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Editor's Correspondence
June 26, 2000

Does Prayer Need Testing?

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(12):1873-1874. doi:

The recent study of the effects of remote, intercessory prayer on patient outcome by Harris et al1 appears to have both philosophical and study design issues that need further clarification.

To an average reader like myself, the statements that "we have not proven that God answers prayer or that God even exists. It was the intercessory prayer and not the existence of God that was tested here,'' seem a contradiction. If the intent of the study was to determine whether God answers prayer, then God's will and His existence were also being tested de facto, since the prayer was directed to God for the healing of 466 patients in the prayer group.

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