This guest column was written by Bob Goyer, Community Relations Director of Kingston Residence of Marion
Prayer is something that most of us do at some point in our lives. I have never conducted a study on how many people pray, but my guess is that it is a very high percentage. Even if a person is not a very “religious” person, they pray. Prayer can be very private or it can be very public. There are no rules on how to pray or when to pray. I know many people who pray daily. In fact the first thing they do when waking in the morning is pray. Others pray when a need arises. Whether the need is for themselves or for others, they say a prayer.
There is overwhelming evidence resulting from scientific studies that prayer plays a significant outcome in physical health. Prayer has been found to produce a clinically significant reduction in blood pressure, reduces heart rate, boosts the immune response, reduces stress, promotes positive mood states, reduces anxiety, reduces pain and enhances self-esteem. Prayer also has a very favorable influence on the overall and spiritual quality of life in late-stage disease. Researches have learned that prayer even makes a person nicer, more forgiving and increases trust in others.
I’ve observed lately in the media that we are all being encouraged by government leaders to pray for the police and their families. They are encouraging us to pray for peace and safety for them, their families and the public. Prayer is on many people’s minds these days. Why do people pray? I think it’s an instinctive thing that God has put into each person’s DNA. When we are in trouble of some kind, in pain or if a family or friend is hurting, we want to pray.
For me, prayer combined with faith is a very powerful force. I can simply pray for someone’s health to improve or for their finances to get better, but if that prayer is combined with faith, I believe the prayer has the greatest impact.
If you don’t know how to pray and want to be better at it, allow me to give you the best example that I know of. Jesus’ disciples came to Him one day and asked Him to teach them how to pray. He responded by saying to pray like this, “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”