The Powerful Benefits of Prayer
By: Chris Miller
“Prayer is one of the greatest and most excellent means of nourishing the new nature, and of causing the soul to flourish and prosper.” These were some very meaningful words spoken by Jonathan Edwards over 200 years ago in his famous sermon on prayer. Times have changed and so has society, but Edward’s message remains timeless. Prayer has not changed nor has its amazing benefits.
There are no limits to the rewards of praying to a God who is forgiving, patient, and good to us 100% of the time. In fact, the list truly is endless, and it’s different for every individual, but the following are a few benefits that immediately come to my mind.
First, what is prayer? Prayer is not necessarily the same for everyone, but generally speaking, it is a means of communication with our heavenly Father. It can be done alone or among a group of people. It can be spoken or even sang aloud, or thought inside one’s head. Sometimes no words are necessary at all, but rather it is a period of meditative thought and time spent between God and an individual.
Perhaps it is this meditative process that gives prayer one of its most outstanding benefits. Prayer is healing. Studies have actually shown that those who pray are physically and emotionally healthier than those who do not. Those who suffer depression, anxiety, and even terminal illnesses often have a quicker healing time, and more successful survival rate. Folks recover from illnesses quicker when they are able to faithfully steep themselves in prayer.
Have you ever had to work with a difficult co-worker, or is there something specific that is hard to deal with in your marriage?
Another powerful benefit of prayer is that it strengthens our relationships. When we pray for those we know and love, it helps us to understand that person a little bit better. It allows us to be more patient and understanding in frustrating situations, and knowing that He will answer our prayers in His time makes it easier. Perhaps it is because we are taking action and feel ownership in our relationships, but most likely it’s God’s amazing will that helps to strengthen our relationships through prayer.
Not only does prayer strengthen our earthly relationship, but it also draws us closer to the Lord. It truly helps us establish a relationship with Him, and understand more fully who he is and how he performs miracles in our lives every day. After you’ve begun to pray on a daily basis, you suddenly begin to see Jesus and His miracles everywhere. You see Him in the sunset, feel Him in great gratitude for the roof over your head and the food on your table. You know Jesus; you yearn to be more like him.
“Prayer that is constantly and diligently attended to is one of the best means of leading not only an amiable and pleasant life; but also a life of much sweet fellowship with Christ, and of abundant enjoyment of the light of his countenance,” says Edwards in his speech. To put it quite simply, when we pray, we are growing closer to the Lord we love. We are easing the struggles in our lives and improving our relationships, all the while getting to know Him by learning His word, and applying it to our lives in many meaningful ways.
By Chris Miller. Continually giving thanks to God for his salvation, Chris strives daily to be a follower of Christ. Visit his website for uplifting handcrafted Christian plaques and gifts at Engravenword.com.