My Faith: Praying away the cookies
Indulging in cookies can be tempting during the holidays. The author suggests prayer can give you strength to stop overeating.
December 23rd, 2011
11:30 AM ET

My Faith: Praying away the cookies

Editor's note: Keith Wommack is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher. He also is a media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in Texas. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then).

By Keith Wommack, Special to CNN

(CNN) - With Christmas cookies, fruitcake and eggnog tempting us at every corner, it is hard not to gain weight during the holiday season. Yet it is not just holiday foods that are enticing.

Oversized and disproportionate - that about sums it up when the average American is 20 pounds overweight. The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently said, "Obesity, and with it diabetes, are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they are getting worse rapidly."

Personally, I have been fortunate never to have had much of a problem with my weight. I was an active, slender, Texas kid. Our family didn’t have a television until Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, so my brothers and I spent countless hours playing outside. I always ran like a jack rabbit, especially after jumping the fence at our neighborhood riding stable. One of the wilder horses would chase after me until I’d finally leap back over the fence.

But even Texas eventually got fast food, cable TV and the Internet, and I began to watch my friends put on weight, naïvely unaware of the staggering costs to come because of these added pounds. Now I recognize that the biggest loser in an overweight society is society as a whole. The troubles of one eventually hit everyone in the wallet.

The rising financial cost of obesity has quickly moved from a trot to a gallop. Today it carries a price tag of $147 billion per year in direct medical costs. Experts conclude that it's more than 9% of all medical spending. Just as we would pull in the reins on a runaway horse, we must rein in the costs of obesity by exercising dominion and control over its causes.

The dieter rarely succeeds when relying solely on willpower to employ dominion. Sadly, statistics and lives bear this out. Thankfully, other methods are available. And many find it is spirituality that supplies the needed dominion over rum balls and plum pudding. It stops them from overdoing. It reins in activity that hurts or harms.

My out-of-the-box solution has been prayer. I’ve found the strength to beat temptation comes from something outside of me. It comes from God. Yet God not only gives me strength, he supplies me with the ability to use it for my own good.

Several types of prayer help: petitions - asking God for the wisdom to know when enough is enough; affirmations - declaring our God-given authority to stop eating; gratitude - thanking God for creating us to be his spiritual expressions. These prayers lead to the natural eating of only what we are hungry for, instead of eating to fill emotional holes.

A method of healing that utilizes these prayers is Christian Science. This practical spiritual science teaches that the more emphasis we give our spiritual natures, the more our emotions and bodies become subordinate to our spiritual sense of things. Moderation becomes natural. We live to express God’s health and order. We like who God has made us to be.

With about half of the adult population in American (49%) now praying about their health, it seems only right to focus our prayerful attention on obesity.

Now that I’m 50ish, there are times when my jeans fit tighter. Decorated gingerbread men and homemade fudge still tempt. But the dominion I gain from prayer has been more effective for me than willpower. Yes, obesity problems in this country are getting worse rapidly. Therefore, perhaps, it is time to try something different.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Keith Wommack.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christian Science • Christmas

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Touch The Bubbles 3 - Bubble Shooter

    This post was stored like a favorite :), I really like your website!

    January 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  2. Jeff

    I think Tebowing is the best way to avoid overeating

    December 25, 2011 at 7:40 am |
  3. *** DUDE ***

    Oh, feel da love!
    Merry Christmas!

    December 25, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  4. Joseph F.C.

    This article mocks prayer. It's schlock religion.

    December 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Ya think?

      This article mocks science.

      December 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  5. Relictus

    "Christian Science" is not science. Science is based on the scientific method of inquiry, a requirement that Faith can never meet. When the author writes "This practical spiritual science ..." he is abusing the word "science".

    December 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Jeff

      he is also mocking the word "practical"

      December 25, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  6. Satan

    Craig Goodwin is a half-witted, self-rightous dip. This author is a three-quarter-witted, self-righteous dip.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  7. M.F. Luder

    Happy Yule! (Since the roast topic is closed.)

    December 24, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  8. Reality

    Obesity is good for the economy. Next topic!!!


    December 24, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  9. Atheist #1

    Atheist Charity's:Doctors Without Borders, Foundation Beyond Belief, Kiva, Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort, The Richard Dawkins Foundation.

    December 24, 2011 at 2:24 am |
  10. Atheist #1

    Secular charity Unicef

    December 24, 2011 at 2:07 am |
  11. Atheist #1

    Secular Charity Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    December 24, 2011 at 2:06 am |
  12. Atheist #1

    Secular Charity's http://www.unicef.org/ and http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Pages/home.aspx

    December 24, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  13. athanasius96

    II'm all for prayer...as well as willpower and exercise. However, Christian Science has no correlation to the Christian faith at all; and certainly not science. Their view that "evil is nothing" and "matter is nothing" is non-Biblical, non-scientific, and plainly absurd. The early church labeled such gnostic belief as heresy for a reason.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Zingo

      Okay, so, you are all for prayer, but you think things that are unscientific and plainly absurd should be rejected . . . like prayer?

      December 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Moxie the Bootle

      Prayer is nothing, God is nothing.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  14. CHUNK


    December 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Relictus


      December 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Rectilicktus

      some people are obviously too stupid to recognize a joke when they see one

      happy holidays

      December 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  15. Mad The Swine

    This is what the world has come to. People are so dumb that they have to ask "god" to tell them when they've eaten enough food.

