March 2006


Dr. Ron Hawkins

Primary Subject Area

Health Sciences, Mental Health


Remote, Intercessory, Prayer, Counseling, Depression, Spirituality


The present study utilized a double-blind, controlled, pre-test/post-test design to examine the effect of remote intercessory prayer on 20 participants who received counseling for depression in various clinics throughout central Virginia. The researcher randomly drew from a pool of 20 numbers; participants given even numbers were assigned to the experimental group and were prayed for by assigned intercessors for 28 days. Participants given odd numbers were assigned to the control group and were not assigned intercessors. Twenty-eight days (or as soon a possible) after all participants took the first BDI-II (Beck Depression Inventory, second version) they completed the BDI-II for a second time. It was hypothesized that the experimental group’s mean BDI-II post-test score would be significantly lower than the control’s, indicating more improvement in mood and less depression for the experimental group. Findings showed that mean group BDI-II scores decreased for both groups, and the experimental group ended the study with a lower mean group BDI-II score than the control (M = 17.40 for the experimental group; M=23.00 for the control group); however, after statistically controlling for pre-treatment BDI-II scores, differences were not significant.