Mental Illness Cured by Prayer Alone Say Many Americans

Massive Number of Americans Say Mental Illness Can be Cured by Prayer Alone

A new study released this week by Christian Magazine Lifeway Research shows that a massive number of people-about half of all born-again/Fundamentalist Christians and a third of all Americans- believe that mental illnesses can be cured by prayer alone. Lifeway Research polled a “random sample” of 1,001 Americans; a survey number that delivers reliable results with a tiny error margin of just 3.1 percent.

Those in the sample who considered themselves to be fundamentalist or “born again” Christians were more likely to believe that even severe mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia can be cured by praying and reading the bible. Overall, 35% of Americans said they think mental illnesses can be cured with no medication or therapy but by turning to religion. Respondents were asked to say yes or no the statement “With just Bible study and prayer, ALONE, people with serious mental illness like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia could overcome mental illness.”

Besides the results from that question, 68 percent of Americans surveyed said they would feel welcome in church if they had a mental illness. Study researcher Ed Stetzer said he expected such a finding, explaining “Pastors often find themselves as first responders of sorts to persons struggling with mental illness. So, churches have always been places that have cared and engaged on these issues. Thus, the fact that 2/3 would say they’d be welcome seems as expected. I imagine they’d say the same thing about a Jewish synagogue.”

Despite the large number of Americans and Evangelicals who believe that prayer alone can cure mental illness, the studies that have been performed in this field have found no significant effect from either distant intercessory prayer or personal prayer on a person’s mental or physical health as it pertains to the complete cure of an acute condition. The largest study ever performed on distant intercessory prayer found no positive effect on the health outcomes of those in the study.

Additionally, a 2001 study found a statistically insignificant negative effect on mental health outcomes after frequent personal prayer and thus concluded that personal prayer had no impact on mental health outcomes:

They concluded that there was a consistently weak but negative association between frequency of prayer and mental health outcomes that was reduced to being statistically non-significant when social stressors were taken into account.

So far, there has been no solid evidence offered by the scientific community that proves the efficacy of either personal or intercessory prayer as it pertains to curing an acute physical or mental disease, and since the meta-analyses that have been performed thus far have shown no effect on outcomes, the belief that mental illness can be cured through prayer alone is most likely not viable.

Still, over a third of all Americans saying mental illness can be cured by prayer alone is a huge number of people. It makes one wonder what would happen if, instead of praying, all of those people spent that time volunteering at a local hospital, donating to medical societies or even doing research to find cures for a variety of illnesses. Perhaps if all the time spent on prayer was spent on tangible activities, better health outcomes would prevail.

By: Rebecca Savastio

(op-ed)

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

Source 6

One Response to Mental Illness Cured by Prayer Alone Say Many Americans

  1. Diane Mintz September 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    This vast majority must believe that spiritual help alone, or deliverance, is all a mentally ill person needs. I want to impress upon these well-meaning folk that we usually need medical attention just as an epileptic would. God heals – no question about that, but most often He does it via doctors and medicine. Otherwise,why would any prayerful person ever go to the doctor?

    Reply

We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • Autism and the Challenges of Easter April 18, 2014
    For most families living with an autistic loved one, everyday holds certain demands. Holidays, like Easter, provide even further challenges for those with autism. The traditions most people take for granted must be approached from a unique perspective. Zack, who is 11 years old, is moderate to high-functoning on the Autism Spectrum. He loves the […]
    Stacy Lamy
  • Peaches Geldof Funeral Arrangements Shared April 18, 2014
    The funeral arrangements for Peaches Geldof have been shared by her family. It will be a private funeral on Easter Monday (April 21), and will be held in the same church as her mother’s funeral. St. Mary Magdalene and St. Lawrence Church in Davington is also the same church that the 25-year-old socialite married and […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Game of Thrones Spoilers Ruining the Experience? April 18, 2014
    Sharing spoilers of Game of Thrones is ruining the experience for some people. They do not want to know what happens in the episodes before they get a chance to see it themselves. The issue reached its peak so far this week after many publications started sharing the events of the “Purple Wedding” just after […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Game of Thrones Spoilers Lead to Arguments Online April 18, 2014
    The internet has been surrounded with Game of Thrones spoilers this week that include the death of a certain character, and it has led to arguments online. Many people who have not read the books or seen the episode yet have gotten annoyed at publications for sharing the details of the character’s death, and even […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Miley Cyrus Hits Out at Hospital Rumors April 18, 2014
    Miley Cyrus has hit out at rumors suggesting her recent trip to hospital was due to her partying ways. A number of publications decided to jump on the idea that the 21-year-old was out partying in a way to get over the recent death of her dog, Floyd. In a statement, which she linked to […]
    Alexandria Ingham

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 626 other subscribers

Quantcast