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Featured Double-blind Prayer Efficacy Test -- Really?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by KenS, May 29, 2022.

  1. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    I have encountered various quote that the scientific test on prayer showed no change.

    My response has always been "I don't think the parameters were set correctly". I can use the analogy that if the blind test for quenching thirst taking a Tylenol, we would say it didn't work but the parameters are wrong. (Exaggeration done to emphasize that parameters are important)

    As my signature say, I offer a Christian perspective. I also personally believe that God does answer prayer outside of my faith in as much as His mercy is everlasting and it is His goodness (in answered prayers) that draws people to Him.

    So, here goes. What were the parameters that were set? Is just having people pray for someone, enough for a comprehensive study?

    Let me share some positions--since the question I would have is "who did they select to pray?".

    1) Jesus is quoted as saying from Mattew 6:7 AMPCAnd when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.

    Are there people who call prayer "repeating words over and over"? The answer is yes. Heartfelt I am sure yet Jesus very clearly says they won't be heard by God. If they are included in the prayer test, it would make the test invalid.

    2) James said, in James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."

    if people are praying but praying thinking that God will hear them and then wondering if God will hear them, scripturally God can't get the answer to the person. If these people are included in the prayer test, it would make the test invalid.

    3) The people who you want to pray for don't believe, they can actually stop God from moving. In Matthew 13 Jesus had the capacity to move, wanted to move but then couldn't as he said, "58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief."

    This is just three of possibilities so my question is:

    Are the parameter of the study taking into account prayer principles? Or just saying "Would you pray for these people" without asking how they are going to pray, what do they believe, what prayer are they going to use et al.

    Please stay of topic if you want to discuss this.
     
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  2. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    That's just hand waving.

    "Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.

    And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

    It is the most scientifically rigorous investigation of whether prayer can heal illness, the study, begun almost a decade ago and involving more than 1,800 patients...."
     
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  3. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    My Muslim friend claims, like you, that prayer is amazingly effective.

    Should we take him seriously? If not, why not?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  4. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    Yes we should... as I said above: "I also personally believe that God does answer prayer outside of my faith in as much as His mercy is everlasting and it is His goodness (in answered prayers) that draws people to Him."
     
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  5. The Hammer

    The Hammer Lord of Animals
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    Idk about prayer. But Reiki is close (ish), and has been proven to be much more effective than a placebo.

    Reiki Is Better Than Placebo and Has Broad Potential as a Complementary Health Therapy.
     
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  6. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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  7. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    Drawing to Him? You mean to Allah?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  8. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    Relevance to prayer double-blind test? Please stay on subject. ;)

    Adios
     
  9. The Hammer

    The Hammer Lord of Animals
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    Proof that the efficacy of prayer should be just as useful? Regardless of the study done?
     
  10. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    God always answers our prayers. He just usually says "no".

    The thing that should bother you (if you really believe that your god answers prayers) is why god so regularly seems to answer people's prayers for trivial, everyday events based on self-interest, like passing exams, getting a loan, etc. Yet he never seems to answer the prayers of devout parents of children dying in agony, etc.

    Why are his priorities so ****ed up?
     
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  11. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    They are both woo woo superstition?
     
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  12. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    I stay on subject. And the subject is that for any Christian claim, there is a non Christian claim, claiming the same exact thing.

    So, what should a neutral thinker do? What would you conclude, if you were neutral?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
    #12 viole, May 29, 2022
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
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  13. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    WADR, your OP has little to do with any objective study of the efficacy of prayer. It is just a collection of platitudes and assertions.
     
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  14. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    I'd bet my house that any broad analysis of the "successes" mirrored random chance precisely. Most often there is little more than a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, coupled with selection bias. The idea the efficacy of prayer doesn't vary, regardless which deity is being prayed to is pretty ironic, as the inference should be pretty clear.
     
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  15. KWED

    KWED Scratching head, scratching knee

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    A study of cancer sufferers at Lourdes showed that the rate of "officially approved" miraculous recovery was slightly lower than the rate of spontaneous remission in the general population.

    Turns out that the pilgrimage to Lourdes is more dangerous than staying at home. Therefore, if there is an element of divine intervention, it is actually god killing people rather than curing them!
     
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  16. RayofLight

    RayofLight Pronouns: they/them/their thon/thons/thonself

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    You are missing a varible. You don't speak for your God nor does anyone else. They might listen to your prayers but say no. Effectiveness cannot be determined cuz you are assuming if God hears the prayer then they'd heal the person. The point is of prayer is for God to hear you and answer it. You ask God to heal but that's it you can't make him do so. No one can measure how effective prayer is at its purpose-for God to hear you cuz no one can even prove God exists let alone if he can hear anyone.
     
  17. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    Lourdes was closed during the pandemic. Apparently, God can cure cancer, but He is not so good in giving protection against viruses.

    Which should be obviously ridiculous to anyone holding basic intellectual skills.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
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  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    If you have parameters you think would be more appropriate, go ahead and propose them.

    CFI's Investigations Group will give you $250,000 - for you to keep or give to whatever worthy cause you see fit - if you can prove that prayer works.

    You get to choose whatever testing procedures you want and they'll be accepted by the CFIIG as long as:

    - they're scientifically valid, and
    - they actually test the phenomenon you're trying to demonstrate.

    Home | CFI Investigations Group

    Are you going to apply?
     
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  19. paradox

    paradox Active Member

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    There is something you can add to your list of points that make prayers not heard.

    In 1 Samuel 28:3-25 Saul made a mistake of not listening to God commandment (see verse 18), so God didn't listen to his prayer.

    The point of this story is that when we don't follow God's will he may stop listening to our prayer.
    For us Christians this mean to reset this state we should make reconciliation with God and not repeat the mistake (of sin) again, aka. be in stake of grace.
    holy spirit my be with us in state of grace, but sin is what makes it go away, out of us, and the prayer may no longer work.

    Another point that you may add to your list is that prayer must be sincere and about non earthly things.

    See also Matthew 6:30-33 where Jesus says that "God knows that you need to eat", and praying for such things may be superfluous.
     
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  20. Sgt. Pepper

    Sgt. Pepper RF's resident Beatlemaniac. ☮ and ❤
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    I can say with certainty that the Christian God never answered any of my frantic prayers when I was a child. I asked God to save me from the abuse I was suffering at home and from the bullying I endured in school, but he never saved me from either one. I suffered abuse for 13 1/2 years while growing up, and I endured 12 years of bullying while I was in school. I found the courage to save myself shortly after I turned 18. As far as I'm concerned, God is no different from my extended family, the neighbors, my teachers in school, and everyone else in the town where I lived who knew that I was being abused at home and bullied in school. None of these people ever lifted a finger to help me, and neither did God. And as a result of the abuse and trauma I suffered while growing up, I've had to deal with PTSD for the majority of my adult life. The "loving, merciful" God that I had been taught to believe and trust never relieved my suffering with PTSD either, despite the years I prayed for deliverance or for peace of mind. I was a fool to keep believing in God.

    So, after about 40 years of being outright ignored by God, I disclaimed my false hope in him and abandoned my Christian faith about a year ago. I finally realized that I didn't need God in my life and that having faith in him was completely pointless. I'm much better off in my life now without having a false hope in God. I can honestly say with a clear conscience that disavowing my faith in him was the best decision that I've ever made for myself and my mental health. I'm experiencing peace and joy in my life, and that's something I never felt in the 30 years I was a Christian or in the years before I became a Christian. My only regret is that I didn't do this years ago.
     
    #20 Sgt. Pepper, May 29, 2022
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
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