Don’t worry about anything instead pray about everything, tell God
What you need and thank Him for all He has done- Philipians 4:6
Do you pray?
Available online information highlights the following:
A 2015 National Post survey by Angus Reid and Jonathon Rivait specify that 86% of Canadians claim to pray regularly while 42% are ambivalent about it and 14% rarely communicate with a Supreme Being (Boesveld & Rivait, 2015).
As for Americans, a Pew Research Center poll revealed that 55% of them pray every day while 23% pray one a month or once a week and 21% admit that they seldom or never pray (Lipka, 2015).
According to BBC News, a TNS (formerly known as Taylor Nelson Sofres) survey among adults in the United Kingdom stated that 40% of the 1000 randomly selected participants pray (2007).
With the abovementioned statistics, it can be deduced that a number of people miss out on the benefits of prayer. In fact, various studies have buttressed the importance of prayer:
Prayer Decreases Stress Levels
Due to the relaxing benefits of prayer, it can lower heart and breathing rate, normalize blood pressure, lessen the need for oxygen, and decrease carbon dioxide production (Dossey, 1995). This benefit known as the relaxation response inhibits the production of cortisol and other stress hormones. Since chronic stress debilitates the immune system, regular prayer can generally improve one’s health.
Personal Prayer Buffers Self-control Depletion
Self-control is a very important ingredient of emotional intelligence; hence success. The highpoints of a study conducted by Friese and Wanke indicated that research participants who engaged in personal prayer did not exhibit self-control depletion while those who did not pray showed regular depletion effect (2014). The paper which was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology furthered that praying can improve executive functioning tasks.
Prayer and Happiness
A recent study generated results which positively correlated the frequency of prayer and happiness levels (Robbins, Francis, & Edwards, 2008). However, the correlation vanished when the element of personality came into play. This suggests the impact of individual predispositions regarding happiness. Still, the study highlights the impact of spiritual life as one component of a blissful existence.
How do you pray?
Do you communicate to a loving and caring God? Or to a detached and imposing God? Researchers discussed that “we find consistent interactions between the frequency of prayer and secure attachment to God, such that persons who pray often to a God who is perceived as a secure attachment figure derive clear mental health benefits, while those who pray to a God who is perceived as distant or unresponsive experience elevated levels of anxiety related symptoms” (Ellison, Bradshaw, Flanelly, & Galek, 2014, p. 226). The study which appeared in Sociology of Religion analyzed data from 1,714 volunteers. Indeed, praying to a comforting and strengthening Being alleviates worry and hopelessness.
As a lifeline, prayer is highly crucial for many. Without this connection, you may feel quite hollow. These scientific findings portray how spiritual practices improve our mental health by reducing stress, self-control depletion, and anxiety symptoms. Ergo, get connected and plug in to the power of prayer!
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