Religious belief in the power of prayer is not supported by science. There are just unsupported, untested, undocumented personal anecdotes:
a)"God told me to stay home that day and a gunman shot up the subway I would have been on."
b)"I had a headache and I prayed and it went away."
c)"I prayed and god helped me ace the test.
Whenever these beliefs are subjected to controlled situations with peer review, they are shown to be groundless. Scientists have not given up on religion, even with a track record of zero. That is why there continue to be studies like the ones you mention.
I looked at some of the peer reviewed articles on prayer. Did you read any of them, SkyWriting? Because they don't support any of the things you are saying.
Here is what they show: Prayer, like meditation or listening to music or engaging in many other types of ordinary human activities can have positive benefits on the person engaging in the activity
. People generally feel better after doing these activities. No big surprise. When people do things that they like and think will make them feel better, they often feel better.
For people who believe in a god or gods, communicating with those beings through prayer will probably make them feel better. Oddly enough, it does not matter what god people pray to-- they feel better. Either the positive effect of prayer is independent of what god is being prayed to, and the action of prayer itself is what matters, or all the different gods people pray to actually exist and make the person praying feel better supernaturally. Or there is only one god and he answers everyone's prayers--whether from Hindus, Muslims, or Satanists-- supernaturally. Which do you think is the case?
However, there is not a single study that shows any supernatural component to prayer. When sick people are prayed for by other people, and they know they are being prayed for, they actually do slightly worse
than people who are not being prayed for-- or who are being prayed for and don't know it. Researchers think that people are less likely to take their medicine or follow other doctor's orders when they know they are being prayed for. If prayer worked supernaturally, you would not see such a discrepancy based on people knowing or not knowing about the prayers.
So, no. Prayer does not produce any real measurable positive effect different from meditation or listening to music, and may actually make people worse off. When studied scientifically, prayer has produce a big fat fail. So far. What else you got?