Doesn’t look like prayer will be a covered benefit
From the New York Times (Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer)
Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.
And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.
This doesn’t mean prayer is a bad thing or that it doesn’t offer benefits, but it probably does mean you won’t be able to use your HSA to pay for someone to pray for you. And it looks like your religious institution won’t have to change the wording on its tax deduction letters that say, “Only intangible religious benefits were received in exchange for this donation.”March 31, 2006