Letter: Power of prayer

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The Independent Online
Sir: If Nigel Greenwood (letter, 7 September) tacitly accepts the validity of Francis Galton's analysis of the efficacy of prayer, his view may be as wide of the mark as Galton's study was long ago.

Surely prayers were aimed to ensure that the members of royal houses lived longer than they otherwise would, rather than longer than average.

While I am ignorant of the levels of 'prayer effort' during the relevant periods, I would imagine that the longevity of the subjects of Galton's study would compare favourably with that of Lady Jane Grey and various members, from time to time, of the household of Henry VIII. Pray on if you will.

I remain, Sir, yours,


London, SW7

7 September