Plug into the power of prayer and meditation
Prayer is the practice of connecting to something deeper and more meaningful in life. It is rooted in a sense of spirituality. Prayer has two dimensions, one internal in the form of self-reflection and self-awareness, and the other external in a sense of connection with a depth, something bigger than the self and an inner dependency with all the other creation.
Our species has probably been praying for as long as we have been able to contemplate our existence.
Although we may never be able to establish hard evidence that a deity or spiritual force actually hears our prayers *and I don’t believe we are supposed to*. Prayer can give people a sense of comfort, being at ease and being protected, therefore decreasing too much anxiety and irrational fear.
In recent years, scientists have begun to consider the potential tangible (i.e., measurable) effects of prayer. And this research suggests that prayer may be very beneficial.
Prayer is your time to reflect, to shed your worries, to ask for healing, to be thankful… Prayer in most instances leads to a quiet time or meditation time – where answers are received, or we simply de-stress.
So when studies say that Prayer improves self-control, I fully agree. Add meditation and your self-control is longer lasting in my opinion. *working on the instance that prayer is talking and mediation is listening*
Studies have demonstrated that self-control is like a muscle. That is, it gets fatigued. You can only do so many push-ups before your muscles give out. Similarly, activities that require self-control are fatiguing, making it more difficult to make good choices the more you have to use your “self-control muscle.” Think about it. You are more likely to lose your cool or engage in mindless eating when you are mentally exhausted.
Recent research indicates that prayer can help you get more out of your “self-control muscle.” Research participants who said a prayer prior to a mentally exhausting task were better able to exercise self-control following that task. In addition, other studies demonstrate the prayer reduces alcohol consumption, which may reflect the exercise of self-control. Findings such as these suggest that prayer has an energising effect.
In other words, it can help people delay gratification and control impulsive actions. By using prayer and meditation to calm your mind, you can evaluate situations to see if it would create any harm and if it does, to stop yourself from doing it.
It can give people time to be able to see things from a broader perspective and that by itself can help with obsessive acts and compulsive thought or limited thinking.
Besides eliminating compulsiveness, prayer can help people focus and concentrate. By taking a break from the daily activities and enjoying quiet time, one is able to use it to train his brain to be focused on the here and now.
Now that’s a positive notch in the prayer belt isn’t it, if we take this and collectively use it as society… We could actively bring down the severity of, and bring reoccurring negative events to a minimum.
Pray and meditate instead of sharing and spreading the negativity like butter on bread.
It can help people find commonality and beauty in diversity. By reflecting on what Carl Jung calls the collective unconscious, people realize that they are sharing many of the same needs, desires, essence and beliefs as others, at the root.
And through commonality, we can coexist!
Prayer gives people a moderate sense of optimism and a healthy dose of hope. Optimism that there is more than the tip of the iceberg to life, and hope that when things do not go the way one wants despite reasonable effort, that there are other options.
Prayer makes you nicer.
Researchers found that having people pray for those in need reduced the amount of aggression they expressed following an anger-inducing experience. In other words, prayer helps you not lose your cool.
Prayer makes you more forgiving
Researchers found that having people pray for a romantic partner or friend made them more willing to forgive those individuals. Prayer can help you to detach from the past and move forward.
Prayer increases trust
Recent studies found that having people pray together with a close friend increased feelings of unity and trust. This finding is interesting because it suggests that praying with others can be an experience that brings people closer together. Social prayer may thus help build close relationships. Aha! Many hands create light work! Not so? This is why meditation groups are so effective.
When you realise the potential positive effects of prayer and meditation and combine it with a few friends the positive energy increases.
“The family that prays together, stays together” – food for thought…
Prayer offsets the negative health effects of stress
Researchers found that people who prayed for others were less vulnerable to the negative physical health effects associated with financial stress. Also, it was the focus on others that seemed to be contributing to the stress-buffering effects of prayer. Praying for material gain did not counter the effects of stress. So thinking about the welfare of others may be a crucial component of receiving personal benefits from prayer.
So if science proves that giving brings positive effects… We can bring gratitude into the equation.
Yes, prayer can help people cultivate a sense of gratitude. Prayer gives the person a quiet moment to use the time to appreciate the positive in life and to remember that at any moment, there is so much more positive than negative to life. And that sometimes, what seems negative may be otherwise.
Ask – BELIEVE – receive.
And remember, by repeating a series of meaningful, positive, lifting, and thankful phrases, you can retrain your brain to be more positive, be aware, be able to focus and concentrate and to let go of unwanted thoughts.
Scientists and public intellectuals who are critical of religion, focus on what they believe to be the irrationality of religious belief.
These critics typically fail to consider the fact that scientific studies are finding measureable benefits of faith. And!! There is a growing body of evidence indicating that prayer, a behaviour often associated with religion, can be beneficial for individuals and society.
So when someone discredits prayer, I pray for them, I pray that they see the light – once again reinforcing my stance on positive energy.
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