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Editor's Correspondence |

God, Science, and Intercessory Prayer

Brian Bolton, PhD
Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(12):1422. doi:.
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Chibnall and colleagues1 concluded that experimental studies of intercessory prayer should be rejected ("shunned") because "they trivialize and distort the nature of prayer, God, and our relationship to the transcendent by bringing them into a sphere in which they do not belong."1(p2535)

The authors support their conclusion with the following argument: (1) intercessory prayers are petitions to God, (2) God is therefore the causal mechanism in prayer, and thus (3) God is being put to scientific test in intercessory prayer experiments. They further assert that this is not permissible because (4) intercessory prayer is a matter of faith and trust in God, (5) it is not possible to conduct research on the efficacy of intercessory prayer without violating the basic assumptions of faith, and (6) Judeo-Christian Scriptures and some theologians have decreed that it is wrong to test ("tempt") God.



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