It’s a new year, that time when everyone decides to get healthy, at least til their resolution fades into dissolution.
I wonder what your health goals are and what plans you have to accomplish them.
Science has discovered a health plan which should precede all others, and we don’t even have to change our diet (not that we shouldn’t anyway).
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But it turns out prayer can do that, too.
What better way to start the year than in prayer. But did you know praying is actually good for your health? Not just because you prayed for your health, but just because you pray.
Science has proven the power of prayer. There have been hundreds of studies revealing significant connection between prayer and health – mental and physical. Here are just a few benefits:
- Besides helping us cope with daily circumstances, prayer offers us some quiet time, thus reducing mental stress.
- Faith and prayer give us hope, which makes us more optimistic.
- People who pray are usually more forgiving and therefore less negative. Praying also gives us social support and a sense of community.
Pray for one another… James 5:16
Consequently, people who pray have a much lower incident of major diseases and live longer than those who don’t.
Scientists have even noted differences in the brains of those who pray compared to those who don’t. Evidently there are physiological responses which lower stress by lowering metabolism, heart rate and blood pressure.
When the heartbeat is regulated, it is stronger and less stressed. Therefore, a person can heal better, age more efficiently and even live longer.
Other benefits of reduced stress due to prayer are less depression, hypertension, ulcers and migraines, as well as improved immunity.
It has even been proven that people of faith live longer than atheists.
When he calls to me I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble…
…with long life I will satisfy him…
Psalm 92:15-16 ESV
Duke, Dartmouth, and Yale Universities conducted separate studies, which revealed the following:
· People who pray get sick and depressed less often, and when they do, they recover quicker.
· Hospitalized people who never attended church have an average stay of three times longer than people who attended regularly.
· Heart patients were 14 times more likely to die following surgery if they did not participate in religious activities.
· Elderly people who did not attend church had a stroke rate double that of people who attended regularly.
· In Israel, religious people had a 40% lower death rate from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Prayer, of course, not only positively affects the pray-er, it affects the ones being prayed for – even when they don’t know they’re being prayed for.
Researchers at San Francisco General Hospital conducted a study of nearly 400 heart patients to determine the effects of prayer. Half were prayed for and half were not. None of the patients knew who was being prayed for and who was not.
The study concluded the patients who were prayed for had less need for CPR, ventilators and medications. They had less occurrences of heart failure and fewer deaths. They healed quicker and left the hospital sooner.
Doctors determined this could only be attributed to the powerful effects of prayer.
Prayer is not just a method to improve our physical health. Our spiritual health and vitality is what affects our emotional and physical health, as the studies demonstrate.
It turns out prayer can be preventative, not just anecdotal.
So, let prayer be your medicine, and medicine be your prayers.
Let’s resolve to include more prayer in our new healthy diet plan this year, and not let it dissolve.
I pray you have a happy and healthy 2017!
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.3 John 2 ESV
While I believe with all my heart that prayer is the most powerful force in our lives, we still must be diligent in eating healthy. Sadly, most Americans are not even aware of some of the health-destroying toxins in our modern-day foods.
Since diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases a few years ago, I’ve done a lot of research about foods and and their effect on our health. We must educate ourselves for the sake of our health and our families’ health. I will be blogging about some of this in the coming weeks.
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Blessings and health to you, Penny
I am writing a six-week Bible study called Pursuing God in P.R.A.Y.E.R. – Six Steps to Prevailing Prayer. I would love to share the first week with you free and keep you posted of publication. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the code FREE1st.