A new study at Indiana University confirms what many have believed that prayer heals. Religion professor Candy Gunther Brown studied the effects of prayer on people suffering from hearing and visual impairments in several towns and villages in rural Mozambique.
Using an audiometer and vision charts depending on the impairment, Professor Gunther Brown tested people before and after they participated in a prayer session in which one or more people prayed for them. She concluded that there was “highly significant improvement” in hearing and “significant visual improvements.”
She also reports that 2 of the hearing impaired individuals were able to hear 50 decibels lower after the prayer and that 3 of the visually impaired individuals had vision improvements from 20/400 or worse to 20/80. You may recall that ideal is considered 20/20. The full details of her study will be peer-reviewed and reported in the Southern Medical Journal next month.
Many people have long believed that science and spirituality were contradictory but this study helps to show that they can coexist and that the effects of prayer can be measured. Of course, many people will chalk the results up to the placebo effect; however scientists generally recognize about a 30 percent improvement as linked to the placebo effect. Dr. Gunther Brown’s result were substantially higher than that.
Whatever your take on this study, the results are certainly interesting. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the healing power of prayer. Join the discussion.
Next week: Gratitude Affects Heart and Genetics, Study Finds.