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Meditation 805
Failed Prayer

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A week ago, Billy Joe Daugherty died. While I'd never heard of him, he was prominent in evangelical Christian circles. He was founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was also the founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute and Victory World Missions Training Center. He was also briefly the interim president of Oral Roberts University.[1]

He was also author of, among other Christian books, "You Can Be Healed: How to Believe God for Your Healing"

A month earlier he had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Prayer requests went out around the world (Five hundred twenty-three Victory Bible Institutes have been started in eighty-five countries) and it can be reasonably claimed that tens of thousands of prayers were offered up for his recovery. The odds were in his favor. Overall, the one-year survival rate for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 70 percent, and the five-year survival rate is 51 percent. But Daugherty lasted just a six weeks.

There's no reason to take any joy in his death - it is a tragedy for his family, friends and followers, and I have no reason to think he was anything but an honorable dedicated man, not unjustly enriching himself through his ministry, nor engaged in anything illicit.

But still, he preached the message of healing through prayer. He was extremely successful at preaching this message. Had he survived - and half of those with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma do survive for better than five years - he certainly would have used his own survival as an example in his preaching and most likely he would have written another book which proved that prayer works.

So, it is fair to use him as an example for the counter argument: Prayer does not work.


  1. quoted from Wikipedia