- You will Live Longer. Those who attend church services once a week live an average of seven years longer than those who never attend, a nationwide study found.
- You will Be Healthier. Those who live out their faith in a faith community have fewer health problems than the non-faith practicing according to researcher and epidemiologist Jeff Levin author of God, Faith and Health. Church goers are healthier than non-believers and less likely to die prematurely from any cause. Prayer and your faith can also speed recovery from physical and mental illness, surgery and addiction.
- You will Recover Faster. Patients comforted by their faith had three times the chance of being alive six months after open heart surgery than those who took no comfort in religion, Dartmouth Medical School found.
- Your Heart will be Healthier. Those who prayed regularly were 70 percent less likely to have coronary heart disease. People who went to church services regularly had a significantly stronger immune system according to Dr Harold Koenig MD, author of the Healing Power of Faith.
- Your Blood Pressure will be Lower. Duke University researchers found a significant protective effect against high blood pressure among those who attended church regularly.
- Your Mental Health will be Better. Attendance at church is related to lower rates of depression and anxiety according to a Duke University study. Duke Medical Center conducted a study of seriously depressed men and women and found that those who put spirituality at the center of their lives recovered 70% faster than those who didn’t
- You will Have Reduced Stress. Those under psychological stress experience raised blood pressure and raised heart and breathing rates. This strains the body and lowers immunity. But according to Dr Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School, prayer and meditation lowers blood pressure, heart rates and breathing rates.
WHY? According to Dale Matthews, MD, professor of medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine and author of The Faith Factor: Proof of the Healing Power of Prayer:
- Your body responds positively to being connected spiritually. “Blood pressure and pulse rate tend to be lower, oxygen consumption better, brain wave patterns slower and immune function enhanced that is if you practice your faith regularly.”
- Your mind is at peace. Having faith gives you a sense of peace and the ability to look beyond your present problems with hope which can reduce stress, lower your risk of anxiety and depression.
- You take better care of yourself. People who practice their faith are “less likely to drink and smoke and their more likely to take their medicine and wear their seat belts.”
- You’re part of a healing community. Numerous studies have shown the healing power of social ties. For many people the church is family. It’s there they feel a sense of connection, meaning and purpose. “Friends can be your secular version of faith, but religion is more powerful insists Dr. Matthews. “As part of a spiritual community week after week, month after month and year after year you have opportunities to obtain all of these healing benefits on a regular basis.”
There are lots of good reasons to be connected! Do you attend church regularly? How about pray or connect with other believers? If so, you will be glad you did for so many reasons! Why not join us this Sunday at The Ridge? We would love to have you. It will be good for you, literally.
See you Sunday, Darrell
For more about The Ridge Fellowship go to www.ridgefellowship.com