The positive health effects of prayer

It’s a good guess that a number of readers of this blog would agree that prayer does have a positive, even healing effect on one’s health and well being.  My colleague, Russ Gerber, has written a column for The Huffington Post on just this subject (click here for the entire article).  I thought you’d enjoy pondering the following excerpt:

Did you catch the brief but remarkable story about researchers who have concluded (once again) that more and more Americans are praying about their health? As striking as that is, it’s not the big surprise in the latest study…as of 2007 the percent of adults who are praying about their health is now at 49 percent — no kidding, about half of the adult population — up from 43 percent in 2002 and 14 percent in 1999. That’s a lot of prayers.

Harold Koenig, M.D. isn’t surprised. In the introduction to his now-classic Handbook of Religion and Health, a definitive analysis of the effect of religion and spirituality on health, Koenig noted: “As those of us who have labored in this field for many years have long suspected, the relationship between religion and health, on average and at the population level, is overwhelmingly positive.”

What the critics aren’t embracing, the people are: the potential of a more spiritual consciousness to improve and restore health, and the confirmation from their own experience that indeed it does…For those who thought health care reform was just about cost control and access, think again.

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