Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Stress can kill, and fear is behind most of our stress. Unfortunately, we have an awful lot to be afraid of these days. At Christmastime, I wonder if prayer can help us deal with our fears, and maybe even with the causes of those fears.

When I say “prayer,” I don’t mean any particular religion. It doesn’t have to be religious at all. It could be meditation or just tuning in to nature and our own bodies. But being part of a faith or belief system might make prayer more powerful for some people.

When I say “fear,” I’m including all our deepest personal fears, like about diabetes, or death, or our children, or finances. I mean fears about the environment, like global warming and nuclear disasters. Fears about wars and politics count too.

There is truly a lot to be scared of, but fear doesn’t help much. Christmas is a good time to find hope.

Christmas has always been a time to look for new hope and new beginnings. According to History.com, “Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter.”

December 25 is four days after the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year. As the days started to get longer after the solstice, people knew the sun wasn’t going away. The worst of winter darkness was behind them, and they could look forward to longer days and more light.

It seems like most Northern cultures have celebrated around Christmastime. The Romans had Saturnalia, which was something like an extended Mardi Gras. One event they seemed to value was called Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome.

According to History.com, “In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated.” In the fourth century, Pope Julius I established December 25 as the birthday of Jesus. “It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival.”

This makes sense to me, and I think it’s a good thing. Christmastime has always been about new hope, which Jesus certainly represents. I think we should take it as a time of new hope also. And we should meditate or pray that things will get better.

For the last month or so, I have started every meditation session with a prayer for the people working on the Fukushima nuclear shutdown. This is apparently a very dangerous situation that could render all of Japan radioactive if anything goes wrong. I pray that the hands of the engineers and workers will be guided.

After the Philippines super-typhoon, I’ve been meditating and praying for people to come to their senses and stop ripping up our Mother Earth. We have to stop putting all this carbon in the air; which might mean driving much less, eating much less meat, and having fewer children.

What about our own health? Maybe some prayer will help give us the strength to keep self-managing and to try harder to get better. There has to be a reason to put in all that work, and meditation/prayer might help us connect with those reasons.

I’m familiar with arguments that prayer is a waste of time, because there’s nobody out there listening. Maybe, maybe not. But there is someone inside you listening, and that might just as good, or might even be the same thing.

Whether you meditate or pray, or not, I wish you a wonderful and happy Christmas and New Year. I am grateful to all of you who read and comment on this blog, and I hope we can continue to help each other in 2014.


  1. How refreshing that in today’s politically correct “happy holiday” society, you create a post like this that doesn’t shy away from religion and at the same time includes those who are not religious. Prayer is indeed a powerful tool that can benefit the soul even if you don’t believe a greater power is listening. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and not pandering to the easily offended.

    Posted by Ken Davidson |
  2. Action speak louder than words. Get off your knees and go help someone. Or get more information about what you fear or are worried about. It is the unknown that we fear most of all.

    Prayer has been shown in a several good studies, even when the prayed for know they are being prayed for. The results all show, no effect. So other than making the people who are praying feel they are doing something, they are really not…get out and get involved, volunteer, go do something worthwhile.

    Posted by William Boling |
  3. Perhaps prayer was not meant to be something measurable by scientific methods. Rather, it’s value occurs in the unseen spiritual realm. Pray does work, and there is “someone” out there listening…the God who made us all!

    Posted by Clare Watkins |

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of R.A. Rapaport Publishing, Inc., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.

Emotional Health
Worried About Diabetes? (03/26/14)
Diabetes Takes Courage (02/19/14)
The Stress Formula (02/04/14)
It's Not All in Your Head (But Your Head Can Help) (01/16/14)



Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.

Carbohydrate Restriction: An Option for Diabetes Management
Some people find that decreasing the amount of carbohydrate they eat can help with blood glucose control. Here’s what to know about this approach.

Insulin Patch Pumps: A New Tool for Type 2
Patch pumps are simpler to operate than traditional insulin pumps and may be a good option for some people with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin.

How Much Do You Know About Vitamins?
Learn what these micronutrients can and can’t do for you.

Complete table of contents
Subscription questions