Lately I’ve been learning a lot about atheism, what they believe, their reasons for denying the existence of God, and how they think. A popular thing I’ve come across in some atheist circles is their claim that prayer has no affect and that proves God doesn’t exist. They say people with health problems recover at the same rate whether they are prayed for or not.
I have at least a couple of problems with that. The first thing is, you cannot study prayer scientifically. This is not a study with all information available, we cannot tap into God’s will, or the prayers He hears like we can access a set of data on a computer. Any true scientific study on this subject should find the results inconclusive… and I’m fine with that. It’s a matter of faith. I would even be leery of a study siding with the healing affects of prayer. Prayer, as far as I know, doesn’t leave evidence that can be traced in a true scientific method. We can make assumptions (diagnosis received, prayer, diagnosis reversed) and have faith but I don’t think science can conclusively prove a result on this subject.
The second problem with the atheist argument is; what about when people are healed of incurable afflictions or things that require surgery like aortic stenosis (I recently heard a testimony of somebody being healed of aortic stenosis so that’s why I chose it)? If prayer is the only difference between a time of diagnosis and a time of healing, how else do you explain it? Prayer is as good of an answer as any. If you say it was a freak incident, it might as well have been prayer. If you say you don’t know but science will explain it eventually, it might as well have been prayer (although an atheist would chastise you for attributing something we don’t understand to God). The ultimate skeptic would say it was faked, but as in the case of the healed aortic stenosis there is proof it’s not a fake in the form of test results on file at the doctors office.
Like a lot of atheist arguments, I believe this one is highly flawed.