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The placebo effect... you believe this is why prayer works?

In numerous studies, the power of the human body to heal its self, has been proven. If you believe that something is going to work, there is a statistically higher % chance of it actually happening.

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Asked by ObbyDobbie at 10:45 PM on Dec. 22, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 34 (70,074 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • That, and the whole "power of positive thinking". Your emotions impact which chemicals your brain releases which in turn impacts how well the different systems of your body work. You can get the same results with daily affirmations.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:50 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • To me its all the same thing-positive thinking, prayer, daily affirmations- why does it matter what its called? If it makes people happy, helps them and heals them- then really- does it matter what you call it or why? I know my Faith is good for me, I know that prayer and centering is healthy for me-if you get the same effect another way or call it by another name-it really does not matter to me.

    Answer by soyousay at 11:05 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • I think it works exactly like that. People pray, believe that something good is going to happen and they calm themselves down, and push the stress away. And if we look at proven healthe issues caused by stress, we can see that peace of mind is better for your health.
    I am an atheist, and my coping skills are different, but definitely breathing, picturing beautiful, peaceful spaces, or imagining myself flying, being above everything, gives me a relief. Also calming sounds, even simply a running ceiling fan or a space heater, or listening to recordings of nature sounds have the same result. Unfortunately with all commotion you go through being a mom, you cannot always find time and place to practice that, except late at night, when child/children are asleep. But by that time you may be so tired and frustrated after the whole day that you don't give a flying duck about relaxing, you cry yourself to sleep as result of stress.

    Answer by BeaMoore at 11:47 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • In a way, yes. Personally, I believe in positive thoughts, relaxing the body, and calming or focusing the mind rather than praying. I just saw a study the other day showing brain scans of a Buddhist monk before and during meditation. I think prayer would have a similar effect on the mind and body as well. If it makes people believe it works and they feel better, I guess it doesn't really matter how or why it works.

    Neurotheology: This is your brain on religion

    Answer by pam19 at 11:58 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • No.

    The power of the human body to heal itself has ZERO to do with positive thinking (psst ... it's called an Immune System .... and it works)

    Answer by -Eilish- at 11:58 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • Yes. The power of positive thinking is real. I don't think it will cure cancer or repair a broken leg, but it certainly can give the immune system a boost, which may be all it needs to push itself over the edge of the disease and onto the road to healing.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 11:59 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • No, I don't. I think prayer works because that's how God designed it. Plain and simple. I believe in miracles because I have witnessed them and experienced them myself.

    Answer by popzaroo at 12:09 AM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • I want to add though, that it should not be considered a sure alternative to common sense and totally avoiding proffessional help. Positive thinking will not cure all known illnesses, like pneumonia, diabetes, or broken bones. Many people may argue that depression happens when people don't believe in god or gods, but don't understand that it is also a disease, unfortunately very common these days, cause by the body's chemical imbalance, particularly nervous system, and it can get very severe and be deadly, by suicide.
    Cannot be dismissed like it often is, by people without knowledge of what it really is and how it affects a person. Prayer for a believer can be very helpful, but in general, others, like me, unbelievers, other activities and techniques are recommended.

    Answer by BeaMoore at 12:16 AM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • There is power in the spoken word. God said Let there be light and there was light. He spoke the word and it came to be.
    I believe if we speak with the same power and authority Jesus had there is power in that spoken word. Faith has a lot to do with it.
    You can speak to your body to align itself correctly and it will. You can speak to the wind and yes it will stop. You can tell a tornado to cease and it will. Remember Jesus spoke to the waves in the storm and they became still. Its the power of the spoken word along with the power and authority given to you by Jesus Christ !
    I believe that many people are sick ( not all) because they carry bitterness and anger within them. That kind of behavior kills.
    For example my mother in law never got over her father's death and carried it to her grave. She had all kinds of health problems most of her life and would not let go of the effects of that death and eventually it

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 12:36 AM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • I do believe that prayer can help individuals cope with illness and suffering- Prayer to heal physical illnesses of the body? Not without appropriate medical therapies. In addition to other therapies, sure, but as a stand alone treatment, Nope- IMO, you can not pray away cancer or a broken leg-


    Answer by Sisteract at 12:36 AM on Dec. 23, 2010

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