Where the world comes to study the Bible

Doctors Have Faith in Faith

A survey conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians shows that ninety-nine percent of doctors believe a relationship exists between faith and physical healing. Recently, more than one thousand health-care professionals met at Harvard Medical School to examine the connection between spirituality and healing.

Doctors’ faith in faith was bolstered by a California study of the effect of prayer on recovery from heart problems. About two hundred heart patients were assigned to Christians who prayed for them, while an equal number, a control group, received no known prayers. Neither group knew about the prayers, yet those who received prayer developed half the complications that were experienced by those in the control group.

A similar study by the Dartmouth Medical School examined the effect of prayer on healing when the patients prayed for themselves. The death rate six months after bypass surgery was 9 percent for the general population but 5 percent for those who prayed for their own healing. And none of the deeply religious patients died during the period of the study.

The Associated Press, quoted in “Religion in the News,” Signs of the Times, March 1997, p. 4