Find Serenity Through Prayer
“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.“ Leviticus 23:22
Here’s a warm and wonderful fall greeting to our OHI community. I love this time of year with the cooling temperatures, the color of the autumn trees, and the promise of a bountiful harvest. I offer you this Bible verse because regardless of the size of the harvest we should feast and share with those in need, especially during turbulent times. COVID-19 has been like an unexpected hail storm that damages the farmer’s crop, but rather than hoard what is left, it is better to take only what we need, and to help others as we can. At OHI, we have witnessed the generosity of so many of you in the most selfless ways and we are so grateful.
In the spring newsletter, I talked about how seasonal change can be understood as a time of transformation, and a time to rediscover your Purpose in life. You might remember from my article Purpose is one of our 5 “Ps” to optimum health. At the time, I didn’t know just how transformational 2020 would be for everyone including OHI. We’ve responded by making significant improvements without changing our program that you’ve come to know and trust.
In the summer newsletter, I discussed three more of our 5 “Ps” to optimum health: Patience, Persistence, and Positive Mental Attitude. 2020 has certainly challenged us on all three. We’ve had to be Patient about getting back out in the world. We’ve had to be Persistent in keeping our goals in focus. And, we’ve had to maintain a Positive Mental Attitude in the face of negative news (I’ll have more to say on that further down).
Fall is a Time of Preservation, Maturity, and Gratitude
We now enter fall, when nature’s bounty is ripe and ready for picking. I recall from my youth how many of the neighborhood families would bring out the Mason jars, boil them for purity, load them up with fruits and vegetables from their gardens, then put them away to savor on some winter’s day. In many ways autumn is all about preservation – of values, traditions, and truth.
We can find a great deal of spiritual symbology in the fall season. The changing color of the leaves reminds us that change is constant. The falling of the leaves reminds us that letting go of the past and moving forward is what life is all about. And, the ripening and maturing of crops is symbolic of our spiritual maturity.
The season of harvest is a time for work, mindfulness, and gratitude. Every effort of the farmer working the land, every furrow turned, seed planted, and weed pulled, is with the harvest in mind. His commitment is to the reward at the end. Here at OHI our commitment is to fulfilling the needs of the body, mind, and spirit. One of the ways we do that is through Prayer, the most powerful of OHI’s 5 “Ps” to optimum health.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Lately I’ve become concerned that news stories have been spreading mixed messages that contradict each other. News sources I’ve considered reliable are running stories that seem at odds with each other. Sadly this is very confusing; and finding the truth requires verifying every report from multiple sources. It seems that some media, politicians, and experts are posting messages that are not based on facts, and you have to wonder why they are not being transparent. There should be no hidden agendas. We want to trust our government officials, newscasters, scientists, experts, in short, our fellow human beings. We are all in this together, and if we can’t trust the purveyors of vital information, then doubt and uncertainty will tear us apart.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because significant portions of the truth are being left out which distorts stories and creates fear, the most powerful of our. Media creates sensational stories to build an audience, and sell advertising. You may recall from the summer newsletter how I mentioned that people have a propensity for bad news, and how it is a natural instinct that protects us. Some media companies and politicians know this and use it to manipulate us. So, when you hear a story that makes you anxious or afraid, you should verify its accuracy.
OHI Is Your Trusted Partner
The problem is what fear-based news does to people. It keeps them in a state of panic and nervousness which creates an imbalance in their body, mind, spirit, and hides the truth. And, all of this unease can turn into disease. Here at OHI, we are committed to the truth. For example, we provide both biblical and scientific sources for any medical or scientific claims we make. We are here to empower you through our classes and activities, so that you learn to understand your body, mind, and spirit and restore balance. It’s good to have a community with which you can discuss concerns and focus on healing. OHI provides the community you’ve come to know and trust. When you start feeling anxious, we help you get back to basics with daily practices, mindfulness, intention setting, and prayer. Our mission statement, guiding principles, and spiritual identity are all founded in truth. OHI’s tried and true program and loving supportive community remain constant in our changing world.
