Our world often seems chaotic and unpredictable. This truth is especially evident when we or someone we love is suffering from grief, illness, and impending death. We can feel helpless and hopeless in our journey. We often feel alone even when surrounded by those who love us.
However, as Christians we can be confident that we are never alone. When our pain feels unbearable, we have a gift that should be our first resort and not our last. We can pray to the Creator of the Universe and our Savior who also suffered on our behalf. There are many wondrous ways in which prayer works, but here are five to rest your weary soul upon:
- Prayer brings us closer to God. Our personal relationships are deepened with communication. This truth extends to our relationship with God. He hears our prayers and He responds. When we can calm our thoughts, we can hear His voice. Sometimes, I pray and then randomly open my Bible and He speaks to me through His Word. I have had seasons in my life that I felt so broken I did not know how to pray and would just lay my head in my Bible. He would meet me there and He will meet you there as well.
- Prayer helps us physically and mentally. The practice of prayer has proven benefits from heart health to a multitude of benefits associated with the relaxation response. It has been associated with lower heart rates, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption. It reduces symptoms of arthritis, insomnia, depression, infertility, cancer, anxiety, and aging. When our mind and body need it most, prayer is a medicine without adverse side effects.
- Prayer helps us connect with other believers. When we pray for others or know they are praying for us, it fulfills one of our roles in the Body of Christ.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these
members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though
many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Communal prayer prevents us from loneliness in our suffering. We are enlisting those with other gifts and talents to walk with us. Likewise, when we do so for others, it gives us a sense of purpose.
- Prayer helps us cultivate a sense of gratitude despite our circumstances. It serves as a reminder to pause and express gratitude for the blessings in one’s life. Acknowledging positive life experiences, memories, supportive relationships, and most importantly the hope we receive from Jesus Christ helps us shift focus from what’s lacking to what’s present. We can pray with confidence that our suffering is momentary which helps us live Anticipating Heaven.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to
sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24
- Prayer can lead to spiritual and physical healing. I have personally witnessed the power of prayer in physical healing. My son was blind at birth and healed without medical intervention. Prayer and physical healing have been documented through the centuries. The mystery to me has been how God answers the prayers of the faithful. His perfect plan is not always evident until time has passed, and prayers are answered in ways we cannot imagine.
Ultimately, it is our spiritual healing that we can place our hope. The Greek word, σώζω, or sozo, means saved and healed. Prayer leads to our perfect healing by our perfect Savior. Through belief in Him, our death has been conquered.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
As we navigate the complexities of existence, praying connects us to our steadfast companion, the Triune God.
God is good, and I trust Him.