I receive the Medscape weekly newsletter, and sometimes there are commentaries published there. A couple of weeks ago, there was a long rant from a doctor who seemed to want people to know that he was both a dedicated scientist and a writer with an extensive vocabulary. He was writing about what effect, if any, intercessary prayer has on a patient’s physical condition.
The doctor went into great detail to show [his] God as an all-powerful being who created this vast and intricate universe with all its laws governing everything from the most massive sun to the smallest subatomic particle. And then he let his opinion be known by stating that such a God who had created all this could not be expected to take notice of a minor change in one person’s functioning. He attributed any improvement in prayed-for patients to psychological factors which may not have been accompanied by any lasting change in physical condition.
I could not let this self-important windbag go unchallenged. I sent my own letter to the editor in reply:
“In regard to commentary by Dr. G, posted ~3/20/07, the writer of this pompous, verbose piece goes to great lengths to make it appear that God, the all-powerful creator of this incredibly vast and complicated universe, must be insulted by our requests that He pay attention to a mere difference in blood flow or a few points in blood pressure. His is the mistake made by most people who learned their theology from established religion: that God is outside and separate from the universe, and therefore separate from humanity, and must be prayed to so that He will change what is happening. Some of us know that God is within the universe and every part of it, down to the tiniest particle; that it came forth from God and since there was nothing else before God, all that exists must be made of God as expressions of God. Therefore, when we pray, we do not ask for intercession; we channel the positive creative energy of God to the person or situation that needs it, in order to restore balance. I don’t know if the practitioners of physical medicine can understand this, but it has been known to work.”
I received a standard note of thanks for my interest and heard nothing further on the subject from anyone.