Cont’d from page 1
- According to University of Miami research, AIDS patients who
became long-term survivors were more likely to be those involved
in religious practices and volunteer work.
- In another study overseen by Duke University researchers, subjects
who both attended worship services and regularly prayed had lower
blood pressure than a control group. In another study, women in
a risk group for various complications of pregnancy were less
likely to suffer problems, such as low-birth-weight babies, if
- It is been shown in medical studies conducted all over that
prayer and faith have been shown to speed recovery from depression,
alcoholism, hip surgery, drug addiction, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis,
heart attacks and bypass surgery.
As illustrated in these studies, all conducted by highly regarded
medical institutions, petitionary prayer (praying for yourself),
continually shows tangible benefits. The most dramatic statistics
showing the benefits of prayer have to do with a person’s
mental health, and more specifically, depression. Prayer helps with
everyday depression, depression related to an illness, depression
related to growing old, depression related to loss, etc.
For instance, one study of 1,000 seriously ill men in Veterans
Administration hospitals found that
"religious coping," including prayer, decreased depression,
even though it did not prolong life span. A study of self-described
Christian patients found that prayer accelerated recovery from depression
caused by illness; a study of self-described Muslims found that
prayer accelerated recovery from "anxiety disorder," a
mild form of clinical depression suffered by many people. Numerous
other academic studies have also found that prayer reduces depression.
The fact that prayer can have health benefits now appears sufficiently
well supported by research data that the American Cancer Society
recently declared, "Sometimes answers come from prayer when
medical science has none." Some physicians and academics protested
when the American Cancer Society made that statement. With the ever-growing
body of evidence that prayer is good medicine, however, they are
finding it harder and harder to argue. Studies by Dr. Herbert Benson
of Harvard University have shown that inducing a relaxed, prayerful
state of mind is good both for health and immune system response.
He says, "I view the benefits of prayer mainly as psychological
or social, not as a supernatural effect, though of course the research
can't rule that out. All the research can show is that prayer sometimes
really does confer benefits." Again, this shows that even skeptics
or doctors and researchers who may not be religious themselves cannot
ignore the scientific data that has been collected regarding the
power of prayer.
Martin Seligman, a former president of the American Psychological
Association, has suggested that prayer
helps recovery from illness and depression
by focusing the mind on things to be grateful for in life. God tells
us over and over in the Quran to be grateful for all of the amazing
gifts He has given us. Being appreciative and thanking God not only
pleases God, but makes us realize how lucky we all are, AND it has
OK, so besides all the clinical studies proving the importance
of prayer, why should we do it? Because God says so! If we look
to the Quran, we are told to implore God, to pray, to be grateful
for His gifts. We are given examples of those who have implored
God and who have been saved. We see the example of Noah, who “called
and we responded to him. We saved him and his family from the great
disaster.” (21:76). Later Job turned to God and, “he
called upon his Lord, “the devil has afflicted me with hardship
and pain” God responded to his prayer with “Strike the
ground with your foot. A spring will give you healing and a drink.”
As we know and can see from such examples, God responds to prayers.
Even when it may seem like your prayers are being ignored, they
are not. God knows what is best and is in control of everything.
By praying to God, even if you are praying for something other than
what He has planned for you, you are acknowledging that God is the
one who controls all things. God knows what we do not.
When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near.
I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond
to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided. (2:186)