So many people believe in the power of prayer that it’s now caught the attention of scientific researchers.
“Praying for your health is one of the most common complementary treatments people do on their own,” said Dr. Harold G. Koenig, co-director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center. “About 90 percent of Americans pray at some point in their lives, and when they’re under stress, such as when they’re sick, they’re even more likely to pray.”
More than one-third of people surveyed in a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine said they often turned to prayer when faced with health concerns. In the poll involving more than 2,000 Americans, 75 percent of those who prayed said they prayed for wellness, while 22 percent said they prayed for specific medical conditions. Numerous randomized trials have been done to assess the effect of intercessory prayer on heart patients’ health. In one such study, neither patients nor the health-care providers had any idea who was being prayed for. The coronary-care unit patients didn’t even know there was a study being conducted. And, those praying for the patients had never even met them. The result: While those in the prayer group had about the same length of hospital stay, their overall health was better than the group that didn’t receive special prayers.
“Prayer may be an effective adjunct to standard medical care,” wrote the authors of this 1999 study.
-Archives of Internal Medicine, HealthDay
Dr. Keith and Laurie Nemec’s comments on Can Prayer Heal You?
The interesting thing is this study was showing that majority of Americans pray (90% and even more when they are under stress or they are sick). Prayer is a part of the American lifestyle, also according to the Archives of Internal Medicine; it showed that 75% of those who pray prayed for wellness while 22% prayed for specific medical conditions. Interesting in this is what prayer is and what prayer is not. Let’s talk about what prayer is not.
Prayer is not asking God to make everything perfect and right in your life. Prayer is not a grocery or shopping list that you give to God. Prayer is not positive thinking. Prayer is not wishful thinking. Prayer is not using your mind to make your life most comfortable and easy and smooth and happy. That is not what prayer is. What prayer is, is communion with God. It is communication; it is talking and listening to God. And if we have entered a covenant relationship with Him who created us and sustains us, that marriage relationship covenant with Him; the communication in that marriage relationship is prayer.
True prayer cannot really be studied in any journal, or any research project, because true prayer is just true communication and communion with God. And of course, when one is in communion one will be listening much more than talking, and listening to the voice of God spoken into their heart, it is obvious that every aspect of their body, mind, and spirit health will increase. When one is listening to what God is speaking to the heart, because they have stilled the conscious, racing, running, raging mind that is filled with all the thoughts of the world system, when one is listening to the still, calm pond of the heart and the words that God speaks to that still heart, it’s like drops on the still pond. When we can hear the voice of God spoken into our heart, that truth will set us free in body, mind and spirit. That truth will heal your body, mind and spirit. So, what can you do today?
The biggest thing to improve your total health of body, mind and spirit is learn to be still and know God. To still your mind and follow your heart. Live a life from the heart, not a life from the mind. To live a life of waiting on God and what truth He speaks to your heart, and not the lies that the world system speaks to your mind. How do you know it’s from God and in your heart? Because it will not, in most cases, be comfortable to your mind. If it’s not comfortable, if it’s not easy, if it brings you out of your comfort zone, if it doesn’t make sense, these are usual signs that they are what God has spoken into the heart. Because what is of the heart, is the opposite of what is of the mind.
Now long term into the journey, once you’ve lived the life from the heart, the mind eventually will follow the heart to some extent, they will line up. But at first the mind will totally resist what God speaks to the heart because things that are of the heart and of the Spirit are not things that are of the mind and of the flesh. They are opposing each other. But we can train our mind to follow our heart, but first we have to take the step of faith and always follow our heart.