Prayer Chaplain Corner
MORE Benefits of Prayer by Rene Holubec
Hello, my friend! Namaste
Of course, we all know that prayer is beneficial! However, in preparation to write this article, I discovered some research-supported psychological benefits of prayer that I would like to share with you. To give due credit, this information comes from a Psychologytoday.com blog post by Guy Winch, Ph.D..
Have you ever been wronged by someone and found yourself repeatedly brooding about the event? I have! I’ve even lost sleep over it. The spiritual term for this is “monkey mind”. The psychologist’s term for this is a “ruminative cycle”. Fortunately, prayer can be especially useful when we find ourselves caught in a ruminative cycle. Rather than just replay the events in our minds and get angrier as a result, we should consider the wrongdoer as someone who requires spiritual help and pray for them. Spend a few minutes thinking of their emotional distress and how they might benefit from prayer; then pray for them. The act of prayer will not only benefit the offender, it will reduce your urge to ruminate and put the monkey back in its cage. You have, in effect, just used benevolent prayer to “Let go and let God”.
But what if you are too close to the situation and your ego mind is not ready to be compassionate? Research (and common sense) says praying is effective in calming anger and aggression only when the nature of the prayer is benign. Prayers that are angry or vengeful are likely to increase anger and aggression, not subdue them. Fortunately, benevolent prayer about any subject has a similar stress-buffering effect. Pray for world peace. Pray for a friend in need. Know that a benevolent prayer will help you and your pet monkey sleep better tonight. I hope to see you well-rested in the prayer chairs next Sunday!