The power of prayer



There are just a few conclusive scientific studies on the power of intercesory prayer. A study [1] which set an important precedent and has been a reference in the subject and also aim of many criticisms was made in 1988 in the coronary care unit of San Francisco General Hospital by Randolf C. Byrd and his team. Apparently it demonstrated the statistical influence of intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God on the health of patients in the coronary care unit. It was a double-blind randomized trial of 393 patients in the coronary care unit for a year. Patients were randomly assigned to prayer and control group. The prayer was carried out by both Catholic and Protestant Christians from different churches. They were given the name, diagnosis and general condition of the patient for which they had to pray for a quick recovery, prevent complications, etc. Intructions were given to intercesors to pray daily for each patient from admission to the coronary care until his departure. Prayer was performed out of the hospital and each  intercessor was assigned between 3 and 7 patients.


Statistical analysis indicated that the group of patients who were prayed for required less ventilatory support , fewer antibiotics and diuretics. The recovery state was qualified based on various parameters such as good, intermediate and regular. In the prayer group 85% of patients had a good recovery compared to 73% in the control group . The complication rate in the prayer group was 14 % compared to 22 control . Differences were statistically significant.


These results suggest that intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has an effect on the patient in a way that science can not explain right now . Although there have been some criticisms that have tried to discredit the study, and even a study that has yielded contradictory results. We’ll see theese critics in later publications.


[1] Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit population. Byrd C.

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