is all around us, and it could be a key to promoting our overall health.

The Healing Power of Music

3133 words - 13 pages degeneration which is the brain deteriorating. He could not compose pieces of music anymore but was able to still play music from memory. Both of these men had mental issues that music was able to get them through it. It caused their brains to be used in different ways which helped them process information and live more effectively. Furthermore, music has a hidden healing power. It cannot completely heal someone of illness but it does assist in a

The Healing Powers of Food

1621 words - 6 pages Gower 120). Water is an all-healing beverage that can shield and heal one from an abundance of ailments. Eliminating caffeinated drinks such as soda pop and filling oneself up with water helps ward off cancer-causing carcinogens. The challenge for Americans is to make enough time to drink a minimum of eight full glasses of water a day. When one has enough water in his system, the color of his urine will be almost clear. To diminish the exposure

Zulu Traditions of Health and Healing

1412 words - 6 pages The Merriam-Webster English Dictionary defines medicine as “the science that deals with preventing, curing, and treating diseases”. Throughout the cultures of the world, the study of medicine and its pragmatic application play an absolutely imperative role in how given societies operate. Amongst the Zulu of Southern Africa, ideas surrounding the notions of both health and healing find themselves deeply embedded into the over-arching culture

Similar Essays

Evaluate The Role Of Positive Thinking, Relaxation, Meditation And Prayer In The Healing Of Physical Ailments

1559 words - 6 pages 1 Evaluate the role of positive thinking, relaxation, meditation and prayer in the healing of physical ailments. Introduction People of various cultures have relied on what Western medical practitioners today call Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). This term covers a broad range of healing philosophies, approaches, and therapies. It generally describes those treatments that are outside mainstream conventional health care. This paper

The Power Of Prayer Essay

3135 words - 13 pages abroad so that multitudes came to be healed and to hear him teach. After hours of healing and teaching, he withdrew to the quietness of the wilderness to pray. Christ was refreshed more by prayer than by sleep-it seemed to recharge his spiritual battery. Another example of Jesus' praying is in Gethsemane's garden the night before his crucifixion. There he prayed until his sweat became great drops of blood.Prayer is the spontaneous outpouring of our

The Power Of Healing Essay

913 words - 4 pages been shown to help the sick or hurt, calm the feared and comfort those who need comfort. Because of it's different approach to helping restore health rather than the "normal" taking a pill, TT has not been readily accepted by many medical doctors. In A Doctor's guide To Therapeutic Touch, author Susan wager, M.D. states that Therputic Touch is different then normal medical procedures. "In evaluating any form of healing, weather conventional

The Possess Of Healing Essay

1537 words - 7 pages culture. His program also brings different tribes together using dance. Dance is a big part of their culture because dance for native americans are a form of prayer. Tom Talache represents the voice and that political power that was taken away from the native americans by the white man decades ago. Political leaders like Talache are responsible of bringing support to the native american people by given them opportunities to better their lives. Isaiah