The Praise Plan

Mark Sandoval, M.D.
Lifestyle Medicine
Many persons are suffering because of dysfunction of the bone marrow. The bone marrow is where your immune system is born and where your red blood cells and many of your white blood cells are formed. If there is dysfunction in the bone marrow, the results can be cancers, infections, autoimmune disorders, etc.
The bone marrow is under the control of the nervous system, and is responsive to the signals sent to it, either directly through the nervous system (through the nerves), or indirectly through the endocrine system (by hormones). If there is dysfunction of the nervous system, it can manifest as dysfunction in the bone marrow. And one of the most common dysfunctions of the nervous system is dysfunctional thinking.
What is dysfunctional thinking? You and I were created in the image of God. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27. Which means that we were created to think like God thinks. As our thinking reflects God’s thinking, there will be good regulation of the bone marrow through the nervous system. But as our thinking deviates from God’s thinking, there is dysfunction that is communicated through the nerves or hormones to the bone marrow to cause dysfunction there too (this can happen in any body system, organ, tissue, or cell, but we are focusing on the bone marrow in this paper).
God has a testimony for us. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8,9. In other words, we don’t think like God thinks. Why is this? It is because we have a messed up mind (Romans 8:7) that each has inherited ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:1-6).
What are some specific things that lead to dysfunction in the bone marrow and immune system? A prominent one is sin, or guilt. “There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin.” Psalms 38:3. Another is depression or failure, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22. And another one is envy. “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” Proverbs 14:30. These are not only thoughts that can lead to bone marrow dysfunction, but are representative of the types of thoughts that do so.
God is calling us back to Himself. He wants to restore us and our thinking so that we think like He does. He doesn’t want us to be like Him because He is selfish, but because He is selfless and knows that the only way we can truly be happy is if we are like Him. And so, He admonishes us to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Having a selfless love for us, God gives us a simple plan for our healing and restoration. That plan is the Praise Plan. “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High…. Have mercy on me, O Lord! Consider my trouble from those who hate me [my disease], You who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may tell of all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation.” Psalm 19:1-2,13-14.
We are told, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. And, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4. It is God’s will that you participate in rejoicing, praise, and thanksgiving all the time, because that is what He is like, and we were created to be like Him. And participating in these attitudes of praise is not just for our spiritual and emotional health.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8. Fearing (respecting) God and departing evil has the effect of healing your bones as well as your soul.
So does forgiveness. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” Psalms 32:1-5.
So do good news and pleasant words. “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy.” Proverbs 15:30. “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24.
Do you want healing for your bone marrow and immune system? Do you want to reverse the dysfunction that has been caused by wrong thinking? Then practice the Praise Plan. Here is the Praise Plan that you can follow that can launch you into healing and health.
  1. Purchase a journal that you will use as your Praise Journal, and daily, write a list of at least 10 things that you are thankful for.
  2. Praise God for these things throughout the day, frequently reminding yourself of the blessings you have received from Him.
  3. Share your blessings with every person you possibly can, giving praise to God for His blessing in your life.
  4. Each day write a new list of at least 10 things that you are thankful for, not repeating what you had written before.
  5. Each day praise God for these accumulated blessings throughout the day and share those blessings with others.
Perhaps you are thinking, “It is too late for me. I have already dug my grave. Now I must lay in it. This will never work.” But let me encourage you with this passage of scripture from Exodus 37:1-14.
“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’
So I answered, ‘O Lord God, You know.’
Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’ ”