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In a poll conducted by the APA in 2017, it showed that stress is increasingly affecting our well-being. And the average American does not know what to do about it. From anxiety over the current political state to money worries and health concerns, we get more stressed by the year. The good news for believers is that faith promises us peace. Scripture says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 13:27 NIV.
There are many reasons why you may have felt like you’ve lost faith in yourself, your family, or your work. Studies have shown that work is the number one stressor, an addicted digital lifestyle often results in escapism, and divorce rates are still fairly high, according to Holmes, Diggs, and Sadler (head to their website to learn more.) With so much going on in the world, it’s easy to feel like God doesn’t love you.
But how can we access this peace in our daily lives and family homes? Through prayer.
Here are the benefits of having a daily prayer practice that will keep your thoughts focused on the positive and your spirit free from anxiety.
Prayer acknowledges a higher power.
When we pray, we are acknowledging our limitations. Often, we have the mistaken belief that we have to fix everything around us that we see is not going right. We then hurry to take action and often wind up in a bigger mess than where we started.
Stressed about a grown child making poor life choices? Concerned about finding the right senior living homes for your elderly parents?
We know we should not worry about things that are out of our control, but this realization does not make it easy to do. In a quiet moment of reflection, your mind and heart naturally gravitate toward loved ones in difficult situations. Physically there might not be anything you can do, but spiritually, you can pray.
When you start your day off with prayer, you are saying to God that you know he is in control.
Prayer gives you a calm demeanor.
When we are faced with stressful situations, our natural, human reaction is to act out our anxieties. We snap at people. We rush about. We make hasty decisions.
Anyone observing a stressed-out person immediately knows that they are not having a good day.
You have likely experienced working alongside an individual who was stressed out. How did that make you feel? Did it make you feel calm and collected? Most likely not. The way a person behaves is catching. Psychologists call it mirroring behaviors.
But think of how your stressed-out behavior could be affecting your close loved ones, your children, or your spouse. They could all wind up as stressed as you feel, and this is likely the farthest thing from what you want.
Prayer gives you a chance to unload your mental burdens. Imagine a large weight being lifted as you articulate your fears to Jesus. Get those worries off your chest in prayer. Through this, you are showing acceptance of the fact that God is in control of your life.
Here is an often-quoted Bible verse that can fill your heart with peace. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” Matthew 10:29 NIV.
No one wishes for their presence to be a drain on others. As you let prayer lift your stress, you will behave in a calmer manner. And you can be a strength and support to others that they need you to be.
Prayer fills your heart with hope.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul calls God, “the God of all Hope.” (See Romans 15:13.)
Often, when we are stressed or anxious, it is because we are lacking in hope. In fact, depression is often described as a condition where an individual feels devoid of hope. But where our hope fails us, this is the perfect time to turn to prayer to get filled up from the source.
Through Jesus Christ, we can afford to be filled with all the hope in the world. We can expect that there is a plan and purpose for the things that are not going our way at present. And that things will get better because God has promised that they would.
Scripture says, “All things work together for good to those who love God.” Romans 8:28 NIV
That is a huge amount of hope in a brief Bible verse. If we know that everything is going to turn out okay in the end, is there any reason to worry?
Prayer brings to mind these beautiful promises in the Bible. It helps you reconnect with these spiritual truths for a day and life filled with hope.