Is prayer a viable alternative to conventional medicine for health?



This article, written by my colleague Eric Nelson, first appeared in the Washington Times.  It’s destined to become a classic in the ongoing conversation of prayer and its place in being healthy and whole.  Enjoy:

LOS ALTOS, CA, August 5, 2013 – Is relying on prayer in lieu of conventional medicine a viable alternative for your health? It depends, in part, on how you define prayer.

If the assumption is that prayer is little more than a shot in the dark, a desperate plea to an unknown entity to do something He or It isn’t naturally inclined to do, then no, it’s probably not a good idea. On the other hand, if by “prayer” you mean a particular discipline of thought that benefits both mind and body, then yes, without a doubt.

Too often, though, any debate about the practicality of prayer includes a glib pronouncement that “studies show,” without ever defining what the word means. Studies show prayer works. Studies show prayer doesn’t work. Of course, the same could be said about conventional medicine. Studies show drugs and surgery work. Studies show drugs and surgery don’t work.  More here.


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