19. Health Benefits of Prayer
Source: Diabetes Care – People with diabetes who attended religious services, at least occasionally, were less likely to have chronic internal inflammation (measured as C-reactive protein). Inflammation indicates increased risk for heart disease and complications of diabetes.
Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT) – Acts 15:24-26 stated, “24 “We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching, but we did not send them! 25 So we decided, having come to complete agreement, to send you official representatives, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In the Bible, book of Leviticus 13:11 says, “It is a chronic skin disease, and the priest must pronounce the person ceremonially unclean. In such cases the person need not be quarantined, for it is obvious that the skin is defiled by the disease.”
Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – In this letter, the Jerusalem church disassociated itself from those men who had troubled the Gentile converts regarding circumcision. They had received no such instructions from the apostles and had been acting without their approval. They were not to be regarded as spokesmen for the church. Rather, the men bringing the letter (Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas) had been chosen as representatives of the church, with authority to speak on behalf of the elders and apostles.
The law for cleansing from birth impurity (Leviticus 12:1-8) was observed by Mary after the birth of the Lord Jesus (Luke 2:22-24). The reason for the uncleanness of childbirth may be traced to the Fall and the curse pronounced immediately afterward. Pain and suffering were to accompany childbirth (Genesis 3:15), and death would ultimately follow (Genesis 2:17; 3:19). Consequently, everything connected with procreation (childbirth, menstruation, seminal emission) was treated as unclean, rendering a person unfit for a specified period of time to perform religious duties. The laws concerning infectious skin diseases, including leprosy, in people, and mildew, in infected articles (Leviticus 13:1–14:57), were followed by a long section on the laws concerning what to do when a person or object was healed of such a disease (Leviticus 14). Leprosy (Hansen’s disease) was greatly feared by the Israelites, not only because of the physical damage done by the disease, but also because of the strict laws that isolated the leper from the rest of society. Leviticus 15 put forth the laws concerning male and female discharges and gave two examples for each. The point of this passage was to protect Israel from death (remember Nadab and Abihu) by teaching them how to avoid defiling the tabernacle (Leviticus 15:31), God’s dwelling place among them.