Our program has integrity; we’ve been doing this for 44 years – despite the various fads and trends on nutrition, health, and fitness – our program is still as effective as it was on the day we opened our doors. Our program, leadership, staff, missionaries, donors, and guests all contribute to holistic healing by creating a safe and sacred space. We wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t true. We have guests who have returned every year for decades, and who regularly refer their loved ones to us. Our main concern is the safety of our entire community: guests, missionaries, and staff.
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22
The Power of Prayer
In troublesome times like we’ve been experiencing; the act of prayer calms you and brings peace. But, prayer does much more than soothe the soul; it enables you to awaken the love of God within you, so that you can better cope with pain, disappointment, and loss. It nourishes your body, mind, and spirit so you stay focused on what is important – like your Purpose. You can even pray for Patience, Persistence, and a Positive Mental Attitude. Prayer is the fifth of our 5 “Ps” to optimum health that I have been discussing with you this year.
Prayer is powerful in many ways. For me it is often enough to simply pray for strength every day. It brings me closer to God, and it will bring you closer to your higher source. Sharing the load reduces the burden you may feel on your journey through life’s opportunities. With prayer you can express gratitude, ask for guidance, and listen for answers. You can pray for healing, and you can pray for others. As English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, once observed, “Prayers are the very highest energy of which the mind is capable.”
Prayer is portable, you can pray anywhere for any length of time. As little as 30 seconds of prayer, acknowledging God and giving thanks for all the blessings in your life, can relax and calm the nerves. Pray in the car while you’re driving (but please keep your eyes open), pray in the checkout line at the store, pray in a place that is sacred to you, or pray while you’re out on a walk or communing with nature.
You can pray alone as Jesus did, or you can pray with others which helps create and maintain community.
Science Proves the Healing Power of Prayer
“Studies have shown prayer can prevent people from getting sick,” says Harold G. Koenig, MD of Duke University, ” and when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster.” After analyzing 1,500 reputable medical studies, Koenig concluded that people who pray more have better mental and physical health. He adds, “They have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and probably better cardiovascular functioning.”
Science is also showing us why prayer makes us feel so peaceful. Herbert Benson, MD, a cardiovascular scientist at Harvard University, who has conducted studies on prayer for the past 30 years says, “All forms of prayer evoke a relaxation response that quells stress, quiets the body, and promotes healing.” He discovered what he calls the “relaxation response” which is a physiological state of the body during prayer. It shifts the body’s dominant state from the fight, flight, freeze mode in which people tend to spend most of their day to the rest and digest mode. He has also observed that prayer increases the brain’s release of dopamine which helps us feel more relaxed, focused, and happy.
If you’ve ever thought that prayer only works because you are programming your subconscious to believe that it does, then I have good news for you. Praying for another person’s healing, or having others pray for yours actually works, even when the recipient doesn’t know about it, and science has now proven it.
OHI – The Safest Place To Be Outside of Your Home
OHI provides a safe and sacred place for healing and prayer. Our campuses offer many comfortable spots that are private where you can pray. You don’t have to wait for the pandemic to be over to visit us here at OHI and work on developing your positive habit of prayer. We are open now and serving guests just like you. And, keeping your safety in mind, we have taken great strides in implementing the CDC’s protocols of physical distancing; limiting the number of guests in our program; we use electrostatic spray disinfection systems, and we use only safe,
non-chemical cleaners in all common areas; and we continue to test all our employees on a bi-weekly basis to ensure we maintain a healthy operation. We’ve also been busy developing our new OHI for Life Wellness Rooms – where safety meets comfort. Each guest room is outfitted with 100% certified organic cotton bed linens and a Molekule air purifier. OHI is your safety bubble for healing and that’s why we are the safest most sacred place to be.
Wishing you health and wellness in this blessed fall season.
Yours in prayer,
Robert P. Nees, Jr.,
Senior Pastor and Chairman
Optimum Health Institute of San Diego and Austin
At Optimum Health Institute, we teach you all about the 5 P’s to optimum health, help you establish a powerful practice of prayer, and help restore your peace.
During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.