UCKG NEWS: BRITISH LEADING NEWSPAPER REPORTS THE POWER OF PRAYER
Added: (Sun Jun 26 2005)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
"PRAYER REALLY WORKS"
Daily Mail - UK
By Tim Utton
Recently, scientists were told what devout Christians have believed all along - that appealing for help from the Almighty really might work.
DR Peter Fenwick, a Neuropsychiatrist from the Institute of Psychiatry, is an expert on workings of the brain that appear to fall outside conventional understanding. He presented his latest findings to the Festival of Science, taking place this week at the University of Salford.
Current knowledge about the human mind cannot explain how prayer works -suggesting that the mind has unknown powers that can reach out and affect other people. Dr Fenwick said, "These are very good studies, properly done. Subjects who are unaware they are being prayed for can be significantly helped.
The fact that the science seems to confirm the ability of prayer, or directed intention, to heal other people raises the question that the mind may influence other people directly", he added.
Research at San Francisco General Hospital in the U.S. looked at the effects of prayer on 393 cardiac patients. Patients were asked if they wanted to take part in the trial but were not told whether they would be the subject of prayers. Half were prayed for by a group of strangers who only had the patient's names.
Those who were prayed for had fewer complications, fewer cases of pneumonia and needed less drug treatment. They also improved more quickly and were able to leave hospital earlier. Dr Fenwick said, "Those were highly significant findings. It's got to the point now where the question has been raised in one of the major American cardiology journals, from the perspective of whether patients are getting the right sort of treatment if there are not prayer groups in the hospital. There's been a huge change in people's views - and it's being driven by scientific data.'
A separate study, at Columbia University in New York, asked people in Australia, the U.S. and Canada to pray for named people having IVF treatment in Korea that they should be successful in their quest for a pregnancy. Of the group in Korea, half had prayers said about them by the foreign strangers. Among this half, the success rate for implantation of the embryo in the womb went up from 8 per cent 16 per cent. Cases of successful conception - where the foetus started developing - went up from 25 to 50 per cent.
Dr Fenwick said, "There have been a number of such trials that show prayer really works. This is an exciting area which science will help us understand in the coming years."
The festival, run by the British Association, attracts 400 top scientists, giving them the chance to present the latest research developments to a general audience.
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) holds daily services throughout the world where the power of faith is restoring lives. For worldwide addresses, visit www.uckg.org.au
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