Prayer, The First or Last Resort
Belonging to a Christian nation, many of us believe in the power of prayer. We know that prayer works and is essential to have an intimate relationship with the One we are praying to--our God. Why? Because prayer is a way to communicate what is in our heart to the God who we believe in and have faith in. It is a way to converse with Him and to thank Him for all the things He has done for us and to praise Him for who He is. In fact, in the Bible, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray through His prayer we commonly think titled, "Our Father", telling us, "In this manner, pray".
An article in The Philippine Star newspaper way back March 30, 2010, titled, "The Power of Prayer" by Dr. Tyrone Reyes amused me because he said that many scientist have been doing researches, studies, and analysis on the link and effects of prayer in the health of individuals. Perhaps they were intrigued by the results of the recent surveys in the U.S. which showed that 47% of the adult population had prayed specifically for their own health. Cardiologists also said that 97% of their patients prayed the night before they had heart surgery. Do you know that the article also said that there are more than 6,000 published studies on this topic since 2000? Perhaps these scientists want to determine how healing is received through prayer and would like to quantify prayer into 'dosages' so they can recommend it to their patients. Well, some really just recommend prayer to their patients especially to the terminally ill as a last hope or resort.
But, should prayer be the last resort? If we have the faith that God can heal us, wouldn't it be better if we have the faith to stay in good health? Again, prevention is better than treatment. The Bible says, "Ask, and you shall receive" and therefore, we can ask the Lord to put a hedge around us so that we won't be afflicted by any sickness, coupled with our own actions, of course, like eating healthy food instead of junk, exercising regularly and taking the right vitamins and minerals. Let us not be mistaken in believing that our prayer is enough to keep us healthy; we must also do our part. Once, we've asked, we can always thank the Lord for our health which is a sign of our faith and we will receive protection from any affliction that will be around us. However, sometimes we are too busy to pray, even just to say the Lord's name and thank Him for a meal. Only when our problem surmounts and have lost all hope, we turn to the Lord and say our prayer. I'm not saying this is not good; what I'm saying is why only now when you could have done it earlier. One thing is truly important to remember: our salvation is given to us, not because of what we have done right, but because of the great mercy and grace (unmerited favor) of God toward us.