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This Is the Opposing View + Personal Evidences

Study Yields No Evidence for Medical Efficacy
of Distant Intercessory Prayer:
A Follow-up Commentary

by Gary P. Posner, M.D.

Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer

Not to mention the Royal Family, the most prayed for family in England, has no better health then average Joe (bar the benefits of money).

Prayer does not help people. Else the world would very simply be a better place.

Claiming that the answer is always yes no or maybe is a fail-safe. It provides the illusion of prayers being occasionally answered while others are held back for mysterious reasons.

Think of the people you know, do bad things happen to good people and good things to bad? Do good things happen to good people and bad things to bad?
If you really think about it, you'll find no relation there either. Good and bad people (Depending on what those definitions mean to you) receive both good and bad things from the chaos of the world around them.

It is a fallacy to think you are helping anyone by imagining things better for them. It is not because you are a bad person that bad things happen to you.

smebro smebro 22-25, M 87 Responses Nov 8, 2007

Your Response


I can tell you that you are wrong. I can quote you scripture. I can give evidence of events that prove that prayer has power. I can tell you that being a believer but I will not do any of this. One of the greatest lesson I ever learned is that when you have a personal spiritual encounter with God you do not need convincing. You do not need any of the above. Whether scientifically provable or not. Prayer worked for me.

In order to receive anything from God, you must 'believe that He exists & that He is a rewarder of them that DILIGENTLY seek Him'<br />
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"You will find Me when you seek Me with your WHOLE HESART"<br />
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"A double minded man is unstable in ALL his ways: let not tht man think that he will receive anything feom the Lord"<br />
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"It is not for the clay to judge the Potter"

I happen to like opposing views, as a follower of Jesus the Christ, I know that even Jesus faced opposition, so much so that those who opposed, finally had him crucified to shut Him up, interesting that did not stop Him nor the dawning of the Kingdom of God on earth.<br />
Regarding prayer Luke tells us in Luke 18:1, that Jesus told His followers to always pray and not lose heart. There are many things in this life that could cause us to lose heart when it comes to our prayers. Have you lost heart in your prayer life? I know I have at times. When we have prayed for something and God has chosen in His perfect will and timing not to answer us, we sometimes lose heart. When hardship and persecution comes our way, this can cause us to lose heart. Is there something that you have stopped praying about? If so, you have lost heart. This happens to all of us. I want to challenge and encourage you to start praying again.<br />
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When we pray with passion directly from our hearts, it has power. I love to pray about specific details, because when God answers the prayer of something specific, it builds my faith. Charles Spurgeon said, “It is the burning lava of the soul that has a furnace within – a very volcano of grief and sorrow – it is that burning lava that finds its way to God. No prayer ever reaches God’s heart which does not come from our hearts.”<br />
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God’s timing is always perfect. I can testify to this in my own life. There are times when He delays, but there is always a reason. We need to be people of consistent and unwavering prayer. In good times and bad, pray continuously. Trust the One you are praying to because He is faithful and true.<br />
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If your prayers have lost heart, press into Him more - not less.<br />
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As we all grow in Christ, our time spent with the Lord will increase. Daily and constant communication develops as the relationship deepens. John MacArthur says, “Prayer is the spontaneous response of the believing heart to God. Those truly transformed by Jesus Christ find themselves lost in wonder and joy of communion with Him. Prayer is as natural for the Christian as breathing.” Is prayer as natural as breathing to you?<br />
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God desires a relationship with all of us. When we pray from our hearts (honestly and authentically), it builds our relationship with God. If you have lost heart in your prayer life, press into Him more – not less.<br />
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Our Lord loves us more than we can imagine. It is amazing that we can have a conversation with the Creator of the Universe! God hears us and responds to our prayers. Our prayer lives are not a mechanical set of words or repeating memorized phrases. It is deep communion when we speak directly from our hearts. Our Father does answer and it maybe , yes, no , or and wait are were we grow in faith and trust.

