The Harvard Prayer Experiment
The study: With support from the Templeton Foundation, cardiologist Herbert Benson and his colleagues randomly assigned 1802 cardiac bypass patients to one of three conditions:
- those told they may or may not be prayed for (and who weren’t)
- those told they may or may not be prayed for (and who were)
- those told they would be prayed for (and who were)
David’s 1997 statement (PDF) suggesting “Why People of Faith Can Predict Null Effects in the Harvard Prayer Experiment”
Templeton Foundation synopsis:
“The Largest Study of Third-Party Remote Intercessory Prayer Suggests Prayer Not Effective in Reducing Complications Following Heart Surgery”
American Heart Journal synopsis of the study and its results
David’s further commentary on prayer studies:
Arm-twisting with the Almighty. (PDF) Myers, D. G. (2006, April 7). Science & Theology News.
Is prayer clinically effective? Myers, D. G. (2000). Reformed Review, 53(2), 95-102.
Prayer, faith, and health. Myers, D. G. (2000). Reformed Review, 53(2), 119-126.