When we face a major crisis in our lives what is the first thing that we do? Some of us talk to a trusted friend or family member, some of us meditate or go to therapy, some of us pray to God to get us out of, or relief from the situation. But, what do we do when we’re not facing a life threatening crisis, what if we’re struggling at work or having trouble communicating with our spouse, or are barely making rent? These are everyday life issues that people everywhere are dealing with but our response to those issues sometimes differ to how we respond in moments of extreme difficulty. May I suggest that when we face problems, big or small, our response should be the same. Our immediate response, our first defense against all of life’s hardships, should be prayer. Prayer in the Hebrew Bible is an evolving means of interacting with God, most frequently through a spontaneous, individual, unorganized form of petitioning and/or thanking.The National Review’s article, What Prayer is Good For-and the Evidence for It says “A number of studies suggest that prayer is positively associated with well-being and physical health. For instance, a nationwide survey of older adults found that the negative effects of financial problems on health were significantly reduced among those who regularly prayed for others. Religious practices such as prayer also contribute to perceptions of meaning in life, which promote psychological well-being.The benefits of prayer extend to social bonds. A willingness to compromise and make personal sacrifices is critical to healthy close relationships. Married couples who are happy to sacrifice for each other experience less marital distress. More broadly, sacrifice promotes trust, which strengthens relationships. Researchers found that prayer helps promote the value of sacrifice as well as the strength of a relationship.For most believers, prayer isn’t a substitute for data-based solutions. It is a personal resource that complements and may even help facilitate other thoughtful action.” I believe that continual communication with God helps keep joy in our hearts, peace in our minds, and love overflowing for others. Integrating it in our daily lives can change our outlook on the storms of life will bring us and challenge us to approach it with an attitude of grace and victory.
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