Yesterday, I was part of a group on WhatsApp that had a discussion on: “Can prayer cure depression?”
Now I am a Catholic …but I am also a scientist (at least I graduated with a science degree from college and still read up on the occasional journal).
There are a lot of studies on it… you can just type the effects of prayer on the brain…and see the evidence and make your own conclusions.
However, as much as I know prayer heals, I will never advocate not seeing a doctor and neither will any priest I know.
This is because there are instances in the Bible where healing was done through a process as opposed to just an outright prayer like bathing in the River Jordan or Jesus cleaning the eyes of the blind man.
This to me are physical representations that there are processes to things and faith and prayer do not work in isolation.
Now my belief, could open up the avenue for people to make something that has physical manifestation to be assumed to be only spiritual but I would argue that every ailment, and in fact every condition, has physical, environmental (social), mental and spiritual elements- and prayer and meditation address not only the spiritual aspect.
The human body is holistic…as much as the physical body has the lungs, heart, kidney, liver etc it also has the brain which is an organ just like the others. However, because of our consciousness (and subconscious), there is a mind beyond just the brain that has an Id, Ego & Superego, has free will, can think, imagine, learn, remember, analyse, adapt and is ultimately aware.
Now what is fascinating is that the brain is plastic and the mind is both influenced by and influences the physical condition of the brain and the body at large. That is why there is something to be said for “thinking happy thoughts.” Well, prayer and meditation helps with that.
In addition, your mental work provides stress and prayer is a way to deal with stress.
Also, everyone has heard… when two or more are gathered in my name…our group service or sabbath day…prayer causes group activities with people that ideally you share a commonality, but also can appreciate your differences. An any health professional will tell you we are social animals and need a community.
Now spirituality is just your sense of purpose and values for your life.
Haven said all this, I am not saying you should be obstinate or oblivious to practicalities.
Even Jesus worked as a carpenter for most of his life before he started his ministry and even then there was a disciple in charge of the purse to manage their funds. He ku ku ma even said man can not live on bread alone…which means that bread is not everything but it is important so there are other concerns to this life on earth besides prayer.
That is why I say that there are more doctors than priest at hospitals.
Understand that healing involves your bodies immunity which is affected by your diet, your exercise, your sleep, your social interactions, your stress level, your mentality and your sense of purpose- praying is not the full solution but can add to it significantly.