Science Tests the Power of Prayer
by Robert Driskell
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A group of scientists conducted a study to scientifically investigate the validity of prayer. A group of people scheduled for heart surgery were divided up into three groups with only two groups being prayed for by members of some participating churches. One of the groups that received prayer knew they were receiving it, the other group receiving prayer was not told whether they would be prayed for or not. There were no significant differences in the outcome of the three groups. This led the researchers to conclude that prayer is ineffective.
Not a very scientific test at all. They take a subject of which the researchers and the participating church members apparently know very little about, decide how they think this subject is supposed to work, devise a test on this subject according to the way they ‘think’ it should work, and then see if it performs the way their fantasy expected.
Let’s look at the Truth.
First, prayer is not magic. It is not some force that is controlled by humans, whether believers or non-believers. Prayer is communication with God. It is not a magic mumblings by which we control God. However; that is what these researchers, and apparently the churches involved in this ritual, believe. They are basing their “test” on a make-believe theory that has no biblical basis and then expecting God to perform according to their misguided expectations. Would a god that responds like a genie in a bottle be a god worthy of worship? The God of the Bible does not answer to man; rather man is accountable to God.
Second, the Bible never says that the Christian’s hurts will disappear and our lives will have no bumps or problems. On the contrary, Jesus explicitly states that we will have tribulations (trials, problems, hardships) in this life (John 16:33). Our motivation in coming to God in the first place cannot be simply to have an easy life and get stuff (although that is exactly what some preachers preach), but rather it is so that we may be forgiven of our sins (our rebellion against God) and enter into a personal relationship with Him. This relationship enables us to face whatever hardships we encounter with the confidence that He will be with us and give us strength to persevere.
Thirdly, the Bible does not promise that we will get whatever we pray for. It says, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14 NASB, emphasis mine, cf. John 9:31). Therefore, our prayers will only be answered if we pray in unison with God’s will. We must know His will in order to pray it, therefore those in rebellion to God will not have their prayers answered…even when conducting a ‘scientific test’.
This ‘scientific test’ only reveals (again) the lengths to which non-believers will go in their attempts to prove themselves right. Because the researchers established parameters based on their own faulty information, they basically created a prayer ‘straw man’ which they then proceeded to prove false. However, they only succeeded in proving the falsity of their own imaginary idea of ‘prayer’. Behavior such as this cannot rightly be called ‘science’. True science is concerned with the discovery of truth, not merely proving ones own preconceived notions.
Any Christian familiar with the words of the Bible can see the ridiculousness of these ‘tests’ and can only feel sorrow for those who strive so hard to bolster their own rebellion. It is truly amazing that people will cling so tenaciously to a lie in the face of such a tremendous love as the love demonstrated by God who sent His Son to die for us.
This rebelliousness has existed ever since the time of Adam and Eve, the first God doubters, and it will continue until Jesus returns and removes all doubt. Until then, believers can only pray for those who reject God and attempt to convince unbelievers of the folly of their misdirection.
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