An NIH study found that prayer was a factor in improved health. “Those who pray had more favorable health-related behaviors, preventive service use, and satisfaction with care. Discussion of prayer could help guide customization of clinical care.” In the study, 47.2% of subjects said that they prayed for health and 90.3% of that group believed that prayer improved their health. Those who prayed also showed more social support than those who did not pray. This support may very well counteract conditions of loneliness and enhance performance.
Pew research indicates that most individuals believe in prayer and do pray. An early Christian writer, Mary Baker Eddy, spoke of loneliness as doubt, darkness, a wilderness time in one’s experience. It would seem from the research that many physicians are not interested in or equipped to treat or diagnose loneliness, and that it could best be addressed by alternative therapies – especially prayer, in which the public has expressed confidence and survey results have indicated improved health performance.
photo taken by Derk Stenvers