Did you read the additional articles associated with the page you cited? I did;
"Despite -- or possibly because of -- the obstacles, the debate over the medical value of intercessory prayer continues. As long as people believe in prayer, science will probably continue to investigate its effects. But until methodologies can be refined or until irrefutable evidence for or against prayer's power is uncovered, belief in prayer as a factor in healing will continue to be a matter of faith."
Yet, that aside, both links aren't scientific studies. They are summaries and interpretations of studies.
If you want to deal with things on that level, look here instead;
Intercessory Prayer May Not Reduce Complications From CABG
* The study was completed in 6 different hospitals across the United States. Patients eligible for study participation were scheduled to undergo nonemergent CABG. Patients were admitted into the study regardless of their religious beliefs or affiliation, but these data were gathered prior to surgery.
* Subjects were randomized to 1 of 3 prayer groups: in groups 1 and 2, participants were told that someone may or may not be praying for them, but only subjects in group 1 received intercessory prayer. Participants randomized to group 3 were told that they would receive intercessory prayer and did receive prayer.
* Prayer was carried out by 2 Catholic groups and 1 Protestant group for 14 days for each study subject. Intercessors knew patients only by name. The mean number of daily intercessors was 33, and prayers could last 30 seconds to several hours from 1 to 4 times per day.
* The main study outcome was the presence of postoperative complications within 30 days of CABG. Secondary outcomes included any major event or death. Analyses were by intent-to-treat.
* 3295 patients were eligible, and 1802 agreed to participate in the trial. Baseline and operative data were similar between randomized groups. The mean age was 63 years old, and more than 70% of subjects were male. 80% of the overall cohort had some religious affiliation, of which Protestant was the most common. The majority of participants believed in spiritual healing, and almost all participants reported that someone they knew would be praying for them.
* Rates of any complication for groups 1 and 2 were nearly identical (52% and 53%, respectively). Respective rates of any major event were 18% and 13%, significantly favoring group 2. Mortality was similar between subjects in groups 1 and 2 (3% and 2%, respectively).
* Participants in group 3 had significantly higher rates of any complication compared with group 1 (59% vs 52%, respectively). Significantly higher rates of atrial fibrillation in group 3 accounted for most of this difference. Rates of major events were similar between group 3 (14%) and group 1 (18%), as were rates of mortality (2% and 3%, respectively).
* The certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a relative risk of complications of 1.27 compared with no certainty of prayer. Other significant risk factors for complications after CABG included older age, prior myocardial infarction, and a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and hypertension.
Pearls for Practice
* Previous research has demonstrated that intercessory prayer by strangers can improve the medical course of patients in a cardiac care unit, although prayer did not reduce the duration of stay in the cardiac care unit or hospital.
* In the current study, certainty of receiving intercessory prayer increased the risk for at least 1 complication following CABG, while intercessory prayer itself did not appear to alter the risk for complications, major events, or mortality.
Why is this study important? This is the first and only study that I am aware of that was comprehensive. It also was done through funding by the Templeton Foundation (a Christian religious organization) and found no positive correlation between intercessory prayers and health and even found a negative effect to those who knew they were prayed for. So, in ideal clinical settings to show the benefits of intercessory prayer, supported by religious and spiritual groups as well as professionals, no positive effect was found.
Here is some additional information for you to review;
Excerpted from: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=2797.msg58861#msg58861
Overview of the study: http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html
An abstract: http://www.ahjonline.com/article/PIIS0002870305006496/abstract
Intercessory prayer is widely believed to influence recovery from illness, but claims of benefits are not supported by well-controlled clinical trials. Prior studies have not addressed whether prayer itself or knowledge/certainty that prayer is being provided may influence outcome. We evaluated whether (1) receiving intercessory prayer or (2) being certain of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with uncomplicated recovery after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
Patients at 6 US hospitals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: 604 received intercessory prayer after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; 597 did not receive intercessory prayer also after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; and 601 received intercessory prayer after being informed they would receive prayer. Intercessory prayer was provided for 14 days, starting the night before CABG. The primary outcome was presence of any complication within 30 days of CABG. Secondary outcomes were any major event and mortality.
In the 2 groups uncertain about receiving intercessory prayer, complications occurred in 52% (315/604) of patients who received intercessory prayer versus 51% (304/597) of those who did not (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.92-1.15). Complications occurred in 59% (352/601) of patients certain of receiving intercessory prayer compared with the 52% (315/604) of those uncertain of receiving intercessory prayer (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.28). Major events and 30-day mortality were similar across the 3 groups.
Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.
Who is John Templeton and his foundation? First, his foundation...
The John Templeton Foundation: http://www.templeton.org
"We are trying to persuade people that no human has yet grasped 1% of what can be known about spiritual realities. So we are encouraging people to start using the same methods of science that have been so productive in other areas, in order to discover spiritual realities." --John Templeton
John Templeton: "As a member of the Presbyterian Church, Templeton was dedicated to his faith. However, Templeton remained open to the benefits and values of other faiths. Commenting on his commitment to what he called spiritual progress, “But why shouldn't I try to learn more? Why shouldn't I go to Hindu services? Why shouldn't I go to Muslim services? If you are not egotistical, you will welcome the opportunity to learn more." Similarly, one of the major goals of the Templeton Foundation is to proliferate the monetary support of spiritual discoveries. The Templeton Foundation encourages research into "big questions" by awarding philanthropic aide to institutions and people who pursue the answers to such questions through "explorations into the laws of nature and the universe, to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity." " (Wikipedia)
So, we're talking sponsorship from a group -- Templeton -- looking for spiritual connections, supported by Harvard Medical School, Baptist Memorial Health Care, INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Mind/Body Medical Institute and the Washington Hospital Center. 1,802 participants in the study (+99% statistical confidence and a very small deviation?).
Now you know the facts. The study was more than fair toward 'spiritual' concerns ... and it found no correlation -- unless you count the small negative correlation (a possible stress induced placebo effect) as significant.