Letters May 2000 Issue

Do You Have A Prayer?

Some readers testify about the power of prayer; some are skeptics.

I read “The Power Of Prayer” (March 2000) and just had to let you know: Yes, miracles can happen. I am not a really religious person but after a personal experience with our young puppy who was fighting for his life, I know he is alive today because of prayer.

We moved a year ago and as Maggie (our other Border Collie/Akita) was to have her own outdoor yard we decided to get her a companion. We looked in the local paper and saw an ad for a person giving away Border Collie/Rottweiler/German Shepherd puppies. We decided to drive out to see the puppies, and by the time we got there, there was only one puppy left. We decided to take him home with us. After a few arguments, Argo (the puppy) and Maggie got along fine. We brought the puppy to the vet for an examination and his first lot of shots.

A week later, on a Saturday, of course, both dogs seemed sick, with vomiting and runny stools. They seemed better in the afternoon, so I decided against taking them to the vet. The next day Maggie was better but Argo (then eight weeks old ) just lay there. We took him to the veterinarian, who told us not to expect much as she figured he had Parvo. We told her to do everything they could to save him. We went to the clinic the next morning to see him, he seemed lifeless, on an IV drip. I told myself not to cry as he was going to make it, and I went home and prayed.

Each night and morning I prayed for Argo, never giving up hope. Several people told me it was cruel to keep him alive, but somewhere deep down I knew not to give up, like someone was looking after him, a feeling I can’t describe. For seven days he was on an IV drip and fighting to get well. I made two visits a day to sit with him, to talk to him and tell him to fight as I was fighting for him as well.

On the eighth day he was actually drinking and eating little amounts and was taken off the IV. Joy, oh joy! That afternoon we took home a bundle who was so fragile we had to be careful not to injure him, because he had no fat on him.

I feel certain Argo survived because of my praying. Now he is a year old and bigger than Maggie. I see him thorough the window playing, and I know he is lucky to be alive. Even the vets were praying for him; they told us he was the sickest puppy ever to survive this deadly disease in their clinic. NEVER give up no matter what; prayer can do miracles.

-Andrea Bosco
East Liverpool, Ohio


With great interest, I read your article on the power of prayer. My dog, Bear, a 10-year-old, neutered Golden Retriever, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in January 1999. Another local vet confirmed the diagnosis before I took Bear to the University of Pennsylvania. After a whole day of testing, they told us his prognosis was very poor; they gave him two to three months to live. Chemotherapy was suggested but with no hope for survival, so we declined this treatment. To make matters worse, Bear was my 80-year-old, invalid mother’s constant companion. With desperation, one Sunday night I took my dog to church. The pastor anointed him with oil and prayed while several people who loved animals and believed in the power of prayer prayed with him.

It is now 14 months later and Bear is still well. Whenever I take him to the veterinarian, he always exclaims, “Is that dog still alive?” I thank God every day for hearing our prayers.

-Jo Anne Rodman
Shamokin, PA


In the March/April issue of The Skeptical Inquirer, Professors Irwin Tessman (Purdue University) and Jack Tessman (Tufts University) examine the studies about healing prayer and show that the conclusions of the studies are faulty. To quote the concluding paragraph, “The tests of Harris et al., taken in their entirety, fail to show any significant benefit of intercessory prayer, and one of the tests directly contradicts Byrd’s primary evidence for efficacy (his Table 3) that is the cornerstone of this ‘landmark study.’ ” My own reaction is that if the Almighty was going to intercede, he would do it in an unambiguous manner, and not in some niddly-piddly manner that leaves the results up to a bunch of squabbling statisticians.

-Don Simpson
via email

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