New findings suggest that praying for another person’s healing could actually help. This unique and interesting study found that it’s especially effective if the person praying is physically near the person being prayed for.
The official name for is “proximal intercessory prayer” for healing. The study will appear in a September issue of the “Southern Medical Journal.”
The study measured surprising improvements in vision and hearing among those who don’t have access to eyeglasses and hearing aids. The “proximal” prayer was chosen for study because that’s how a lot of prayer for healing is actually practiced by a rising number of Christians around the world. Those who do so now total around 500 million people.
These people pray expecting it to help heal their friend or family member. They understand that physical proximity and human touch are important for effective praying-to-heal.
Researchers studied the activities of two healing groups in Mozambique and Brazil, as they are known to do specialized prayer for hearing and vision impairments. They evaluated people with both issues (14 for hearing, 11 for vision) before and after proximal intercessory prayer (PIP). Hearing and vision were selected because they can be directly measured.
They found that both senses improved to a significant extent following PIP. Two people with impaired hearing improved to the point where they could detect sound by 50 decibels. Three had their tested vision improve from 20/400 or worse to 20/80 or better. These improvements are much larger than those usually seen in hypnotherapy, for one.
One person reported that she could not see someone’s hand from a distance of one foot. After a prayer session, that woman could count the fingers upheld on the hand — and even read the 20/125 line on a vision chart.
Researchers did not attempt to explain the phenomenon. There is a lot of controversy about researching PIP. Several studies have come back with contradictory findings. But it is a very non-understood healing technique and, for those searching for help, it could do absolutely nothing but help.
And just maybe, prayer could really work.