Dr. Andrew Newberg, MD. is the Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomson Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College. He has studied the affects of various spiritual practices on the human brain for many years. According to his research, prayer stimulates increased activity in the frontal lobe of the brain; it physically engages the brain. He also studied different kinds of meditation and contemplation of spiritual things, but none showed the same response that prayer did.
Prayer engages our physical bodies with God, and as a result, we gain physical benefit. Not only are we blessed, but we begin to grow.
I want to check out some examples of how prayer, and putting our faith into action really produced physical benefits as well as spiritual enlightenment.
Check out the following stories:
Blind Man – Mark 10:46-52
Gentile Woman – Matthew 15:22-28
Blind Men – Matthew 9:27-29
Woman with Blood Issue – Mark 5:25-34
All of these people were healed by Jesus; and if we look closely, not only did each of them have faith, they also did something with that faith.
Having Faith results in healing, but just having faith is not enough, according to Romans 12:3 we already have a measure of faith.
In each of the above examples, we see the believer acting on his/her faith: crying out to Jesus, striving to get close His attention, to get close to Him. It was because of this effort combined with their faith that they were able to experience healing. They came to Jesus believing that He would heal them, and because they stepped out and asked, He did.
God has already given us faith, its what we do with it that determines what happens next…
So how do we make it practical?
- Ask With Confidence
- Ephesians 3:12
- 1 John 4:17
- Hebrews 4:16
- Believe, then ask.
- Hebrews 11:6
- Ask believing that if the request is part of God’s will, it will be granted.
- Mark 9:23
- Mark 11:24
- Claim the promise of healing (answered prayer).
- Psalm 107:19-20
- Psalm 30:2
- Story of the Centurion – Matthew 8:5-10, 13
- Be Persistent
- Hebrews 6:15
- Hebrews 10:36
Actions demonstrate our faith. If we don’t act on what we believe then how are we supposed to expect things to happen? We must practically apply the privilege of prayer in our lives so that we can experience the blessings that come when we ask.
Consider the woman caught in adultery: John 8:2-11
Questions to ask ourselves:
- What am I doing to be made whole?
- What am I doing to work WITH God?
- Am I doing something that will prevent my prayer from being answered?
We must act on our faith. If we really believe something, it should lead to action. According to James 2:19, even the demons believe, and it causes them to take an action too – they tremble! How much more should we, as children of the Most High do something with the gift of faith that God has given us?
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:22-24