Direct contact prayer
The Cochrane Collaboration concludes "although some of the results of individual studies suggest a positive effect of intercessory prayer,the majority do not and the evidence does not support a recommendation either in favour or against the use of intercessory prayer." Another review concludes that "intercessory prayer lacks a theoretical or theological base and has failed to produce significant findings in controlled trials."
Among the negative trials:
- One negative trial was a factorial design using distant prayer.
- One trial included in the review by the Cochrane randomized patients to controls, prayer with awareness, and prayer without awareness.
Prayer as a coping strategy
The role of prayer as a coping strategy has been reviewed.
- Anonymous (2015), Faith healing (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Boelens PA, Reeves RR, Replogle WH, Koenig HG (2009). "A randomized trial of the effect of prayer on depression and anxiety.". Int J Psychiatry Med 39 (4): 377-92. PMID 20391859.
- Bay PS, Beckman D, Trippi J, Gunderman R, Terry C (2008). "The effect of pastoral care services on anxiety, depression, hope, religious coping, and religious problem solving styles: a randomized controlled study.". J Relig Health 47 (1): 57-69. DOI:10.1007/s10943-007-9131-4. PMID 19105001. Research Blogging.
- Propst LR, Ostrom R, Watkins P, Dean T, Mashburn D (1992). "Comparative efficacy of religious and nonreligious cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of clinical depression in religious individuals.". J Consult Clin Psychol 60 (1): 94-103. PMID 1556292.
- Roberts L, Ahmed I, Hall S, Davison A (2009). "Intercessory prayer for the alleviation of ill health". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2): CD000368. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD000368.pub3. PMID 19370557. Research Blogging.
- Masters KS, Spielmans GI, Goodson JT (2006). "Are there demonstrable effects of distant intercessory prayer? A meta-analytic review.". Ann Behav Med 32 (1): 21-6. DOI:10.1207/s15324796abm3201_3. PMID 16827626. Research Blogging.
- Krucoff MW, Crater SW, Gallup D, Blankenship JC, Cuffe M, Guarneri M et al. (2005). "Music, imagery, touch, and prayer as adjuncts to interventional cardiac care: the Monitoring and Actualisation of Noetic Trainings (MANTRA) II randomised study.". Lancet 366 (9481): 211-7. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)66910-3. PMID 16023511. Research Blogging.
- Benson H, Dusek JA, Sherwood JB, Lam P, Bethea CF, Carpenter W et al. (2006). "Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients: a multicenter randomized trial of uncertainty and certainty of receiving intercessory prayer.". Am Heart J 151 (4): 934-42. DOI:10.1016/j.ahj.2005.05.028. PMID 16569567. Research Blogging.
- Masters KS, Spielmans GI (2007). "Prayer and health: review, meta-analysis, and research agenda.". J Behav Med 30 (4): 329-38. DOI:10.1007/s10865-007-9106-7. PMID 17487575. Research Blogging.