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|Please Don’t Pray for Me|
The John Templeton Foundation awards an annual million-dollar-plus prize officially known as “the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities.” If the contradiction “Spiritual Realities” doesn’t buzz your bias detector, it’s time for a serious tune-up.
Some patients were told they may or may not receive intercessory prayer: complications occurred in 52 percent of those who received prayer (Group 1) versus 51 percent of those who did not receive prayer (Group 2). Complications occurred in 59 percent of patients who were told they would receive prayer (Group 3) versus 52 percent, who also received prayer, but were uncertain of receiving it (Group 1). Major complications and thirty-day mortality were similar across the three groups.
Whoops! Looks like prayer did nothing for Groups 1 and 2 and actually hurt Group 3. Maybe it was the performance pressure on the folks who knew they were being prayed for. Maybe the selected churches didn’t have their total prayer mojo going that week. Maybe Satan jumps in and messes with the intergalactic prayer thoroughfares when he knows a watershed prayer experiment is going down... Who knows?