Facts with Hope
HOPE: While parents often pray for their children, we can also make a difference in our children’s health by praying with them and teaching them to talk to God frequently throughout the day. Having a self-identity rooted in God’s love helps them to value their health and the behaviors that contribute to health.
FACT: More Americans are praying about their health. Scientists analyzed data on 30,080 adults ages 18 and older who took part in the National Health Interview Survey in 2002 and on 22,306 adults who participated in 2007. Forty-nine percent of adults said in 2007 that they had prayed about their health during the previous year, up from 43 percent in 2002. In 1999, only 14 percent of survey participants said they had prayed about their health.
FACT: Personal time with God may slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease. A longitudinal study at the Behavioral Neurology Clinic at Bayside (Canada) assessed 70 patients aged 49 to 94 for quality of life, spirituality and religiosity. Researchers found that higher levels of private religious activities and of spirituality predicted slower cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, after controlling for age, gender, education, and cognitive level at baseline.
- Rew, L., Wong, Y. J., & Sternglanz, R. W. (2004). The relationship between prayer, health behaviors, and protective resources in school-age children. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 27 (4), 245-255.
- Wachholtz, A. & Sambamoorthi, U. (2011). National trends in prayer use as a coping mechanism for health concerns: Changes from 2002 to 2007. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 3(2), 67-77.
- Koenig, H. G. (2004). Religion, spirituality, and medicine: Research findings and implications for clinical practice. Southern Medical Journal, 97 (12), 1194-1200.
- Kaufman, Y., Anaki, D., Binns, M. & Freedman, M. (2007). Cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease: Impact of spirituality, religiosity, and QOL. Neurology, 68(18), 1509-1514.