    ...and religious people wonder why we think of them as the bottom of the barrel morons of the Universe.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • God

      Well, if I ignored the Holocaust and Rwanda and cancer and birth defects and so many other diseases and accidents and famines and catastrophes, why do they think I am going to suddenly bip in and stop them from turning into blubberballs?

      It's really almost like I don't exist. Every notice that? The world and the universe operate exactly as if I do not exist.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Has anyone EVER seen a post from HS that expressed any happiness? Any enjoyment of life? Any satisfaction that it didn't derive from envisioning the 'heathen' roasting on a spit in hell?

    I am serious. I can't recall anything HS ever wrote that expressed anything but judgment, hatred, and disgust for others. Not a single post about how wonderful life is. Not one that described the joy of family or friends. Not even one that was evidence of a life well lived and enjoyed.

    If that's Christianity, I'll pass.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Just an Observation

      Has anyone EVER seen a post from Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son that wasn't berating, insulting, negative, pompous, pointless and miserable in some way?

      Don't fret. I haven't either.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee, my red candy heart is broken. Someone doesn't like my posts. Boo hoo hoo. Whatever WILL I do to bear it? WAhhhhh.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • Just an Observation

      Hmmmmmmmmm, I don't know... post another whining, miserable comment about how you're upset about the comments someone else makes?

      Oh boo hoo, whatever will you do to stop "HS" from posting comments that you don't like? Have you experienced any joy in life? Any satisfaction that you don't derive from putting people down as much as possible? Aw, look at the hypocrisy in your comments. A little too full of yourself to see the irony? I figured as much.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      1. Re: HS – No, she is clearly miserable and I feel sorry for her.
      2. Re: TT – Yes, many times. She has a dry sense of humor and says what she wants. Is she is everybody's cup of eggnog? No. but she is funny and I like her very much.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Sweet Zinger

      Leave it to the lone d-bag to stick up for the angry ole' bat. It's only YOUR cup of eggnog. Everyone else would be yelling "jump!" if it were standing atop the Chrysler building. Preferably, with you in tow.

      December 24, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor babies. One would think someone were forcing you to read my comments. My screen name's easy to spot. Why don't you just skip over anything I post?

      Oh, that's right. You can't. It would mean you'd have to lose an opportunity to see your words in print.

      December 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, you babbled:

      "Poor babies. One would think someone were forcing you to read my comments. My screen name's easy to spot. Why don't you just skip over anything I post?

      Oh, that's right. You can't. It would mean you'd have to lose an opportunity to see your words in print."

      Answer: You seem to be unable to skip over my posts. It must mean you can't stand to lose an opportunity to see your words in print. You can't seem to keep me out of your mind. I must have struck a nerve for you to continue speaking about me when I'm not here.


      December 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Awww, look. Here's HS. It's pretty funny watching you respond to my post by accusing me of stalking you. What's the matter, HS? Wouldn't anyone talk to you at the party last night? I don't wonder. Why would anyone want to listen to a sour old fart telling one how he/she is going to hell?

      Really, dingbat, you're a trip. Here you are on Christmas Eve, a self-proclaimed Christian, lambasting anyone who dares tell you to take a hike. Hypocrisy, thy name is HeavenSent.

      Why are you here and not at church? Why are you here at all? Do you REALLY think you've done any good here? You've probably done more to drive people away from god and religion than anyone could have imagined.

      You're a harpy, HS. Nothing more.

      I write about you because I find you nothing but a shrill, shrieking, evil presence.

      And I'll do so as long as I wish.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Ya think?

      It's not shocking to see two idiots going at it. Both of you accuse each other of doing the same things that you do to each other. Both of you are hypocrites. Both of you are over the hill. Both of you are obviously lonely and miserable. You deserve each other.

      It's like watching a cat with downs syndrome attacking itself in a mirror. You are both exactly alike.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's that make you, ya little dork? Here you are, on Christmas friggin' DAY, freaking out because of something others write about each other? What, are you jealous, little dolt? You should be. No one cares about what YOU say. That's why you're all alone.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  17. tallulah13

    It's funny. CNN keeps posting these opinion pieces about how one can "pray away" the fat, but at the same time they post articles saying that people who attend church regularly are more inclined to be overweight.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Rectilicktus

      too bad we can't pray away religion

      December 24, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  18. CNN

    Tragedy today as the once famous "Cookie Monster" form Sesame Street, who was just starting to make a comeback on the big screen, was found dead the morning of December 23, 2011.

    No foul play is suspected as the blue furry creature left a note behind stating, "NO COOKIE. NO CAN LIVE MORE. MUST EAT COOKIE. COOKIE. COOKIE.

    The police on the scene were hesitant to describe the details of the apparent suicide. There was mention of a spatula though. Back to you.

    December 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  19. *frank*

    Give Mr Wommack the Pulitzer for this breathtaking tour-de-force!

    December 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Relictus

      LOL =)

      December 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  20. David Johnson

    I got an idea! Form a group and pray for Jesus to make the goodies calorie free! He promised to do anything a gathering of believers asked.

    Oh wait, I forgot. Prayer doesn't actually work, in spite of what Jesus said. Makes you wonder about the afterlife and all that, huh?

    Have you seen those Bible Belt women? If the rapture does occur, Jesus better have a crane. LOL

    The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.


    December 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.