Prayer! The many benefits of prayer God gives us

Dr Catherine Hart Webber writes extensively on the effects of Christian practices and community. In an article in Christian Counseling Today (Vol 24 No. 2 p 48, 49) she discusses some of the positive effects of consistent prayer and also how we greatly benefit by being in community .

“Many scientific studies have proven the benefits of prayer and meditation. They increase trust and offset the adverse health effects of stress. Prayer and meditation calm the limbic, primitive reactive stress center in the brain. Just 12 minutes of focused prayer and meditation can have positive results. Those who intentionally use their minds to train their brains through daily prayer and meditation can literally go from an anxious, fearful mood state to another more peaceful, joyful one that can be seen on a brain scan.

Prayerful reflection on Scriptures like Psalm 23 helps train us to rest and trust in the great Shepherd. ‘The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love’ (Ps 23: 1-2, TPT)

Also, a simple breath prayer that you can speak in a single breath and repeat throughout the day can be extremely beneficial. An example breath prayer could go something like this: ‘With God as my shepherd, I have everything I need. And so, I can relax'”

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” Jeremiah 31: 25, ESV

…Research proves that we are better together and knowing that we are not alone. It is a beautiful thing when we can feel safe, be honest and share the truth of who we are. Attuned communication and confession communities allow one to ‘see that you see me.’ This type of sanctuary modulates fear, regulates the body, integrates the brain and leads to emotional balance.

Listeing and sharing together also releases oxytocin (the feel-good hormone), which lowers stress and perceived pain, increasing peace and joy. So do smiles, hugs, and holding hands. Who are the safe people and communities you do life with – those who calm, encourage and inspire?…”

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