"Compelling evidence suggests that those who follow a spiritual path in their lives live several years longer than those who do not follow such a path, and that they experience a lower incidence of almost all major diseases," says Dossey.
In an article published in an issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic researchers reviewed the relationship between religion or spirituality (or both) and its tie to any sort of recovery. The researchers found "a majority of the nearly 350 studies of physical health and 850 studies of mental health that have used religious and spiritual variables, that religious involvement and spirituality, are associated with better health outcomes."
Says Besser, "Lester Breslow, a true pioneer in public health...[conducted a study] with Professor James E. Enstrom of the University of California, Los Angeles, and showed that the life expectancy of Mormon men was almost ten years longer than that of the general population of white American males. Female Mormons lived between five and six years longer than their general population counterparts."
Also, Randy Travis, that Hall-of-Famer country star, had a stroke recently. His wife, Mary, professed, "They really said there was no hope; go ahead and pull the plug. I went to his bedside and I said, 'Baby, you've got to give me some more fight.' And I knew that he had a little talk with Jesus, because he squeezed my hand, and a little tear fell down," she continued. "And I knew that he wasn't through yet." More prayer, I imagine.
Enough? I may not know if God exists, but I'm leaning toward the positive side that He does. As my grandmother used to say about anything, "It couldn't hurt. So try." I'm going to join a congregation as my first step toward worship and then we'll see where it goes. While I'm there, I'll pray for others and, truth be told, a little for myself.