Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Power of Belief

People who believe in God are healthier and more optimistic and hopeful than people who don't. Prayer has many benefits-psychological, spiritual, physical and of course most importantly it helps people grow closer to God. (Feeling near to God is a good thing as St. Teresa of Avila often said.)
Belief has always been a right fit for me. Connecting to God has never been a problem for me, for that gift I am most grateful.
I love studies which confirm what I believe and which I feel intuitively to be true. I also like to put faith and belief to the test, it's just the kind of person I am. And so I loved the article I read at Huffington Post titled, "Why People Who Pray Are Healthier Than Those Who Don't," by Richard Schiffman. He wrote,
If you want to achieve maximum health, here are a few things that you should do: exercise regularly, eat nutritious and minimally processed foods, drop those extra pounds--and pray. That's right, regular prayer and meditation has been shown in numerous scientific studies to be an important factor in living longer and staying healthy.
It also mentioned that over 85 percent of people with a major illness pray.
If you want a reality check, sit in the waiting room of Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital or any other cancer hospital for that matter. I did that recently and will be doing more of it, as my cousin needs chemotherapy. Family members take turns going with her. When it's my turn to go with her, I look around the waiting room and look intently at those waiting for treatment. Besides their treatment, which hopefully will be successful and restore them to health, they need the comfort of prayer, the love of family and friends and they need God. What else is there when you have a serious disease? Good doctors, treatment, love, care and concern of family and friends and prayer and God. Life then becomes very simple. All the material things people desire, strive for and accumulate become meaningless.
I look at the faces of those at Sloan Kettering and I realize all the ridiculous things I worry about are useless and a waste of time. These are people with serious problems. I want to go up to them and tell them I'm sorry for their predicament and that I'll pray for them. But I don't but I do pray for them, only they don't know it, which doesn't matter.
When life gives you serious challenges, regardless of what they are, people of faith turn to God and prayer. It makes it easier, the burden lighter.
I will never understand unbelief or why people choose not to believe in God. There are so many obvious and beneficial reasons to believe in God.