None of these five are that rigorous, and they go in decreasing order of falsifiability, so the first is my best response. However, some may appeal to certain people differently, and they each have their own logic to them.
It also may depend on how closely they are working with someone. If I was proposing it to another rather than alone and doing a test, I might jump to number 4, “the 30-day prayer experiment”. It also provides better evidence for someone outside the experimenter. If alone, it would be low on the list.
They all have something or other to say about the question. They obviously wouldn’t mix.
1. God’s Medicine Bottle
Here is some information about Derek Prince’s test that he did in North Africa when he was sick. He talks about his experience and giving the test for others. The person has to have some ailment though; a minor one is sufficient.
He wrote a small book called God’s Medicine Bottle based on Proverbs 4 which is available by pdf; it says 65 pages but the pages are tiny and the words huge, probably 5-10 pages double spaced.
Proverbs 4:20-22 KJV emphasizes four steps as shown:
20 My son, attend to my words;
incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes;
keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Take as Directed
Pay Close Attention
Bend Your Ear
Don't Let Them Out of Your Sight
Keep Them in Your Heart
2. Be Still until you Know
Joseph Benner offered the world two experiments. Both were based on the idea that if one can know the truth, then his mind will be in smooth coherence with reality. By the Pragmatic Theory of Truth, championed by William James; if his beliefs are true, he will have optimal functioning.
In his book, The Impersonal Life, Benner said that God only gave us one meditation and if we would just do it truth would come to us.
“Be still - and KNOW - I AM - God.” Based on
Psalm 46:10 He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Psalm 62:5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
Job 6:24 Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray
He claimed no one could spend much time doing this without contacting God. What counts as “much time” is open for debate.
He writes that God commands you: “Speak them just as they are herein written, trying to realize that the God of you commands and demands of your moral self implicit obedience. Study them, search out their hidden potency. Brood over them, carry them with you in your work, whatever it be. Make them the vital, dominating factor in your work, and all your creative thoughts. Save them 1000 times a day, until you have discovered all My innermost meaning. Until every cell of your body thrills in joyful response to the command to be still and instantly obeys.”
3. Repeat Basic Truth until you Know
Though the first sounded especially Biblical, and neither is that cut and dry, the second one actually seems bit more experimental and logical. Benner wrote in his book The Way Out that if something is intrinsic and true, then anyone who believes it will find his experience of reality going smoothly. Believing the truth reconciles the mind with the world. This is the best measure of whether beliefs are true. (This logic is similar to the above). In light of that: the most disbelieved yet true and important aspects of man and the true God can be summarized from the Bible in this phrase, as he writes:
“GOD LOVES AND CARES FOR ME AND IS GIVING ME ALL GOOD THINGS.
I LOVE HIM AND THINK HIS THOUGHTS AND DO ONLY THE THINGS HE WANTS ME TO DO.”
This represents the only reality if there is correct relation between God and man. Therefore if any intellect were to believe it, that mind and reality itself would be in correspondence .
Any system accurately representing reality in correspondence is not confused. This is one common definition of truth in philosophy as per the link. So the prediction is profound lack of confusion.
Philippians 4:8 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
John 8:32 King James Version
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
“All that is needed is to say this over and over again to yourself until you believe it absolutely, letting not a single doubt of it’s truth ever enter your mind… Try to realize the full truth of these words to feel it, to see yourself actually living in the consciousness of it… Whether you know it or not yet everything that is come into your life has been good for you, for through these things He has brought you to a place where you should be willing to look to and trust Him only, for all the good things He has had for you from the beginning. And it should be easy to love Him. And through consciously loving and trying to think His thoughts you can see that it opens your mind so that His thoughts come in… So do not pass [these words] by because they seem so simple and common place. Stay with them until all their glorious import dawns upon you and you feel the change that they will surely and quickly bring into your consciousness and therefore into your life and all your affairs.”
He also adds that all one needs is some way to keep it up. (He doesn’t give a time frame but I imagine it’d be quick if it really is true, maybe a dozen days straight?). This may require timers or other people or documentation or something. He goes on to say that this may smack of sort of a power of positive thinking/just believe/affirmation-ish/bunch of BS.
The reason it is different is because it is true. Affirmations fail because they are usually not expressions of what’s true, but rather expressions of what we want to be true. No one but a saint would pick that as what they most want, for it is true relation with the true God.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Philippians 2:5 ESV / 208 helpful votes
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 ESV
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
1 Peter 1:13 ESV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
O Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You think of him?
For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind
And declares to man what are His thoughts,
1 Corinthians 2:16 kjv
For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
4. The 30-day Prayer Experiment
There was an actual “30-day prayer experiment.” run for a decade or two by The Pittsburgh Experiment, a market-place ministry founded in 1955 by Rev. Sam Shoemaker, Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church. It survived long after.
“[The way] Sam impacted the lives of business leaders was a very simple tactic which he called the 30-day Prayer Experiment. To someone who was searching spiritually, Sam would offer to join with them for 30 days of prayer about a specific need. He challenged them to trust God to answer within that time frame. Amazingly, He almost always did!”
I like the “specific need” aspect is good because it makes measuring results much easier.
In 2015 The Pittsburgh Post Gazette summarized the process and reported it is still going 60 years later.
Another source said:
“Sam Shoemaker used to say that in the course of the “30-day prayer experiment,” one of two changes would take place. Either God would specifically answer the request in an unmistakable way, or he would dramatically change the heart of the person praying.
Both results are wonderful and remarkable—and they go hand in hand as living proof that the Lord’s care is directed toward us. Why? Because He truly is the One Who answers.”
5. Act as if / Do and know
“Dr. Bob” Smith, a cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous offered a somewhat less rigorous challenge one might call an experiment. “Act as if” and know and see, or “Do and know.”
Based on this verse spoken by Christ, John 7:17 (KJV):
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
This particular experiment aside, that is one of the more powerful verses for claiming it can be tested!
One was supposed to try it for ten days and meet with a spiritual adviser, four times for a forty day experiment.