Mmmmmn yeah that seems about right.. The gravitas of your reply is appreciated

for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.<br />
A Preacher of God once said; <br />
Lot's of prayer is lot's of power.<br />
Little prayer is little power.<br />
and no prayer is no power at all.<br />
it is written:<br />
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."<br />
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." <br />
"we have not because we ask not."<br />
"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."<br />
"In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."<br />
"Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."<br />
"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."<br />
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."<br />
"For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."<br />
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." <br />
"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."<br />
" But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."<br />
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."<br />
" And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." <br />
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Eyes, I love that analogy, it will stick in my mind as a lighthouse of hope for our innate logical nature. If children can see the inconsistencies, then anyone can...if they approach the topic innocently… <br />
It is such a waste when a child is indoctrinated mentally into any religion...unfair and cruel.<br />
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Tate; isn’t it a glossy set, why! Their opinions must be important if they host things on such a glossy set!<br />
I hope that more people get the internet, so they don’t have to watch cr*p like that. Video no.2 is frightening.

So vague so vague (To us who you think mock)

I've been keeping up with the entire conversation... not an easy task, I assure you. I wanted to interject with a comment one of my students made while we are reading Animal Farm. <br />
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When anything good happens on the farm, they attribute it to Napoleon, stating even "Thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes," and whenever anything goes wrong, they blame Snowball. <br />
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One of my students piped up and said that it was like her mom and grandma. Whenever anything good happened, they gave God credit, and when anything went wrong, they blamed the devil. If they lost electricity, the devil was at work (including once where dad forgot to send the check o the elec company). When mom found $20 she thought she lost, it was god. <br />
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Several students shared their own examples, and quite a few seemed upset that their parents didn't take responsibility for their own mistakes (although I'm not quite sure my kids understood that they need to take responsibility for their own actions as well).<br />
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They said that it was stupid to beleive everything good was someone else's doing, and everything bad was someone else's fault.<br />
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Its not exactly the same as crediting and blaming dieties, but its a rather good analogy I think. <br />
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As an agnostic, I do not think that everything good that happens is some divine entities will, and everything bad is some malign entities interference. Heck, I can't see why they would bother with us anymore.

:) I do my best

Some videos I would appreciate anyone watching, thoughts welcome.<br />
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First one should be able to give believers a good idea where we Atheists come from.<br /><br />
So I highly recommend that.<br />
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Second one is a very interesting look into how the American population are being influenced by what they watch. With a very poignant example.<br /><br />
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Third one is another good Atheist explanation as to why what most of you say is inconceivable to us. Which is also why we are far beyond ever believing the same.<br /><br />
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Please watch if possible, only 15 minutes at the most, and all very interesting. Especially the second one, which gives me a new reason to fear American Ignorance.

smebro I was worried that people would not appreciate my sermon. Go ahead and delete it if it is too offensive, I don't care.<br />
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anotherhuman - my opinion is that we do need to seek gods blessings. go back and read carfully what I previously stated.

Maple; It does make sense, although if prayer really worked, wouldn't it make more sense to use those powers for other people in worse situations then yourself?<br />
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MJ; This is a common theme amongst some faithful people, the idea that all the other faiths actually believe the same as you…only they have it slightly wrong. When the beliefs are so incompatible, I do not see how that could work.<br />
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Abb, you find those things interesting, but I really don’t. This is not the place for long references to texts, or else I might just direct you all to Richard Dawkins.<br />
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AnotherHuman, you and I see the hypocrisy in thinking that prayer is helping. Every prayer answered has a background of events that logically led to the ‘answer’. The fact that it can be yes no or makes it as reliable as…well…Chaos. <br />
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Abb, Not all Christians believe prayer is an act of growing close to god, many as we see here, think it’s also a means of requesting goods and services from the universe. <br />
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There are so many faiths in here with different versions of prayer and faith. I need time to respond. Which will be hard…Another Human raised the most important point of all; If there is a mechanism (God or otherwise) that answers the prayers, then why does it choose specific people and only at certain times? Is it because those people are better deserving? In which case might we ask the people who have had anecdotal evidence that prayer works for them to not pray for themselves, but instead to pray for those that need it. The starving, the poor. Having said that; those prayers would achieve nothing (As I think everyone intuitively knows) compared to people physically pursuing their ‘prayers’ themselves (in the case of people who are asking requests, not people who are getting close to God.) .<br />
Sorry to those I haven’t addressed, I’ll be back later.

