Morality in America
When studying the founding of the United States, you can’t help but encounter the faith of the nation’s forefathers. Time and again they recognized God’s hand in the shaping of America. You will find Him repeatedly mentioned in their words and documents. And you will find Him having an active, vibrant role in the country’s early history.
Today, God continues His work in America – but it’s in a nation that has clearly lost its moral compass. Every week, “Morality in America” will address the myriad of moral concerns facing the United States and undermining its Godly heritage. After you read, remember to intercede in prayer for America – that this nation will return to the Christian standards that once defined it.
God is Good
Health benefits to a relationship with the Almighty
By Carol Hatcher
Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, lived to be 969 years old. He must have been a pillar of his church. Why you ask? A new study shows church attendance can increase the average lifespan. While the research focused solely on women, previous studies indicate male churchgoers also benefit from longevity, just not as much as the women. Of the 75,000 women participants who were followed over a twenty-year span, the ones who attended church more than once a week had a 33% lower risk of dying.
Those who attended church just once a week also lowered their risk by 26%. Delve deeper into the study and you’ll find those regular attenders had greater social support, were overall happier people, suffered from less depression and were less likely to smoke. Church attendance boosts immune systems and lowers blood pressure, the study says.
Christians have always known the way to life is through Christ. Jesus Himself said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26) Jesus is referring to life after your earthly body dies. But this study shows spending more time in the house of the Lord actually has benefits here on earth. And speaking of life here and now, Jesus addressed that, too. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Does this mean all Christians who attend church one or more times a week are guaranteed a long life and good health? No. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. The study only shows that church attendance helps. It does not, however, replace healthy living or medical treatment. This is a fallen world – one where sin entered when Eve ate the fruit in the garden. And because of that sin, there will always be sickness and death until Jesus returns.
Longevity and good health are just the beginning of the benefits of going to church. Take it a step further and consider the advantages of prayer. The divorce rate of people who do not attend church hovers around 50%. The divorce rate for people within the church does not differ; it’s still around 50%. But the one thing that drops the divorce rate is a couple praying together. When couples pray together, the divorce rate drops to less than 1%.
Prayer can also combat the effects of stress, help you to be more forgiving and more trusting, improve your self-control and make you an overall kinder individual. It helps you to be more positive, builds self-confidence, and can even help you heal faster after a surgery. These are all scientifically proven benefits of prayer.
Regular attendance to church increases the average lifespan. Prayer with your Heavenly Father makes you a happier, more confidant and healthier person. When you draw close to God, His power takes effect in your life. Remember the woman who touched Jesus? “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.” (Luke 8:43-44) She was healed with one touch. Drawing close to God has health benefits. The proof is in His Word and scientists are just figuring it out, too.
You see, the power of God is so magnificent even regular attendance and worship in His house has health benefits. But how much more are the benefits when you regularly spend time in His Word and talk to Him through prayer. When you come into God’s presence, you will come away changed for the better. All these scientific facts and figures point back to what most Christians already know – God is good, and time spent with Him is even better.
Spend some time today praying:
- For the health of the nation as a whole
- For Americans to recognize the benefits to a relationship with Christ goes beyond what can be scientifically proven
- For the American church to be strengthened
Carol Hatcher is a former elementary school teacher turned speaker and writer. She has contributed to many books and magazines and is a regular contributor to the Vantage Point devotional series. This southern belle lives with her husband and three children in Commerce, GA.
The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
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