As a Christian I know and believe prayer is powerful. When I pray, I am communing directly with my Creator and I know Him as the Healer. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, I would like to share some scientific evidence regarding the healing power of prayer for your consideration.
You may be aware of the mind-body connection. Our thoughts and beliefs have a great impact on our physical health. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs or religious practice, studies have shown that attending church services regularly, even as infrequently as once a month, can make a difference in longevity and mortality. Regular religious service attendance was found to have the same impact on health as moderate physical exercise.
Centenarians who live in the blue zones report that their spirituality keeps them going every day by giving them a purpose for their lives. Some studies have shown that for older adults, maintaining a regular spiritual practice can act as a natural buffer against chronic stress, reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, strokes and other common age-related conditions.
A study of 34,000 Seventh Day Adventists over a period of 12 years found that those who went to church services frequently were 15-25% less likely to die at any age.
A Duke study of a group of 4,000 people over age 64 found that those who prayed regularly had significantly lower blood pressure than those who prayed intermittently. At Dartmouth Medical Center, one of the best predictors of survival among 232 heart patients was the degree to which they drew comfort from prayer. In studies at several medical centers, prayer had been shown to speed recovery from depression, stroke, hip surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, heart attacks, bypass surgery, and alcoholism.
There’s lots of talk about the benefits of mindfulness. Well, prayer, is the original mindfulness meditation! The words you speak and the thoughts you think release hormones and chemicals that powerfully affect your physical health. Our beliefs have great power, including healing power. I don’t believe it is an exaggeration to say words are the most powerful things in the universe. A recent news story is a powerful reminder of the power of healing prayer.
Scientists measured the relationship between prayer and spiritual health and found both private and public prayer predicted better levels of spiritual health. Prayer has statistically significant positive effects on overall health. We are three-part beings after all: we are spirit beings, who have a soul (mind, will, emotions) and we live in a physical body. To think each aspect of your being doesn’t affect the others is ridiculous.
All too often we complicate prayer and make it this mystical practice only very few are proficient at. This isn’t true at all. Prayer for me is direct, honest, 2 way communication with God. It is sharing my worries, concerns, questions and joys with Someone I trust and then listening. I share one more powerful story of healing prayer and leave it to you to decide.
What has your experience with prayer been?
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Prayer absolutely brings many blessings. Peace of mind, a sense of well-being, and joy are three that come immediately to mind. Great post ma’am. God’s blessings.
Thank you. I am in absolute agreement with you. I couldn’t get through a day without communing with my Heavenly Father.
AMEN Ann! It is all connected.
I feel like my generation as a whole has a very adverse reaction to the word prayer. So many people I know had very negative experiences with religion growing up. I guess maybe that’s why I talk about gratitude so much. It’s a prayer even the nonreligious can get behind. Loving-kindness meditations are also wonderful ways to pray for others and ourselves.
I know first hand how powerful prayer is for healing. Thanks for sharing this message in such a beautifully inclusive way.
Thank you, as always Holly – I appreciate you!!