Editor's Correspondence |

Can the Efficacy of Prayer Be Tested?

Gerald P. Bodey Sr, MD, FCCP
Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(12):1420. doi:.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Drs Chibnall, Jeral, and Cerullo are to be congratulated for their thoughtful discussion in "Experiments on Distant Intercessory Prayer: God, Science, and the Lesson of Massah."1 As a conservative Christian and a physician who has conducted many clinical trials, I have found such studies to be greatly flawed, not only on scientific bases, but also on several theological bases. First, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the only way to God (John 14:6). If this is true, then a study using prayers to a multitude of gods, spirits, etc is doomed to failure. Second, how can one offer sincere prayer without some type of personal concern for the object of the prayer? Third, such studies imply that God is forced to respond positively to the prayers that are offered. If so, He is not God but merely the servant of the suppliant. Fourth, can God be expected to respond to the prayers of all people equally, regardless of their belief or obedience to His commands? This is certainly not a Judeo-Christian concept. Last, the purpose of Judeo-Christian prayer is more than receiving that which is requested. Indeed, God's answer in His divine wisdom may be no.



Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
PubMed Articles