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It’s good for your health to be on a parish’s prayer list

Folks who have gotten out of the habit of saying their prayers frequently feel self-conscious and embarrassed about taking it up again. But it’s vitally important to make the effort—and by no means solely for the sake of your spiritual health.

Scientific studies show that prayer is good for your physical health as well. Patients who are on prayer lists and are regularly prayed for tend to do very much better than those who are not.

Funnily, enough, it makes no difference whether or not the people doing the praying know the people they are praying for. The recovery rates improve all the same. In other words, don’t assume that just because you don’t happen to know the person you are praying, God doesn’t either.

The moral to the story is that even if you don’t know some people named on our parish prayer list, don’t omit them from your prayers. God knows them all, and your entreaties on their behalf will most certainly help.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to pray for yourself. Even if you are so pressured you don’t know what time of day it is, you can still say the prayer written in the 17th Century by an English soldier just before going into battle: “O Lord, thou knowest how busy I shall be this day. If I forget thee, do not, thou, forget me. AMEN.” GPH✠

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