Critics Review – Healing Power of Prayer

At times this book, co-written by a pastor and a physician, seems like two separate treatises. The first third convincingly lays out evidence from dozens of medical studies about the mind-body connection, while the rest is a fairly generic guide to prayer in the Christian life: “what it is, how to pray, what happens when we pray, and how to pray more effectively.” However, the book’s first part alone is worth the price of admission–it is filled with astonishing facts and statistics about the need for spiritual awareness in maintaining and regaining health. There is, for example, startling evidence of how stress disables the immune system, and how individuals with a strong religious orientation are statistically more likely than other patients to recover from a life-threatening illness. Prayer, according to the authors, “has the potential to produce healing along with drugs, surgery, and other therapies,” and should be considered a vital component of recovery. 
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

IMPORTANT NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR (HK): The book’s jacket provides some misleading information. This information was not approved by me prior to publication. Statements such as “Even medical studies claim that faith and prayer positively improve your well-being and the body’s ability to heal itself” and “Recent medical and pyschological studies show that prayer can relieve your stress, improve your outlook, and mend your body” are too strong. Studies showing that prayer can cause changes in physical health are not definitive. Yes, it may be that prayer can cause changes in your body that directly affect your physical health — however, this is not a proven scientific fact as the cover suggests — at least not yet. Thus, I stand behind what is written in the book itself, but the material on the cover has stretched the truth a bit and readers need to know this.