Does Prayer Really Help?

Hello.  Yes.  It helps.  But how, you may ask?   Perhaps your prayer life has been dry lately, and you’re tired of pushing prayer to the back burner.   Maybe you’re finally returning to church after spending years away, or maybe you’ve never uttered a prayer ever.  Either way, you’re curious about the power of prayer and how praying could change your life. If you need resources and support to inspire your prayer life, you can turn to Lizella Baptist and submit a question here.  For now, take a peek at some benefits of prayer, from shifting your mindset to helping you live a healthier lifestyle.

 

Improved Physical Health

You might be surprised to learn that praying regularly can actually enhance your physical health! PsychCentral states that people who pray on a frequent basis tend to heal from illnesses faster, and also tend to have lower mortality rates. While prayer alone is certainly not a cure for any disease or chronic condition, praying can definitely be a boon for your overall health.
 
 
 
 

 

Reduced Stress

Prayer can help you get your stress under control. Today, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in stress – many people live such fast-paced lifestyles that it’s hard to find a moment to relax and unwind. When you pray, you come to recognize that you’re part of something bigger, and your own problems feel smaller and solvable in comparison. Medi-Share states that in some cases, praying can even help you alleviate the symptoms of mild physical ailments that are often exacerbated by stress and anxiety, such as headaches, stomach pains, and fatigue.

 

Coping With Tough Events

Everyone faces challenges in life. No matter who you are, you’ve probably dealt with obstacles that you weren’t sure you could ever overcome. Prayer in combination with reading God’s Word is two-way communication–it may help you avoid challenges, but when you find yourself in the midst of them, it can also empower you to better cope with tough events.  There may be times when you’re wondering whether you can truly move on from a difficult event or if you’re capable of overcoming a major setback.  When you pray, you find yourself tapping into a new source of strength, realizing you are never truly on your own.  You have an ever-present companion, counselor and comforter in the Holy Spirit.  Even when things feel difficult, you can find courage and conviction through prayer.

 

Positive Outlook

Do you ever struggle with a negative mindset? Maybe you have a tendency to assume that when you’re facing an uncertain situation, the outcome will not be in your favor.   Personally?  Been there.  Many times.  If you tend to have a pessimistic outlook, prayer can change that.  As you pray, you might notice your perspective shifting – perhaps you realize that a situation that seemed negative actually has an upside, or you recognize that you have strengths beyond what you thought you were capable of.

 

Related Health and Wellness Strategies

While praying regularly can help you improve your physical health, it’s also important to incorporate other beneficial habits into your usual routines.  For example, you could commit to cooking nutritious meals at home, going to bed earlier, or exercising several times per week.  If you have a busy work schedule, you might assume that you don’t have enough time to exercise, but you can always incorporate more physical activity into your existing routine. You might choose to go for walks on your lunch break or park further away from destinations.  Any moment outside in nature brings blessings and beauty from God’s creation your way, and in that, reason to pray and thank Him.

God has marvelously designed our bodies to refresh and renew with rest, nutrition, clean water and sunshine.  While most folks recognize that balanced exposure to all of these sources of healing is optimal, there is no substitute for the hope and peace garnered from including prayer as part of your larger daily wellness routine.  Spiritual wellness and emotional peace play equally important roles as sources of healing in physical wellbeing.  We greatly encourage recording your prayers in a journal to help you more clearly recognize God’s hand of grace and provision in your life over time.  This empowers you to praise God with heartfelt gratitude, which brings more positivity into your life and additional proven health benefits.  Further, we are blessed when we obey Biblical commands.  (Phil. 4:4-8 ESV)
 

Getting Started

What if you have never prayed or if it’s been a while since you last prayed, it’s never too late.  No need to have any specific prayer in mind – you can pray about whatever happens to be on your heart!  Prayer is simply conversation with God.  1 Peter 5:7 (ESV Bible) says, “Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.”  Chat with God as you would your Father; this is the familial relationship He expresses in His Word to us.  The important thing is to be honest because He already knows what’s on your heart.  He just knows you’ll feel better if you’ll give it to Him and trust Him with it.  At first, you may feel self-conscious or nervous, or even silly or afraid.  Persist.  God loves you.  His Son came, lived a perfect life, gave it up and then took it back again for you to have the privilege of relationship through prayer in this moment.  Don’t let that go to waste.  It’s a precious and priceless gift to you.

The Bible offers helpful instruction in praying which exhorts us to reflect on five aspects our relationship with God in our prayers:

Adoration and blessing – because we recognize God is worthy; we are dependent on Him for our very breath and life.  He is truly marvelous and amazing.

Thanksgiving to Him – for His grace, His provision for Salvation through Jesus, and all our many blessings.

Petitions or supplications – those burdens we bring to the Lord for ourselves.  He is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider.  He is our Healer.  He is our Sustainer and Protector and our everlasating Prince of Peace.

Intercessions – prayers for the needs of others.

Praises – we express love for Him (because He first loved us).

He promises when we pray this way, that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  (Phil. 4:6-7, ESV Bible)  That is a powerful promise for our health and well-being.  And He is faithful to keep His Word.

Are you interested in deepening your prayer life?   Reach out to us today.
 
Article submitted by Laura Pearson.  Follow her at edutude.net.

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