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‘Can prayer really help heal someone?’ Virginia reporter poses the question

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Karen Kirby from Richmond, Virginia, believes in the power of prayer.

In 2014, her son Grayson was thrown from a truck and barely escaped death. Ten weeks later, he was released from the hospital.

According to a Richmond news station, WTVR, Kirby said doctors at the University of Virginia hospital had no way of explaining the phenomenon. She credits prayer as the reason for her son's quick recovery. Kirby set up a Facebook page while her son was in the hospital asking for prayers and received thousands of positive and prayerful responses in return.

"I guess that's not a question for us to answer," she said in the interview with WTVR. "God has a purpose and a reason for everything he does and maybe one day we will find out."

The question posed by a WTVR reporter was, “Can prayer really help heal someone?”

"I think it’s not only possible, that prayer could help a medical outcome, but it’s very, very likely," Dr. Harold Koenig, with Duke University, said to WTVR.

In a Deseret News article about the National Day of Prayer published in May, a powerful experience was relayed by Eric Pridmore, Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Poplarville, Mississippi.

“Pridmore will never forget praying over a member of his church scheduled to have brain surgery," the article reads. "Fellow worshippers formed a prayer circle around the man and placed their hands on him."

"It was such a powerful moment for him and also for us all," Pridmore said in the article. "I felt a real solidarity and the power of love in that experience."

In 2007, Dr. Joseph Cramer wrote an article for the Deseret News about prayer's role of being “medicine’s miracle.”

“Somewhere it is written that the soul of men and women is made up of both the spirit and the body. I believe that. So as 'body mechanics,' physicians can only deal with half the solution," Cramer wrote.

Cramer remembers his parents' older siblings experiencing heart attacks and cancer. His parents would gather the family to pray for both the sick and those who would work to cure the sick.

“Perhaps the miracle of medicine is not anything the doctors and the nurses do. Instead, maybe the miracle is in the prayers of others for both the patient and the practitioner,” Cramer wrote.

Several leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have taught about the power prayer has to heal and help. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke of prayer and its ability to invite blessings into our lives in his October 2008 general conference address, “Pray Always."

"Morning and evening prayers — and all of the prayers in between — are not unrelated, discrete events; rather, they are linked together each day and across days, weeks, months and even years," Elder Bednar said. "This is in part how we fulfill the scriptural admonition to 'pray always' (Luke 21:36; 3 Nephi 18:15, 18; Doctrine and Covenants 31:12). Such meaningful prayers are instrumental in obtaining the highest blessings God holds in store for his faithful children."

Another piece of counsel regarding prayer comes from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and is found in his book "Broken Things to Mend."

"God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as he always has," he said. "But he can't if you don't pray, and he can't if you don't dream. In short, he can't if you don't believe."

Kelsey Schwab writes for the Faith and Family sections of DeseretNews.com.