Prayer and Health: Review, Meta-Analysis, and Research Agenda

  title={Prayer and Health: Review, Meta-Analysis, and Research Agenda},
  author={Kevin S. Masters and Glen I. Spielmans},
  journal={Journal of Behavioral Medicine},
This article reviews the empirical research on prayer and health and offers a research agenda to guide future studies. Though many people practice prayer and believe it affects their health, scientific evidence is limited. In keeping with a general increase in interest in spirituality and complementary and alternative treatments, prayer has garnered attention among a growing number of behavioral scientists. The effects of distant intercessory prayer are examined by meta-analysis and it is… 
Rethinking Prayer and Health Research: An Exploratory Inquiry on Prayer’s Psychological Dimension
A brief literature review of cancer survival trials is employed by the author to raise questions on their design and to bring speculatively into discussion concepts such as “worldview,” “intentional
A Practical Meta-Analysis of Prayer Efficacy in Coping with Mental Health
Given the large number of people who identify as religious in the United States and the large number of the overall population diagnosed with a mental illness, there is a need for linking an easily
Prayer and Health: issues for theology and psychology of religion
Quantitative research has been prevalent in the studies on prayer. Using a qualitative approach based on content analysis, this study examines the relationship between prayer and health. Data come
Private prayer associations with depression, anxiety and other health conditions: an analytical review of clinical studies
The reported observational studies suggest that frequent private prayer is associated with a significant benefit for depression, optimism, coping, and other mental health conditions such as anxiety.
Studies of Prayer as a Complementary Therapy
Methodological issues include the need to report randomized trials of prayer according to CONSORT guidelines, the needto treat prayer as a “black box,” choosing endpoints that are theologically meaningful, choosing the intercessors, theneed to blind the studies and whether prayer can be harmful.
Prayer Research: Foundations, Review, and Agenda
Prayer, defined as spiritual communication with God, is framed by religious/spiritual assumptions that serve as a foundation for prayer research. Prayer publication rates, exemplars of prayer
Religiosity/Spirituality and Physiological Markers of Health
It is suggested that R/S benefits health, perhaps through minimizing the disruptive effects of stress/depression on inflammation.
Prayer as a pain intervention: protocol of a systematic review of randomised controlled trials
This systematic review will seek to summarise and integrate the existing findings from randomised controlled trials assessing the effects of prayer and prayer-based interventions on pain experience and provide evidence for prayer effectiveness in reducing pain intensity and pain-related stress and increasing pain tolerance in adults experiencing acute or chronic pain.
Private prayer as a suitable intervention for hospitalised patients: a critical review of the literature.
The findings indicate that private prayer, when measured by frequency, is usually associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety, and future research needs to differentiate the effects of different types of prayer.
Model of Individual Health Effects from Religion/Spirituality: Supporting Evidence
This chapter is the first of thirteen reviews in this volume providing a public health perspective on the empirical evidence relating religion and spirituality (R/S) to physical and mental health.


Prayer and Health: Conceptual Issues, Research Review, and Research Agenda
The theoretical and empirical literature on the relationship between prayer and health is critically reviewed. Although empirical research partially confirms that prayer promotes a variety of health
The Effects of Prayer and Prayer Experiences on Measures of General Weil-Being
Although some 90% of all Americans claim to pray, a review of social science literature will reveal that researchers have shown little interest in the topic. The 1985 Akron Area Survey which focused
Are there demonstrable effects of distant intercessory prayer? A meta-analytic review
There is no scientifically discernable effect for IP as assessed in controlled studies and the IP literature lacks a theoretical or theological base and has failed to produce significant findings in controlled trials.
Frequency of Prayer and Functional Health in Presbyterian Pastors
Despite a lack of variation in both health and prayer, high frequency of prayer was significantly related to higher scores in three health outcomes: vitality, general health, and mental health.
Research on the Healing Power of Distant Intercessory Prayer: Disconnect between Science and Faith
It is argued that the experimental methods of science are based on important assumptions that render them ill-equipped to study divine intervention and consequently produce non-interpretable findings.
Religious Involvement, Stress, and Mental Health: Findings from the 1995 Detroit Area Study
Although interest in the links between religion and mental health has increased sharply in recent years, researchers remain far from a consensus regarding which aspects of religious involvement are
Religious cognitions and use of prayer in health and illness.
Symptoms discussed with a physician or for which drugs were taken were more likely than others to be prayed over, suggesting that prayer may be used for symptoms seen as serious and that prayer and medical help-seeking are not mutually exclusive.
Religion and Medicine III: Developing a Theoretical Model
  • H. Koenig
  • Psychology
    International journal of psychiatry in medicine
  • 2001
A theoretical model is described to illustrate the complex pathways by which religion may influence physical health and the important role that social support plays in moderating the physiological effects of stress and improving health outcomes.
Praying for Others, Financial Strain, and Physical Health Status in Late Life
The data suggest that the deleterious effects of chronic financial problems on physical health are reduced significantly for older people who pray for others often and that praying for material things fails to offset the pernicious effects of economic difficulty on health.
Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives
Plante, Sherman, Research on Faith and Health: New Approaches to Old Questions, Conclusions and Future Directions for Research on faith and Health.