Power in Faith

By J. L. Leifeste

It is wonderful to find proof among the circumstances of daily life that God’s word is true. Studies in many areas substantiate His word. Lately, many people in the medical profession are realizing that prayers, through faith, have a definite beneficial effect upon their patients.

Dr. Harold G. Koenig is noted for his association with psychiatry, behavioral sciences, and the Duke University Medical Center in the United States of America. He helped conduct major studies on the connection between religion and health. From these studies, and his personal experiences, he became convinced that faith has beneficial effects upon a person’s health. He wrote books upon the subject and is cited as having said that more than twenty medical schools in the United States now include courses on religion’s relationship to medicine.

Information published on August 10, 2000, listed Harold Y. Vanderpool as the professor of History and Philosophy of Medicine at the Institute for the Medical Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, U.S.A. He has lectured about the positive connections of religion, including prayer, in relationship to health. Recent medical studies show that strongly religious people are hospitalized less frequently. Yet, even when hospitalized, they also survive major surgery better and get well more quickly. Afterward, they often live longer than do people who have no faith.

Many doctors, nurses, and ministers in hospitals notice such results. Seventy-seven percent of hospital patients in the United States of America want their religious beliefs considered during treatment. Such conclusions to medical studies, assertions of medical professionals, and preferences of hospital patients make it obvious that our faith and our consequential prayers greatly benefit our physical and mental health.

However, we must remember certain facts concerning faith if we are to gain its full benefit. A complete study of the New Testament enables us to understand this faith (Rom. 10:17).

The benefits of true faith are not limited to the effect which a person’s mind and attitude can have upon his or her body. When faithful Christians pray, God hears their prayers and uses His power, guided by His wisdom, to help them (1 Jn. 3:20-22; 5:14-15; Lk. 22:41-44; 24:6-7; Rom. 8:26-28; 2 Cor. 12:7-10).

Also, physical health is a good thing. Yet, our greater need is spiritual health. That spiritual health, or salvation, comes to us through faith (Heb. 11:6). It is a gift from God (Jn. 3:14-16; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9). There is only one true faith (Eph. 4:4-6). It must be obedient and active (Heb. 6:9-12; 12:1-2; James 2:17-18; Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-16; 2 Thess. 1:8). It must be correct and sincere (Acts 5:1-11; Eph. 5:6). And it must be diligent (Jn. 14:23; 2 Pet. 1:10).

Jesus taught that there is great power in faith (Mk. 11:22-26). Today’s medical profession is noticing a truth of God’s word: healing power is available for those who are mentally committed to their religion. But our best situation is to enjoy spiritual health as well as physical health. We must make sure that our faith includes learning and living the will of Christ (2 Pet. 3:18). Above all, we must make sure that our faith is the true faith from God. (See Lk. 8:12-15, Jn. 14:6, and 2 Tim. 2:14-19.)