no anotherhuman...Its not that I cant explain it when things go wrong and call it prayers answered when they go right...<br />
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Ever heard the song....lyrics go something like...."sometimes I thank God...for unanswered prayers"..? <br />
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We may not always understand they why's....good or bad...<br />
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If I thought it was as simple as all that ...imagien i would pray for a huge pile of money....LOL

True ElleMeza. However, there are blessings we can have but will not recieve if we do not ask. God wants us to seek after him. To exersise faith/action in his words. We learn a lot and grow stronger in the process.

Well, I cannot accept credit. the concept comes from my bible dictionary. I have learned from personal experience that the concept is true. Even the Lord Jesus in agony prayed to have "this cup removed" but "thy will be done".

Very well stated Abb, saw both my parents died very undignified deaths. Yet, there was an amazing grace & dignity as well. I awed me! I saw beauty in the grief. God was there with us all through it.

Those situations are sad....and no I cannot explain them.<br />
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It is interesting though that it some think it seems to prove there is no God when they feel prayer didnt work...but doesnt seem to prove there is a God when it does.<br />
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The good ole' double standard.

Forgive me if I share a anecdotal experience, but I am busting to do so here. As it really suits why I believe in the power of prayer. I have also elsewhere included this story in the title. I can attest to BLESSINGS & MIRACLES HERE ON EP. so here goes.<br />
This story goes way beyond consequences & odds & luck, FAR beyond. TARDY really what are the odds on this, both persons searching for the same answers for almost 10 years with no results, on an event that occurred over 62 years ago, getting together on this small web site, in a small story etc. Can you evaluate the odds on this occurring? <br />
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I have been researching my families military history for nearly a decade, steadfast & focused and sincerely committed to finding answers to so many questions regarding the sacrifices my ancestors made to Canada & to the world. So much effort with little results.<br />
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I am attesting that faithfulness is rewarded and Blessings can and are received. What is also amazing is that the facts appear right here, on the EP web site.<br />
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This year "Remembrance Day" or "Veterans Day" (in the USA) fell on a Sunday. I attended church knowing their would in all probability be a dedication & a two minute silence observed for all those serving and who have served. <br />
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As this is a day, where one wears any medals of honour received (I was wearing mine), I noticed a older women wearing several I did not recognize. As I am the guardian of my family's war medals, I was curious and approached her. She explained her medals were British Medals for her service during the Battle of Britain. Anyway, after the service I felt compelled to humble myself and approached her, asking for prayer. During this special time, she beseeched God for a special blessing to be bestowed on me. During this moment I had a sense of smelling Lilacs and Lilies, and told her so, after her prayer.<br />
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Later that evening, I signed on to EP, and was notified of a comment on a story. When I first joined EP I joined the group "I want to memorialize a fallen soldier", and entered my dad's brothers death in WW2. There it was my blessing & miracle. <br />
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Who commented! The daughter of the Squadron Leader who commanded the tank squad of my Uncle's Battalion! This man had received the MILITARY CROSS for actions taken in the very battle my Uncle and his crew were instantly killed in, just days before Victory was declared.<br />
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Finally, someone to fill in the gaps. This person was not a member before this very day here, if fact has just entered into this site on November 11th, and found that very small site, to leave a comment. <br />
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We are now friends, and are looking towards joining together to answer all the questions, both of us have been searching years for. Knowing the, time efforts, attempts, previously made, for contacts during a decade, I do not hesitate to call this a "Blessed Encounter".

