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Arising partly out of religious belief and partly out of frustration with high-tech medicine, millions of prayers cross the lips of patients, family members, and even doctors and nurses each day in America's hospitals and examining rooms.
That has prompted a post-2000 wave of research aimed at determining what, if anything, all that praying accomplishes: Can it directly improve patients' health? Does it simply soothe? What happens if the patients aren't told they are being prayed for?