Benefits of Prayer: longer & healthier life
Recently I read two very interesting articles in The Mind Health Report about the benefits of prayer. According to Andrew Newberg, “Religious beliefs and activities can have a profound impact on our mental and physical well being by reducing stress, improving resistance to diseases, enhancing memory and mental function, and helping us to lead longer lives.”
Below are two of the benefits listed from various studies, including the source of the analysis:
1. Becoming More Forgiving: Many Christians understand that it is essential for us to forgive others in order for the Father to forgive us (Matt 6:15). What we may not have considered is that praying for another helps us with conflict management and enhances our overall health.
a. Two studies at Florida State University found that praying for a person increases your ability to forgive that person. One study noted when couples pray for one another, the one praying harbored less vengeful thoughts and was more ready to move on after a conflict.
b. Another study noted: there was a marked difference between couples/people who merely thought good thoughts and those who actually prayed for their loved one or friend. Those who prayed were more likely to forgive not only the person for whom they were praying but for other people in general.
c. Conclusion: forgiveness is associated with better overall health and satisfaction with life. (source: Psychological Science).
2. Living a Longer Life: Did you know that people who pray, and attend religious services, and are involved in church activity are predicted a longer and healthier life??!! (according to an analysis of 42 studies with more than 125,000 people! Health Psychology)