We all know that praying makes us closer to God. Interestingly, it also makes us healthier. A number of experts from fields of psychology, medicine and gerontology agreed that praying has tremendous benefits to mind and body.
A study from Pew Research Center earlier this year found that more than 55% of Americans pray every day. Other studies showed that even some atheists and religiously unaffiliated people said they sometimes pray.
Furthermore, more than 85% of people confronting a major illness pray every day, according to a study from the University of Rochester. Praying is the most widespread alternative therapy in America, and there is numerous evidence that it can heal people.
The relationship between prayer and health has been the subject of many studies and researches in the past four decades.
In a National Institutes of Health research, it found that individuals who pray every day are 40% more likely to have less high blood pressure than those without a regular prayer practice. Also, a 2011 study from the University of Cincinnati showed that individuals with asthma who pray and meditate regularly have fewer and less severe symptoms than those who had not. Other studies revealed that prayer increases the body's immune system and decreases the severity and frequency of many illnesses.
Regular praying also improves self-control, according to Scientific American. Study participants who were asked to pray for five minutes every day had better willpower to resist temptation. In addition, the research found prayer reduces alcohol consumption, which may reflect the exercise of self-control.
For those who are suffering from migraine Ken Pargement of Bowling Green State University said praying for 20 minutes every day can decrease the frequency of severe headaches. In his study, he asked participants to utter phrases "God is good. God is peace. God is love." After several observations, he found the spiritual meditators experienced fewer headaches and gained more pain tolerance than those who had not pray regularly.
Praying can also help people to live longer. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Gerontology found that people who prayed coped better with severe illnesses and live longer. Moreover, it found that patients with strong religious beliefs who had a major surgery were three times more likely to recover faster than those who were less religious.
With that being said, there's no doubt that praying regularly whether in the morning or in the evening has tremendous benefits to our body. Plus, it is the easiest way to communicate to our God.