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Prayer is good for you. Really.

August 9, 2010

Here’s a post about the neuroscience of prayer from over at Episcopal Cafe. It seems that scientists have found objective proof that the consistent practice of prayer leads to better physical and emotional health, plus a greater capacity for attention to others and compassion.

Who’d ‘a thunk it?

Scientific findings like this remind me of all those Onion humor pieces in which scientists “discover” something that millions of people have known full well for an awfully long time. (Here’s an example: “Study Finds Link Between Being Struck By Cream Pie, Diminished Social Standing.”)

I’m not discounting the neuroscientists’ work regarding the efficacy of prayer–it’s interesting and helpful to have it out there in our public sphere of knowledge and conversation. And, of course, there are many so called “truths” that people believed (and still believe) that only scientists, in their exquisite precision, have managed to de-bunk.

I’m just thinking maybe we could call this research into the neuroscience of prayer “scientific confirmations,” not “scientific discoveries.”

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