As far as the afterlife is concerned, I think most people would find the mormon additions very interesting. One of the extremely radical deviations that Joseph Smith took was that the afterlife does not contain the black/while, heaven/hell extremes commonly believed at the time and persisting to this day among many Abrahamic faiths. It is really exciting for me so if I may, I would like to explain. <br />
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Doctrine and Covenants Section 19 verse 3 states that the Lord is going to pass judgement according to the works and deeds done in mortality.<br />
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Then starting in verse 6 are great mystery is revealed:<br />
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6 Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. <br />
7 Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory. <br />
8 Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles. <br />
9 I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest. <br />
10 For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore— <br />
11 Eternal punishment is God’s punishment. <br />
12 Endless punishment is God’s punishment.<br />
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I am not aware of anywhere in the scriptures the word "forever" being used. Essentially, what the Lord is saying is that even really bad people that suffer really bad things in "hell" are eventually going to be redeemed from their fallen state and be given an inheritance of glory and happiness. Other scriptures describe these different degrees of glory but I don't want to bore anyone.

abb...I am not mormon. I am non-denominational. I am simply Christian.<br />
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Have attended many...and been a member of a few different denominations in my lifetime. Now...I am apparently just too complicated to fit into any of those molds....LOL answer to your remark about Muslims attributing something similar to a different power, I don't think it's a different power...I think it's all the same power and we all just have different names for it. Also, lol, about the brain tumor because for a few days after that I walked around wondering if I did have one! I have prayed with fervor since then, but never experienced that same thing again. Your conversation here is illuminating and has brought out some very interesting insight in a lot of people.

Lexus, I am curious to know if there is any particular brand of faith that you embrace? Your talk of "age of accountability" is kind of a mormon/LDS thing but I didn't think you were mormon.

hahaha... I don't intend to be the referee, abb8279! I just tend to like talking about my own beliefs in my own stories, when in other people's I try to bring my thoughts and opinions on the discussion at hand, unless I feel that my own particular flavour is relevant.<br />
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Unlike smebro, however, I tend to respect people of Abrahamic faiths who will express what they believe, when that comes to non-believers going to hell. There are certainly parts of all those scriptures (to my recollection) that are fairly explicit about what lies in the after life. Whilst being told that I am going to hell is likely to cause me to tune out, I do appreciate the consistency of belief.

Sembro....what you spoke about are lazy Christians....plain and simple. Prayer can help others...we should though ask ourselves what part we are personally doing for sure....<br />
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As for going down a couple of notches in your eyes...ahh well...stinks to be me I suppose.<br />
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Regardless, what I wont do lie to to you.. If one does not accept Christ as their savior...I am sorry...the Bible is clear on what lies ahead.

Dodo - you are an expert at remaining the referee. I was hoping to nudge you out of that comfort zone but I can see it will not happen.

But would such a dissection of our silliness achieve anything?<br />
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Observers! Leave now before you inadvertently influence the outcome of this experiment in silliness.<br />
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I think...the silliness may be overlooked for the solid points made in pre-silliness comments. I don't like to delete, and so the silliness must stand the test of time.

Correct! I am indeed on the Eastern Seaboard of Australia! <br />
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You know, you could always just delete the silly posts before the thread gets hijacked by the Power of Silly, or comes to an unfortunate halt.<br />
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It would quite nicely underscore some thoughts on the nature of reality - and how flexible one's experience of things is. Observers could quite rightly debate whether or not there had ever been any silliness in the thread, and both perspectives would be justifiable based on internal evidence...

I knew it! experience was way too had to be something like extraterrestrial.<br />
If you like, we can call you Marasheneeeerian...if you like, cause it's easy to remember.<br />
I suspect you are over Australia, as your circadian rhythm seems to suggest. <br />
I wonder if anyone is compelled to comment after three posts of silliness (Although I am serious) .

You got me. The 'E' in 'EP' actually stands for Extraterrestrial! (Because even the rest of the universe is so anthropocentric that we call ourselves aliens ;) )

You are way too cool Tardy.<br />
Like, you must be an Alien monitoring EP from earth's atmosphere or something.