Can prayer get you pregnant? – Divine Intervention – Brief Article

Can prayer get you pregnant? – Divine Intervention – Brief Article – Statistical Data Included

Monique I. Cuvelier

TWO SEPARATE STUDIES REVEAL A SURPRISING CORRELATION between prayer and conception, on the one hand, and longevity on the other. A team from Columbia University was amazed to discover that prayer appeared to double the chances of pregnancy in women undergoing in-vitro fertilization treatments. Women who were prayed for had a 50 percent pregnancy rate, compared with a 26 percent success rate among those for whom no one prayed.

The study rules out the power of persuasion. Neither the women nor their doctors knew that people were praying on their behalf. In fact, the 199 women were in Cha General Hospital in Seoul, Korea, thousands of miles from those praying for them in the U.S., Canada and Australia. “The results were so highly significant they weren’t even borderline,” says Roger Lobo, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We spent time deciding if it was even publishable because we couldn’t explain it” They opted for publication in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine to encourage others to investigate the phenomenon.

Prayer might not only hasten life but also stave off death, according to research from the University of California at Berkeley. A team there found that Christians and Jews who attended regular services lived longer and were less likely to die from circulatory, digestive and respiratory diseases. Devotees of Eastern religions were not surveyed.

This study, to be published early this year in the International Journal for Psychiatry in Medicine, examined links between religious attendance and cause-specific mortality from 1965 to 1996 in 6,545 residents of Alameda County, California. Even after adjusting for variables such as health and frequency of exercise, religious devotees lived longer without succumbing to disease.

“At this point it’s a puzzle why there should be this pattern,” says the study’s author, Doug Oman, Ph.D., a lecturer at Berkeley’s School of Public Health. “It’s likely a stress-buffering resource. Regular attendance at services can give people an inner peace that is unshakable. That results in less wear and tear on their bodies.”

COPYRIGHT 2002 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group