Dear Readers, due to unexpected computer problems, I won’t be posting any new blogs for about 2 weeks. Have a blessed Christmas and holiday season. Sally
Prayer is more powerful than we can imagine. And astonishingly enough, it brings healing to the one who prays for another. God has given us a great tool for His purposes.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
The Power of Prayer
I accidentally slammed a heavy door on my thumb one day. Despite ice packs, every beat of my heart brought relentless throbs of pain. It hurt so much, I decided to skip my church’s weekly prayer meeting, which I’d never missed. On second thought, I’d suffer whether at home or in church, so I went to the meeting.
On arrival I hurried to the altar where the group members were laying hands on the shoulders of a woman who had asked for prayer. Not even knowing her request, I joined them. My throbbing hand reminded me of a dentist’s drill, but as our prayers continued, the pain began to recede. By the end of our prayers, it had disappeared.
How did that happen? I wondered. Perhaps my thoughts had transferred away from myself toward someone else. But I knew God had healed me through the prayers for someone else and I praised Him for it.
Earnest, heartfelt prayer brings healing to many people. My experience showed me prayer is a two-way discipline that causes us to believe in God’s power. He touches us both physically and emotionally. Studies show praying for others works better than many medicines. Our prayers for others not only have a calming effect on our body, they are known to lower our heart rate and blood pressure, reducing stress hormones and pain by as much as sixty-three percent.
Studies also show that daily prayer and/or meditation help keep our brain healthy, even improving memory and focus by almost half. And the results of one study show that as we pray for others and our stress level lessens, so do our cravings. Research shows that some people who pray lose over forty percent more weight than those who don’t pray.
The Bible is filled with examples of prayer-induced healings and reasons for us to pray for others. Jesus spent entire nights in prayer. He called the temple “a house of prayer” rather than a place of buying and selling. He also encouraged us to have faith in His power. “Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22) And James 5:15 tells us “The prayer of faith will save the sick …”
One of my favorite verses written by Paul the Apostle is Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Lord, thank You for hearing and answering our prayers and for the beneficial effects of praying for others. Inspire us through Your Word and Spirit to pray daily, believing. In Jesus’ name, amen.