The Spiritual, Mental & Health Benefit of Prayer
What is Prayer?
Prayer can be defined as a two-way communication between you and God, an act of meditation, or any mental activity by a person, that focuses on positive thinking. Prayer can also be one's positive response (reaching out) to a higher power in a bid to finding the solution to problems that arises in one's life. This can be done through a worship experience, or meditation, either audibly or inaudibly.
Hebrews 4:16 says,
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
People everywhere prays. And more and more people are discovering the power of praying positively (as it is possible to pray negatively). So, based on that premise, let's answer the question at hand. And that is, "Is there any benefit (whether spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental) to pray?
Does Prayer Benefits You?
If you're someone who doesn't pray or believe in prayer, you may have a very negative response to this simple question. You probably see this subject of prayer as coming from a spiritual, God's point of view, and may immediately put up a wall. And you are right, I am coming from a faith-based, religion point of view.
I for one, as a believer in Jesus Christ don't think of prayer outside of God. When I pray, I pray to God. I do it through meditating on His word, through praise and worship, through petitioning Him on others behalf, through fellowship with other believers, and through just being focused on Him. There is a strong connection between prayer and God. So, the question is,
What benefits, if any, do you think prayer offers you? Do you think there's a spiritual benefit to you when you pray?
Well, there is, and it's been proven. So, we are going to take a look at some of the benefits of prayer to your health (that is, your physical, mental, and emotional well being)?
When We PRAY
The Health Benefits of Prayer
Studies have shown that there are many health benefits to an individual when he or she prays. During a research study carried out at Dukes University of nearly 4000 people age 65 and older, researchers found a 40% less risk of elevated high blood pressure among those who prayed daily or/and attended some form of religious services weekly.
Prayer, as it's been proven, brings the following benefits:
- Improved relationship with others
- Prevent or/and even reverse illness and diseases.
- Helps reduce pain in patients suffering from chronic pain.
- Good and wholesome brain health, which in turn results in overall physical, emotional, and mental health. This is backed-up by studies that shows that a part of our brain (the frontal lobe) is stimulated when we prayer regularly. This helps to keep the brain healthy, and helps to prevent age-related shrinkage.
- Physical and mental healing
Other health benefits of prayer included, but not limited to; reduced stress, reduced risk of death from heart attack or stroke, lessened anxiety or depression.
"Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:6
What Are Medical Professionals Saying About Prayer and Healing? Would You Like To Know?
- Can Prayer Heal?
Does prayer have the power to heal? Scientists have some surprising answers.
- The Power of Prayer in Healing - Watch WebMD Video
One study has found that people who are more spiritual are better able to deal with the pain and limitations of chronic disease.
Have you experienced any of the afore mentioned spiritual or health benefits of prayer?
The Emotional & Physical Benefits of Prayer
If you are someone who prays regularly, you probably know from experience that prayer is very beneficial to your spiritual well-being. And if you're sound spiritually, it trickles down to your total being, giving you a wholesome mental, emotional, and physical health.
Think about what happens to an individual that has been wronged and feels pain and hurt. This individual may sometimes feels the need to avenge his or herself, or at least feels the need for justice whatever that means to the individual. Until that is achieved, the individual may not fully experience total spiritual wholeness, because there is pain and hurt, and maybe even a whole lot of other negative feelings. In some cases, prayer has been known to bring healing, closure and wholeness.
Prayer of Forgiveness - A Practical Example
Take the issue of forgiveness (something we all can relate to) as an example. Studies (Florida State University Psychological Science) have shown that praying increases our capacity to forgive. When someone offends you, you might sometimes find it hard to let it go, to forgive. You may feel resentment, anger, or bitterness toward that person.
These negative feelings affects your emotional, mental, and physical health. What often happens is, you are hurt more by this feelings that you harbors, as the one who offends you may not even be aware of the pain you feel. But as you pray, or do some form of re-evaluation, looking within, or meditating, you may find the strength to let go of the hurt, forgive, and release that person. At the same time, you'll find yourself feeling happier (physically, mentally, and emotionally), and more peaceful.
The act of forgiving, or being forgiven brings us to that place of peace with God, thereby improving our relationship with God and with others. So you see, forgiveness, through prayer, whether we give it, or receive it, affects our overall spiritual and physical health, and brings us satisfaction with life in general.
The Spiritual Benefits of Prayer
Again, what are the spiritual benefits of prayer?
- Peace with God - Closeness with God.
- Peace with Man - Ability to relate peacefully with others, and forgive wrongs.
- Joy - Overflowing. This is usually the result of having a personal relationship or connection to the Maker of all manking. The God of the universe.
- Concern/Empathy for others.
- Love for God and others.
- Optimistic Spirit - Positive outlook in life.
Why You Should Pray
As you can see, everything that's been mentioned points to the fact that prayer brings some benefit to ones spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental health. Do you pray? If, yes, then, do you believe in the power of prayer to heal, and bring wholesomeness to your body and soul? I hope you do.
Maybe you are still skeptical. Could this all be true, you ask? Well, there's only one way to find out.
- Have you lost your sense of peace/joy?
- Are you struggling with forgiveness?
- Are you experiencing constant chronic pain?
- Do you sometimes feel depressed?
- Do you feel a spirit of heaviness that you can't seem to shake off?
- Are you battling any type of disease?
If you fit into any of this category, maybe you need to re-evaluate. It's time you try something different. It's time to let go of all pessimism and cynicism, as these only produces poor human health.
Conclusion About Prayer
Maybe you've never really prayed before. It's never too late to start. The evidence speaks for itself. A wholesome spiritual, and physical health can only be attained through a regular, positive proactive life of prayer.
Remember, the bible says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14. God will not only heal your land, but he will also heal your body, soul, and mind from all that corrupts.
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Author: Comfort Babatola - ©2013