Life is Hard and National Day of Prayer Could Help
If you’ve lived long on this earth, you know that life can be hard. Since time began, peoples across the planet have had forms of worship; and this human phenomenon is likely linked to a universal acknowledgment that we need help beyond ourselves! All of our U.S. Presidents since 1952 have signed a proclamation designating a National Day of Prayer, which signifies a nation filled with people of faith. May 2nd is National Day of Prayer 2019. The following are a few reasons to welcome prayer not only as a national event but also as a lifestyle.
Prayer Helps to Deal with Stress
Tough times may come in the form of daily events at a stressful job, unexpected disasters in the home, encountering danger while enjoying an exciting pastime, and in many other ways. These are the moments when people suddenly look to God in heaven, including many who normally don’t think to pray. Saint Augustine gave good advice:
"Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
There have been various studies related to prayer, including research linking prayer to stress relief. It has been found, for instance, that up to 96% of older adults in the U.S. use prayer as a coping mechanism for stress. These are the folks who have lived long lives and likely know a few things others are still learning, including the importance of prayer to reduce stress.
Prayer Controls Pain
In a study on reducing pain caused by headaches, Bowling Green State University researchers made a discovery. One group was asked to repeat the prayer or spiritual mantra, “God is good. God is peace. God is love.” The study found that meditating on the mantra for 20 minutes daily reduced the number and severity of headaches a migraine sufferer experienced. Another group in the study was asked to spend 20 minutes repeating a mantra such as “Grass is green.” Those assigned to the nature-focused mantra showed no benefits or improvement to headache pain.
Life is Longer with Prayer…in a Good Way
More than 4,000 senior adults were surveyed, and the results were published in the Journal of Gerontology. The survey clearly showed that the individuals who regularly prayed or meditated lived longer and had better coping skills through times of illness than those who did not pray. Living longer is a good perk, especially if you appreciate not being deceased.
Prayer is an Antidote to Depression
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the body that’s released by happy, pleasurable feelings. Scientists have discovered that dopamine levels increase during prayer and meditation. This is a very good thing because healthy dopamine levels are proven to prevent anxiety and depression.
In another study that incorporated brain scans, it was found that people with spiritual activities such as prayer in their lives have a 90% lower risk of suffering from major depression.
So, Happy National Day of Prayer!
One of the benefits of National Day of Prayer is that it might serve to remind people that prayer has benefits. While joining others throughout the nation in prayer, you could also discover a better way to cope with the small, medium, and large crappy events in your life.