“Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
I will put them into practice with all my heart.”Psalm 119:34 NLT
46. Health Benefits of Prayer
Source: Research on Aging – Individuals who hold religious beliefs that are meaningful to them and aim to live their lives according to those beliefs are less likely to suffer from heart disease, according to a joint study at the University of Utah, Utah State University, and Syracuse University.
Researchers analyzed earlier research relating to religion and heart health and tested blood pressure responses to stress among 75 healthy men and women. Half the participants were guided on a daily basis by their personal beliefs, describing their perspective this way: “My religious beliefs are what really lie behind my whole approach to life.” Their blood pressure was not significantly affected by stress.
Other study participants had a different attitude, typified by this statement: “The church is most important as a place to formulate good social relationships.” These participants experienced a significant rise in blood pressure when faced with stress.
The observed difference in blood pressure response to stress, according to the researchers, is significant enough to increase or decrease risk for heart disease, more so than exercise (or lack of it) or being overweight. In addition, people who practice kindness and view God as sympathetic to their challenges may see the world as less threatening and, as a result, less stressful, and such a perspective further contributes to a healthier heart.
Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT) – John 14:27 stated, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.“
Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – This verse echoes the first verse of the chapter. Our Lord Jesus’ peace would not guarantee the absence of trouble. For Jesus Himself faced excruciating spiritual, physical, and emotional struggles in the coming hours. Instead, Lord Jesus’ peace supplies strength and comfort for the burdens we are called to carry. Our Lord Jesus gave the disciples peace that would help them through their own time of trial ahead. After three days, our risen Lord Jesus Christ would come to them and again bestow His peace upon them (John 20:19).
The peace Lord Jesus offers His disciples isn’t like the peace the world gives. It is His peace, the peace He modeled every day of His life. Our Lord Jesus’ peace did not flee conflict, pain, or death. In fact, the more intense the difficulties, the more apparent Lord Jesus’ peace became. Our Lord Jesus derived His peace from His relationship with the Father God.
Sin, fear, uncertainty, and doubt work to make us troubled and afraid. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain these hostile forces and offers comfort in place of conflict. Our Lord Jesus says He will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from Him. The Holy Spirit’s work in our lives brings deep and lasting peace. We have confident assurance in any circumstance; with our Lord Jesus Christ’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or the future.
Reference: The Mind Health Report – Special Report from Newsmax
THE PRIORITY OF PRAYER by Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries https://www.intouch.org/watch/the-priority-of-prayer