17.   Health Benefits of Prayer

Source: International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine – People who hold and practice religious beliefs with a positive outlook have lower health risks. For example, in a study of nearly 6,000 Californians between the ages of 21 and 75, attending weekly religious services reduced risk of death and disease for women to the same extent as not smoking, not abusing alcohol, oe being physically active. Benefits for men, although notable, were not as pronounced.

Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT) John 5:14-15 stated, “14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.”

Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – Perhaps the man had gone to the Temple to give thanks to God for his healing. When Jesus found him, he told him, “Stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” This statement leads to the conclusion that the man’s sickness was in some way caused by sin. This does not contradict what Jesus said in John 9:3 about the man born blind because Jesus did not say the blind man never sinned; rather, he was pointing out that sin had not caused his blindness. One of the results of sin is suffering, but not all suffering is the result of personal sin.

In this case, Lord Jesus Christ sought out the healed man to warn him that though he was healed physically, his thirty-eight years as an invalid would be nothing compared to something worse-that is, eternity in hell. The man needed to stop sinning and come to salvation in Christ. He had been lame, but now he could walk. This was a great miracle. But he needed an even greater miracle-to have his sins forgiven. The man was delighted to be physically healed, but he had to turn from his sins and seek God’s forgiveness to be spiritually healed.

After this encounter, the man told the Jewish leaders what he could not tell them before: It was Jesus who had healed him. This report triggered the Jews’ persecution of our Lord Jesus Christ – a persecution that continued from that day onward.

THE PRIORITY OF PRAYER by Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries https://www.intouch.org/watch/the-priority-of-prayer