Ye Olde Swimming Hole

current, insightful, yet nostalgic

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Scientist Sign Seekers

News reports were buzzing yesterday about a new study that claims praying for those who undergo surgery does not help them and in fact could hurt them. Here are just a few of the news reports: London Times, Washington Post, New York Times. Of course bloggers are talking about it as well.

I first saw this story on the CBS Early Show and nearly choked on my breakfast when the "expert" analyst, Emily Senay, they interviewed said, "Of course, this is not the last word on prayer." Really!? Thanks for the reassurance.

Those who strive to know God and understand the true purpose of prayer know this is all very ridiculous because it violates and principle taught again and again in the scriptures: don't seek for signs. This is nothing more than sign seeking.

Let's look at the intent of those responsible for the prayers and I'm not talking about those who actually prayed, I'm talking about the researchers. Their intent was not to help the people undergoing surgery, their intent was to test God. Their methods we're equally suspect. They told the congregants the exact words to say and those who prayed had no idea who they were praying for and they knew they would never know if those they prayed for were healed. So basically it took no faith to pray because they knew they would be ignorant as to whether those prayers were effectively.

Let's go back to the point about the scientists telling the congregants exactly what to say. Let's look at it from God's perspective. He hears these prayers, which are all the same (vain repetitions), and He knows the only reason these people are praying is to help scientists try to prove or disprove His power. Do you really think God will submit to a sign-seeking scientist's wishes?

The bottom line is that God cannot be proved or disproved through science. Those who pray know it works and understand the major problems of this study. Let's just hope few or none put any stock in it when they consider praying.

This definition of prayer may help some.


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