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What Are the Common Benefits of Prayer?


There are over 4,000 religions spread across the globe and many of them rely on prayer to some deity. This might be during religious services, as part of rituals, or as an individual, on their own.

Many people pray to God, though they may call Him by another name. Prayer is a personal experience that allows people to reflect and look inward, while also connecting to a higher power.

Praying to God also offers a sense of well-being. That's because it gives you the opportunity to work through sins and problems, as well as offer gratitude. There's no right or wrong way when you're learning how to pray.

You'll notice that by adding prayer to your daily routine, you'll start to see some differences in how you feel and how you behave. Keep reading to find out more about the specific benefits of prayer.

Prayer Fights Stress

Most people experience stress from time to time. According to the American Psychological Association, at any given time, at least half of adults in the United States report a stress level of at least 5 out of 10.

This stress is caused by several factors, but prayer is a valuable way to help control it. During prayer, you give your mind the chance to reflect and your body the opportunity to relax.

When you're praying, you are giving your problems to a higher being, which can take some of the worry and anxiety away. At the same time, you can work through problems and toward a resolution.

Prayer Provides Calm

Even if you aren't in a stressed state, taking the time to pray gives you a calm respite from the world and your everyday life. Again, this is because you are giving yourself the chance to reflect on what's going in your life.

Making time for dedicated prayer can relieve anxiety because it gives you something to look forward to. A break that is coming often helps instill a sense of calmness in an otherwise busy day.

Prayer Offers Direction

Life brings many important decisions and prayer offers a good way to work through your options. Not only are giving yourself the chance to weigh your choices, but you are also giving the decision to God.

This can alleviate some of the worries that go with making a choice. It also allows God to provide you answers and a direction for where you should go next.

When you're having a problem, focused prayer helps you find answers. You might find solutions you had never expected or may find that you are already on the right path.

Prayer Keeps You Healthy

Some research suggests that the spiritual nature of prayer is similar to that of yoga, tai chi, or meditation. For that reason, it may offer the same health-related benefits.

Studies have found that such relaxation techniques have been linked to a better ability to fight diseases.

The more you pray, the more benefits you can expect. Regular and consistent time in prayer may help you keep your body healthy. It also gives you the chance to ask God for health-related interventions.

Prayer Creates a Connection

Not only has prayer been linked to connection to your higher power, God, or otherwise, it might also allow you to create a connection to other things. That might your environment, community, or family members.

This sense of connection has a big impact on your overall well-being. When you pray for loved ones, it can improve your relationship with them. Close relationships like this boost quality of life.

Praying for those in your life creates a more positive give and take in your relationship. This allows you to connect with other people, as well as the world around you because you feel safe and accepted.

Prayers Treats Depression

One of the best praying benefits you'll hear about is its ability to treat depression. While it should never replace conventional treatment methods, it's a good choice as part of your treatment plan.

Prayer has been shown to increase dopamine levels. Dopamine is a brain chemical that produces a sense of well-being and improves mood. It's released when you feel happy and positive.

Higher dopamine levels increase motivation and cognition. They are also associated with lower levels of depression. It makes sense that using prayer to increase your dopamine may be a great choice for your mental health.

Prayer Controls Pain

A research study conducted at Bowling Green State University found that regular prayer can reduce migraine pain. Participants who engaged in 20 minutes of spiritual meditation per day saw the most benefit.

Not only did they experience fewer headaches, but they also noticed that they had a higher pain tolerance. In addition, those who practiced spiritual meditation in the study used fewer pain medications to treat headaches.

Prayer Increases Self-Control

Most people report that their self-control decreases during the day. Who hasn't gone home after long hours at the office and struggled with making healthy meal choices?

Likewise, lowered levels of self-control can lead to the use of alcohol or other substances. It can also keep you from engaging in a healthy exercise routine.

It appears that prayer may be the answer to this. Research finds that regular prayer boosts self-control, likely because of the religious reminder that praying offers.

Prayer Provides Recovery

When emotional situations arise in life, prayer can help you recover from them. Because it offers a few minutes of rest and relaxation, praying allows you to deal with the aftermath of a difficult event.

Prayer has been shown to increase hope after something bad happens. Spending time talking to God aids in the healing process after a job loss, death, natural disaster, or trauma.

Prayer Improves Self-Awareness

The importance of prayer is demonstrated in many ways, one of them is by improving your self-awareness. This is often the first step to some aspect of your personal growth.

When you are more self-aware, you have higher levels of humility and your ego tends to deflate. This is beneficial because it allows you to see outside of yourself and work toward the greater good.

Not only can prayer help you tune into yourself more, but it also increases your levels of selflessness. This benefits you and it benefits those around you.

Prayer Is Good for the Heart

This is a two-pronged benefit. On one side, prayer boosts your heart by helping you achieve a close relationship with God. Experiencing the love he offers is evident when you spend time in prayer.

On the other side, prayer has been shown to regulate your heartbeat. This helps regulate stress levels and can even make your heart stronger.

Some studies have found that prayer may even play a role in speeding recovery after heart surgery or a heart attack. Again, prayer can't replace traditional treatment but is a great choice to complement it.

Prayer Increases Lifespan

Studies have found that elderly adults who pray regularly are better able to handle their age-related illnesses. These studies also found that regular prayer increased longevity.

This is likely because of the combination of all of the other benefits that prayer offers. By controlling stress, making a connection to a higher power, and boosting mood, prayer can extend your lifespan.

Likewise, using prayer to protect your heart and health, lowers stress and aids in healing. It can also assist in the aging process, thereby allowing you to live longer and happier.

How to Take Advantage of the Benefits of Prayer

Praying is about your personal relationship with God. It is done differently in different religions but has some common aspects that you can incorporate to get the most out of it.

One of the biggest barriers to prayer that people encounter is the idea that there's a right way to do it. Fortunately, there's really no wrong way to talk to God.

One of the best pieces of advice that can be offered is to keep it simple. You don't have to set up an elaborate space to pray. You don't even need to set aside a certain time of day to pray.

Martin Luther advocated short prayers. You can offer these to God anytime, no matter where you are. Try a simple prayer while you drive to work, walk the dog or prepare dinner.

You also want to avoid turning prayer into the same thing every time. Active prayer is a good way to do this. It involves playing music, drawing, or painting during prayer.

You might also want to include formal prayers, such as the Prayers Angelus, which have special meaning to your chosen religion,

A prayer journal is another option for helping you pray consistently and actively. Talking to God every day is important too. You need that consistency to reap the rewards of prayer.

Getting Started With Prayer

Now that you know the benefits of prayer, are you ready to make it a part of your life? Not only will you feel happier and healthier, but you'll have a stronger connection to God.

Why not read more of my advice by exploring the rest of this site before you leave?



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