The Bible teaches Christians that there is nothing more powerful than the power of prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us that we should rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. A new Gallup poll found better mental health trends among Americans who routinely attend worship services. Forty-four percent of weekly churchgoers said they would describe their mental health and emotional wellbeing as excellent. This trend is steady, compared to 46% who said the same in 2020 and 42% of regular congregants who reported “excellent” mental health in 2019.

Still, some didn’t always believe in the power of prayer, like Dr. Gary Onik. Dr. Onik has been a cancer practitioner in the field for about 30 years. In an opinion piece recently published in USA Today, Dr. Onik wrote about how his investigation into these special requests led him from being a scientifically based empirical’ atheist to someone with a profound faith.

Dr. Onik said he’s come across at least one terminal cancer patient who healed through an international prayer effort on his behalf and shared his journey of investigating how prayer can help the afflicted. This case led Dr. Onik to think deeper into the issue. Instead of dismissing prayer as inconsistent with his empiric and rationally based training, he considered how the scientific phenom of quantum physics and human consciousness might support the idea of healing facilitated through prayer.

He spent a decade looking into how prayer and science might merge, and then, he found himself facing his terminal prostate cancer diagnosis. At that point, Dr. Onik had a choice: to seek prayer or depend solely on science. He said he knew that prayer would be a significant component of his treatment, so Dr. Onik decided to seek prayer and post a video. To Onik’s surprise, people from worldwide and from different religious backgrounds reached out to pray for him.

Dr. Onik also made a risky decision: he decided to avoid surgery for his cancer and instead relied on prayer and a special immunotherapy regime he created. At this point, the prostate cancer spread to his lymph nodes and his bones. However, three years after his diagnosis, Dr. Onik remains free of metastatic cancer and is potentially cured thanks to prayer and his immunotherapy regime. He says he’s not sure that he would’ve healed without prayer, but there’s one thing he does know: prayer is essential, especially when it comes to cancer.

Prayer is a cornerstone of a variety of faiths. It’s the way that believes connect with their higher power and discuss the needs and desires of their heart. Believers can also use prayer to connect with other believers. Matthew 18:20 says, for when two or three gather in my name, there I am with them. Some believe that prayer is unnecessary, but as Dr. Onik found out, prayer is needed to achieve healing and make things right in the world. Prayer is necessary to live a spiritually fulfilled life.

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