DOES PRAYER REALLY WORK? (Luke 18:1-8): 17 October 2010 (Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

DOES PRAYER REALLY WORK? (Luke 18:1-8):  17 October 2010 (Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Today’s Reading

Note:  A version of this homily was delivered in Xavier School last October 6, 2010, but it fits our Gospel Reading today.

About five years ago, an interesting scientific research was conducted by a team of doctors.  The study is called STEP, which stands for “Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer.” The research is interesting because it’s a kind of experiment on the effects of prayer on patients undergoing a delicate surgery called CABG–or Coronary Artery Bypass Graft.

The doctors behind STEP wanted to answer two research questions:

First: Does intercessory prayer–or praying for the patients–help them recover from surgery?

Second:  Are there benefits if the patients are assured of prayers?  In other words, do they recover faster? I’d like to talk about this today because in today’s Gospel reading, our Lord asks us to pray–even nag Him like the persistent widow who never gave up on the judge.