NEW YORK – Medical research shows faith can have a strong effect on your health. One of America's favorite doctors is looking deeper at this connection and he is turning to Christian leaders for help.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is using his hit talk show to focus on faith for the entire month of February.
The heart surgeon is known for making complicated health issues easier to understand on the show and in his endless string of New York Times best-selling books. In this series, he changes hats and asks big questions about faith.
The series also features preacher and Hollywood film executive DeVon Franklin. Franklin made his first appearance on Dr. Oz two years ago. Since that time the two have spent a lot of time talking about faith.
"My mother-in-law is a minister, and I was thinking about how powerful this was and I was thinking we have got to find a way of growing this even bigger," said Dr. Oz.
He continued, "and so I reached out to DeVon and we spent the last couple of weeks having the best time and planning out his brain child."
Franklin says he is thankful for Dr. Oz's "uncommon" support.
"For him to be so generous to allow this conversation to happen, for me to be here to help participate. And it came organically. There was no plan. You couldn't plan it," said Franklin.
A Need for Miracles
So, why do we even need saints and miracles? Franklin believes it is "because life is hard."
"We live our life and it is difficult. Sometimes we don't believe there is a greater purpose for our lives," he added.
The 'Blessed 30 Challenge'
In the month of February the duo will also push the audience to spend time each day thinking about the good in their lives.
It's called the blessed 30 challenge.
"What I want to see happen is that [as] people go through this 30 days, they search for the blessings," Franklin said.
"They live in the blessings and they reorient their life to live in the blessings that are already there and at the end of the 30, I want them to walk out with more peace, more confidence, more hope because I have no doubt in my mind that when you recognize how blessed you really are, your complaints go down, you positivity goes up, your faith rises and your belief in what God can do in your life accelerates," he said.
Faith & Medicine: A Winning Formula
Why use a medical show to talk about faith? Dr. Oz believes living life to the fullest means "taking care of what you've been blessed with."
"It is one of the most valuable things you have been given in many ways – is the body and the soul that is inside of it," said Dr. Oz.
He added, "I am actually a guest in people's homes. And when I come into your home, I have got to bring something worth hearing and people worth listening to with me."
Dr. Oz and Franklin have also invited what they call their team of "power preachers" to the month-long series;Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer and Hillsong New York Pastor Carl Lentz.
Exploring the Power of Prayer & Miracles
The series will explore unexplained medical recoveries – something Dr. Oz says "reinforces" his faith.
"When we go through medical school, we are educated by the books, but we are educated by our teachers as well, and my best teachers were always humble people, brilliant, but they had humility," Dr. Oz said.
"They would remind us that we don't control all the levers," he continued. "And I have seen too many times in my own life, people in front of me who should not have made it and have pulled through."
One of Franklin's film's,"Miracles from Heaven" is discussed in the series.
"Again, you look at the story and it's true. It actually happened. There is no way we can actually explain that, which is sort of beautiful because one of the reasons I went into medicine was because I knew I could never learn it all," he said.
"And I will give you a little secret, I think most doctors are like me," he continued. "But you go in there because there's an elegance, there is a mystery. There is a bigness to life. We can understand the mechanics. And we are very proud of what we get. But we never want to be arrogant enough to believe we can call all the shots."
Dr. Oz calls surgery "controlled arrogance," and the operative word, he says, is "controlled."