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  • Writer's pictureRevShirleyMurphy

Science Acknowledges Prayer

With thankful hearts offer...requests to God.' Philippians 4:6

God's Word clearly tells us to 'pray about everything' (Philippians 4:6). Today, science is beginning to recognise the value and the power of prayer. Researchers investigating the role of faith in health are discovering evidence that's hard to refute.

For example, a 2014 study conducted by The Mind Health Report confirmed that people who engage in private prayer, intercessory prayer and church activities are healthier and live longer.

Here are some additional benefits:

(1) Florida State University researchers found that praying for somebody increases your readiness to forgive them. When a group of men and women prayed for the well being of a close friend every day for four weeks, they were more willing to forgive not only the friend but people in general. Forgiveness is associated with better overall health and satisfaction with life.

(2) University of Miami researchers discovered that prayer and religious practices improve your ability to pursue and achieve long-term goals. Prayer affects regions in your brain that improve self-control, and people who view their goals as sacred are more determined to attain them.

(3) A research study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison concluded that victims of abusive relationships recovered a positive self-image and reduced their emotional pain when their lives included prayer.

(4) Columbia University researchers found that people who value religion and regularly attend church are 90 per cent less likely to suffer from depression than their non-religious peers.

This is pretty strong evidence in favour of prayer, wouldn't you say?

When a believing person prays, great things happen.' James 5:16

Seven more thoughts to consider:

(1) When it comes to praying and getting involved in church, a University of Michigan study found that it reduced the emotional toll of financial stress.

(2) A respected gerontologist reported that following heart surgery, private prayer can improve your overall state of well-being and make you feel less anxious.

(3) A National Survey of Children's Health in the USA confirms that children who get involved in church have higher educational expectations and do better in maths and reading. And children who went to church as little as once a month are less likely to repeat a year in school.

(4) Psychiatric Services journal cites several studies showing how positive religious beliefs play an important role in recovery from alcohol and/or drug abuse, and greatly reduce the rate of recidivism.

(5) When researchers at Yale School of Medicine studied 2,000 people over sixty-five, they found that the ones who attended church were less likely to lose their mental faculties in future years.

(6) Anger puts your stress reaction into overdrive and raises your blood pressure. Ohio State University studies confirm that praying for the person you're angry with can calm your anger and foster positive emotions like compassion, which improves your overall health.

(7) And Sociological Quarterly reports that teens who find meaning and importance in faith have better relationships with their parents, which leads to a more satisfying experience for the whole family.

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