26. Health Benefits of Prayer
Source: The Journals of Gerontology Series – Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine studied more than 2,000 people over age 65 and found that those who attended religious services and/or fellowships were less likely to lose their mental faculties in the following few years. Religious people and/or spiritual people were also less likely to become physically disabled.
Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT) – Hebrews 13:1-3 stated, “1 Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. 2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! 3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.”
Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – The first command is: continue to love each other with true Christian love. The early Christians faced persecution and hatred from the world; hopefully, within the church and in the fellowship of believers, they should be able to find love and encouragement. The church ought to be a haven for believers. The command for believers to love one another was not new (see Leviticus 19:18; John 13:34-35). We as Born-Again Christian believers are to love one another based on our Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrificial love for us. Such love brings people to Christ and will keep believers strong and united in a world hostile to God. Our Lord Jesus Christ was a living example of God’s love, and we are to be living examples of JLord esus’ love (see also Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22; 2 Peter 1:7).
The second command is to show hospitality to strangers. This kind of hospitality was important because inns of that day were expensive, as well as being centers for pagan practices and criminal activities. This hospitality also helped spread the Gospel because traveling missionaries would be able to go to more places and minister to more people if they did not have to stay in inns. These “strangers” to be entertained, however, were not to be people who worked against God’s Kingdom; that is, believers were not to welcome false teachers into their homes (2 John 1:10-11; 3 John 1:5-9). A further encouragement to this kind of hospitality comes from the biblical record that, through their hospitality, some have entertained angels without realizing it. This happened to Abraham (Genesis 18:1-14) and Lot (Genesis 19:1-3). That hospitality was given to and received by angels shows the importance of the hospitality Christians ought to give one another. It is better to offer hospitality generously than to miss the chance to entertain angels.
The third command focuses on those in prison. This instruction was already alluded to in 10:32-34. Believers are to have empathy for prisoners, especially for (but not limited to) Christians imprisoned for their faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that His followers would represent Him as they visited people in prison (Matthew 25:36). Others who were mistreated—beaten, robbed, assaulted, humiliated—also needed to be remembered.
THE PRIORITY OF PRAYER by Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries https://www.intouch.org/watch/the-priority-of-prayer