Years ago, certain religious family members and acquaintances were fond of reciting a study that found, they said, that praying for the sick would actually contribute to the healing process. Granted, they didn't know the name of the study, where it was published, or who conducted it, but they were as certain of its findings as they were that god answers their prayers.
Now, we always questioned the existence of such a study. After all, what kind of crackpot organization would ever fund such a study? Aren't there plenty of other legitimate medical questions in need of study?
Well, now there is a real clinical study, which confirms the findings of another study, and it seems to show that prayer either has no effect, or its effect is to actually impede the health of those aware of others praying for them. Now that that energy has been expended, how about a cure for cancer? The common cold? Cold sores?