I've never been sure why, but the subject of prayer causes problems for many mainstream news reporters. I think part of the problem is that some reporters think they have to believe that prayer "works" in order to take prayer seriously.
Thus, I have heard mainstream journalists say that it's a "fact" that prayer does not work and that real journalists must strive to present solid facts and nothing more. After all, academic studies of the effectiveness of prayer -- linked to medical issues -- have been mixed.
Yes, from the viewpoint of a skeptical editor it's hard to prove -- as a fact -- that prayer "works" (although some academic studies of miracles are fascinating). Nevertheless, journalists need to remember that it is a fact that millions of people in many faiths around the world believe in the power of prayer and that their actions in real life, based on those beliefs, frequently affect real events and trends in the news.
I bring this up because of a revealing error in a story, and headline, that ran in The Independent about a British woman named Kristy Adams who is running for Parliament. The problem is clearly seen in the double-decker headline:
Tory MP candidate 'claims she healed deaf man through prayer '
'I don't know if he was more surprised than me,' says Kristy Adams
That's right. The journalists behind this story seem to think that Adams thinks that SHE healed someone. Here is the overture in this report:
A Conservative party candidate has reportedly claimed she healed a deaf man with her bare hands by channelling the power of prayer.