We need to know that there is a connection between worship and health. What God tells us to do in worship is not for God’s benefit but ours. God doesn’t need our money, so that is not why we give. He doesn’t tell us to sing because He likes good music. Likewise, prayer is not because God needs us to tell Him what is going on or what we need. Jesus makes it clear that God knows what we need before we ask. (See Matthew 6:8.)
Worship and health are connected because all acts of worship are for our well-being. Christianity Today published a report of studies showing reduced health risks for people who attend worship services regularly compared with those who never attend. Consider these comparisons:
Those who attend have an 84% lower risk of suicide than non-attenders.
Those who attend have an 82.9% lower risk of depression than non-attenders.
Those who attend have a 50% lower risk of divorce than non-attenders.
Those who attend have a 33% lower risk of illegal drug use than non-attenders.
The report also quoted Gallup polls showing that confidence in organized religion has dropped from 68% in 1975 to 36% in 2019. In addition, a Barna Poll showed that in 1911 43% of Americans said they went to church every week, and in 2020 that number was 29%. Harvard University researchers Tyler Vanderweele and Brendan Case collected the data, so it is an academic investigation by recognized scholars.
The connection between worship and health is another example of the correlation between rejecting God and having problems with suicide, depression, drug use, and instability in relationships. Jesus said, “I come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). That is not just true of life after death, but in living every day through all we experience on Earth.
— John N. Clayton © 2021
Reference: Christianity Today, November 2021, pages 37-42.