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behavioral state, intercessors, intercessory prayer, neonates, salivary cortisol, stress



  1. Rath, Linda L. PhD, RNC, NNP-BC


The purpose of this article is to share a "research journey" to study the somewhat controversial subject of Christian intercessory prayer (CIP) utilized as a clinical intervention, and the knowledge gained along the way. This article will explore the steps in the development and implementation of clinical research to scientifically examine a phenomenon that many say cannot-and should not-be studied. The sequential steps in developing this area of study are detailed and explained from the conception of the initial idea through utilization of concept analysis and literature review to develop the researchable topic. The subsequent development of both qualitative and quantitative pilot studies to investigate CIP in depth is presented to illustrate how the intervention of CIP can successfully be incorporated into clinical research. This article provides guidelines for future researchers who may want to utilize CIP as an intervention.