A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about our country’s broken health care system. In just those two weeks, even more Americans are without health insurance. This means more pressure on our emergency rooms, which means higher medical premiums for those of us fortunate to have insurance.
We know that Jesus healed many people. He also didn’t heal everybody. We know that there are people with a gift for healing. Of course, they don’t heal everybody. We know that people, for whom doctors gave up on, were healed. Because of all these “we know”s,
there are people who have tried to study, under controlled conditions, if prayer heals or least gives comfort to patients. Since 2000, there are over 6,000 studies of intercessory prayer. Some of the early studies showed remarkable benefit for patients who received prayer. Studies since then seem to indicate little to no improvement in patients who received prayer.
But studies show that people who attend church regularly live longer than those who don’t. People who believe in a loving God fare better after a diagnosis than people who don’t. Spirituality predicts better disease control according to Dr. Gail Ironson of the University of Miami. (Time Magazine) There are scientific explanations for these things. Parish Nurse programs and hormone levels effected by church attendance can account for the above findings.
One thing researchers seem to agree on – our brains are made to be compatible with spirituality. As I have always said, we are spiritual beings. Prayer changes the way the brain functions. A nice side effect is that prayer improves memory function.
What is important is that our health care is a multi-disciplinary system. Science and faith are both necessary to live a healthy, happy life. We pray for people because human beings can’t do everything. We ask God to intervene. How and why this happens or doesn’t happen is way beyond my understanding.