ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Psychological Benefit of Prayer

Updated on November 12, 2018
Rodric29 profile image

True Christian Principles are not the property of a faith, but the heritage of ALL true religion, even if not of apparent Christian origin.

The apostle Paul in an epistle to the Galatian Saints due to troubling doctrines regarding the Law of Moses, which was fulfilled in the Atonement of Jesus Christ giving them a key to understanding what type of fruit grows from planting the tree of the truth of Holy Spirit in the fertile soil of their open hearts.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.

The Spirit of God produces those signs in the minds of all those who hear and accept the truth, which it is the job of the Holy Spirit to do. Praying is how God desires people to communicate with Him. In answer to those prayers of faith, He will send the Spirit to testify of the truth of the thing the petitioner desires. When the Spirit is near one or all of these emotions will accompany Him:

 
 
 
Love
Joy
Peace
Longsuffering (Tolerance or Patient Endurance)
Gentleness
Goodness
Faith
Meekness
Temperance (Self-control)

Pay attention to those feelings during the day.

What activities are going on where those feelings are present?

All of these good feelings are those that are associated with people who have a healthy prayerful relationship with God. Caution: Having this prayerful relationship does not mean life will be free of cruelty or difficulty. The promise is the Holy Spirit will bring comfort in at least one of the nine aforementioned forms, specific to the need at the time.

Carl Rogers, an American psychologist considered one of the foundational credits to humanistic practice to psychology, spoke of unconditional positive regard people need to help them become actualized.

  • Unconditional: Without terms.
  • Positive Regard: Acceptance.
  • Actualized: Aware and Confident in ability, purpose.

The benefit of having a person (friend or therapist) who accepts without terms is the satisfaction that someone knows all the darkness of a man or woman's soul and still chooses to love that soul. It allows a person to blossom and grow into self-actualization: self-aware, confident in ability and purpose.

A person who is self-actualized makes a great friend him- o herself to offer unconditional positive regard, a rare quality for most of humanity. This junction reveals the importance of God, the most, actualized being in the universe who has perfectly unconditional positive regard for all. God provides this confident support to billions of people around the globe of all faiths.

(A) study by Columbia University found that participating in regular meditation or other spiritual practice actually thickens parts of the brain’s cortex, and this could be the reason those activities tend to guard against depression — especially in those at risk for the disease.

— Traci Pedersen

God of Love or Hell-Fire God

Most commonly, God the Father speaks by a spiritual and peaceful feeling of pure understanding and love through the Holy Ghost. Occasionally He speaks in voice through the Holy Ghost. Rarely he sends an angel, vision or dream. God appeared personally to Adam and Eve, Moses, Jesus Christ, and to Joseph Smith Jr.

How is that a psychological benefit? For one, stable people come from stable mental states. Media today portrays religious people in varying degrees of fundamentalist states of emotional dissonance and fracture. In reality, however, people of strong religious faith who pray with a positive relationship with God are the most stable in society.

The key to actualization with God is POSITIVE unconditional Regard. The relationship with God must have a foundation of trust and love, not fear of hell-fire. Depending on an individual's upbringing will determine which relationship model becomes the basis of a healthy prayerful approach to God.

Traci Paterson, a writer at Psych Central whose article is generously consulted here, asks,

What are your deepest beliefs regarding the nature of God?

When you pray, do you talk to a loving, protective and easily accessible God?

Or does God feel strangely distant and unreachable? Perhaps a disciplinarian?1

Paterson cites several studies that support the idea of actualization. A loving God, one with whom the majority of people in the study identify, produces the same type of people, loving people.

A disciplinarian God, produces people ruled by fear. These people have no positive relationship with God seeing prayer as a fearful obligation. In that state, there is no communication with the Spirit of God. Paterson cites a truth that psychologist "discovered" during the studies, something with which faithful praying people are readily familiar:

A new study says that your beliefs about the “character” of God determine the effects of prayer on your mental health.1

Gradually, attuning ourselves to the infinite, we come to experience something majestic and divine at work in our universe, and a deep sense of being cared for and loved. We become aware too of a great kinship with each other, with the entirety of humanity without discrimination, and also with our planet and the magnificent realm of nature. There are no barriers to these seamless connections between God, people and creation.

— Larry Culliford, author of ‘The Psychology of Spirituality'

The Mental Stability of Prayer

Larry Culliford, English Psychiatrist and author wrote:

[S]omething really happens during silent prayer.

At the biological level, our brain waves change and the two sides of our brain – the verbal, ego-driven, rational, materialistic left hemisphere and the silent, altruistic, poetic, intuitive right hemisphere – communicate more harmoniously with one another.

Emotional blockages get subtly and gradually worn away, promoting protection from anxiety, healing from loss, and growth towards joy and inner peace.

There may be a sudden breakthrough, but the process is more often gradual, perhaps almost imperceptible, which is why perseverance in the practice is advised.3

Harmonious communication between the brain hemispheres and emotional healing and discovery Larry suggests are benefits from contemplative positive communication, prayer, with God. Prayer and medication help to bring order to the mind making it easier to tackle the challenges of life be they losses of major significance or navigating the freeway during rush hour traffic.

Source

Because God is perfect, his regard towards each of his children is unconditional. He Loves all mankind without regard to religion or station. He will listen and buoy up any soul that will hear and obey His voice. No matter how vile the sinner or the crime, God loves the person.

Truly He blesses all men equally when it comes to answering prayers and providing comfort and truth. Prayer is a way to counsel with God. If the petitioner truly speaks with God and awaits Him to speak again, it will occur.

Many modern people laugh, bringing shame to those who would admit hearing a voice or having a peaceful feeling.

Billions know that God has spoken to them through words, feelings or both. Many have had dreams and waking vision of God. The true way to know who God is happens when people speak to Him. He will speak back if faith sufficient to hear is there.

Supporting Articles

  1. Traci Pedersen - New Study Examines the Effects of Prayer On Mental Health.1 Baylor University researchers suggest our views of God affect not only how we pray but also our mental health.
  2. 11 Amazing Emotional and Psychological Effects of Prayer | Religion.2 Prayer is a way to connect to God and it brings a number of beneficial effects.
  3. Larry Culliford - What Is Prayer? | Psychology Today.3 More skillful than asking for miracles is the regular practice of attuning to the infinite.

© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      4 weeks ago from Peoria, Arizona

      whonu, I could not agree with you more! I just had to pray myself through a hard situation with one of my kids. It was as if she was begging me to lose my religion and tell her off! I prayed in that heated moment just as I said her name to give her a piece of my mind, and God stopped me from saying something I would regret.

      I then was chastised by the Spirit in a loving way to fix it with my daughter, and I was able to do it. This was in the last hour. I am glad that I am in the habit of praying. It helped me to check my emotions and look past my own experience.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      4 weeks ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Bill, thanks for your prayers. I need every syllable of any prayer anyone is willing to submit to my regard! I think it is a good idea for us writers to think of each other in prayer.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 

      4 weeks ago from United States

      Those of faith who pray each day are always building their stair's steps to Heaven. Prayer makes each one stronger and able to withstand all that our lives have to give and to try us. This becomes a part our lives and a positive influence on our thinking as well as our behavior, as we each spend time in prayer. I suppose I mirror my grandfather's words often. He was a minister of the Christian gospel and a big influence on my life. Really appreciated your work here, my friend. Keep up the good work. Blessings to all. whonu

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      And I send prayers to you, my friend, for continued happiness and peace.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)