Has anyone read "Prayer is Good Medicine: How to Reap the Healing Benefits of Prayer" by Larry Dossey, M.D.?

Hello! Has anyone read the book called “Prayer is Good Medicine: How to Reap the Healing Benefits of Prayer” by Larry Dossey, M.D.? A priest friend of mine mailed this book to me as a gift earlier this year and I read over half of it I believe. I really enjoyed the book. The only problem I had with the book is that it is not written from a Catholic perspective. In fact, I don’t think Larry Dossey is a Catholic. In the book, Mr. Dossey states that many studies on the effectiveness of prayer have been done and that it has been shown that the prayer of a Hindu, as an example, is just as effective as the prayer of a Catholic. Now, to be honest, I don’t really know what to think about this. However, the fact that he cites so many different studies on the healing effects of prayer is rather impressive. I think all of the studies he cites were done scientifically and some of them were even done double blind. Some of the studies involved people praying for an unknown group of say, cancer patients. Well, the cancer patients had no idea that they were being prayed for. The study showed that even though neither party knew who the other party was, the patients showed a significant improvement in health. So yeah, it is a very informative book.

Anyway, I said cancer patients above but I honestly don’t remember if the study he cited involved cancer patients, heart patients, or what. I just used cancer patients as an example.

So, has anyone on here read this book? If so, what did you think of it?

I’m familiar with the book. Larry Dossey is VERY well-regarded in “new age” circles, and most new agers have his book alongside those of Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Sylvia Brown, Allison DuBois, etc. I’d suggest asking Sharon Lee Giganti about it on one of her new age segments of the radio show.

Hmmm, okay. I am not sure why a priest would have sent me a book from a New Age follower. All well, it doesn’t really matter. Maybe he thought the subject matter (that prayer is good for healing) would be something I would be interested in. In fact, I am sure that is what he thought because I had discussed with him before about wanting to be healed of my mental disorders.

From Dr. Dossey’s official website:

[quote=Dr. Larry Dossey’s Website]The impact of Dr. Dossey’s work has been remarkable. Before his book Healing Words was published in 1993, only three U.S. medical schools had courses devoted to exploring the role of religious practice and prayer in health; currently, nearly 80 medical schools have instituted such courses, many of which utilize Dr. Dossey’s works as textbooks. In his 1989 book Recovering the Soul, he introduced the concept of “nonlocal mind” – mind unconfined to the brain and body, mind spread infinitely throughout space and time. Since then, “nonlocal mind” has been adopted by many leading scientists as an emerging image of consciousness. Dr. Dossey’s ever-deepening explication of nonlocal mind provides a legitimate foundation for the merging of spirit and medicine. The ramifications of such a union are radical and call for no less than the reinvention of medicine.
[/quote]

SOURCE: dosseydossey.com/larry/default.html

Emphasis in bold mine.

This whole idea of the “nonlocal mind” really sounds kinda weird and definitely like a New Age concept. I tried to look up more information about it but could not find much.

Anyway, I just found this on an Amazon.com review of one of his books called “Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine”:

[quote=Amazon.com]Dossey rejects the traditional Judeo-Christian notion of prayer as a relationship to a transcendental God, offering instead his own quasi-pantheistic view of prayer as a genuinely nonlocal event'' directed to theAbsolute’’ in all things. In any case, prayer apparently works: Even unconscious or dream prayer, it seems, can be effective. At the same time, prayers often remain unfulfilled, and Dossey blasts New Agers for preaching that illness is the patient’s fault and that physical health always reflects spiritual health, pointing out that many saints have suffered from terrible physical or emotional maladies.
[/quote]

SOURCE: amazon.com/Healing-Words-Larry-Dossey/dp/0061043834

You can find the quoted part in the review under Editorial Reviews. The review which has this quotation is “From Kirkus Reviews”.

So apparently Dossey rejects the traditional Judeo-Christian notion of prayer which is a concern to me. However, according to this review, he is also apparently a critic of the New Age movement.

And finally, here is some more information about Larry Dossey and the New Age from his own website:

SOURCE: dosseydossey.com/larry/lecture.html

So again, he seems to be criticizing the New Age movement here.

Okay, so maybe he is not actually a part of the New Age movement. But then again, he apparently is not Judeo-Christian either since he rejects traditional Judeo-Christian prayer. Regardless, it does seem as though he may espouse some dangerous theology. He almost seems like he is a Universalist or something. I’d like to learn more but at this time, I don’t really know where else to look.

Hey everyone. Sorry to bring this thread up again but I just need to ask those of you who are familiar with this book… Are the prayers of other religions really just as effective at effecting healing in the body as prayers from a Christian?

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