People's relationships in life tend to change as they grow older. Experience has shown that individuals' relationship with God goes through some changes as well. Those who truly believe are drawn closer to Him as they grow older, which has served them in good stead.
Scientists learned that this devotion to God promotes higher wellbeing to older people. The more frequently they pray, the greater they feel. More specifically, prayers are more likely to enhance wellbeing, improve mental health and decrease depression in older adults.
Researchers at Baylor University analyzed data from the nationwide Religion, Aging and Health Survey. The 1,024 respondents who are at least 65 years old were categorized into three groups: currently practicing Christians; Christians in the past but not presently religious; and individuals not affiliated with any faith at any point in their lifetime.
Based on the samples, it was learned that prayer is central to many spiritual people. For those who are highly secure in their faith, the simple act of praying serves as a natural buffer against chronic stress, helps ease depression and results in a greater sense of wellbeing.
On the other hand, the benefits of praying for those who have only a moderate attachment to God are much lower. For those whose attachment to God falls below the mean, the results are mixed. Some experienced an increase in well-being while others registered a decrease.
The varying results on those who have a moderate and low attachment to God show that the psychological benefits of prayer are dependent on the quality of a person's relationship with God. Ultimately, it all comes down to how an individual views God and how much trust is put in Him.
The study is just one of many that were made on the effects of prayer that yielded positive results to those who believe. One of the most exhaustive research analyzed more than 1,500 reputable medical studies indicating that "people who are more religious and pray more have better mental and physical health."