QUESTION: Prayer for stress relief – Does prayer work to reduce stress?
Let us face the facts: we all have stress. It is the way we deal with stress that differs. The good news is that prayer for stress relief works! Prayer is that unique form of communication with God available to the believer that, when used often and in accordance with God’s will, brings us into alignment with God’s viewpoint. Being in good alignment means that our whole being is put into its proper perspective and that means life is less stressful and we are better able to deal with the stress we do have.
A proper perspective of our reality is often the biggest stress reliever there is. There is a saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, it is all small stuff.” The proper perspective helps us to understand that our stress is not unique or strange and it cannot defeat us without our help. In other words, when it comes to stress, we give it the power that it has over us. Living a prayer-centered life changes that equation. It is also an amazing thing of irony, but praying for others or intermediary prayer helps to put our own needs into perspective. Because when we focus upon the needs of others, our own needs become less of a focus. “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
The adage that “Prayer changes things,” is only partly right, especially in stress relief. Prayer changes the one doing the praying. God is sovereign and when we pray, we are told to pray with in the will of God as Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6:9-13. This model of prayer is a good basis to start from and it can lead us into a deeper life of prayer. This deeper communion with Christ has a result of bringing a clearer understanding of our dependence upon God and His grace, which changes us and can consequently result in changing “things.”
James makes this statement: “You ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'” (James 4:15). Therefore, when we are praying, we need to do so not with a personal laundry list but with the attitude of submission to God and His will. That is not to say that we should not use prayer for stress relief. “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2). There is nothing in our lives that God does not know about so when we pray we are not informing Him. Rather, we are bringing our will into alignment with His Will.
But how does prayer relieve stress? When we communicate with God, we do so on a one-to-one basis with no intermediary. This is the only time when we can be honest with ourselves and with God. You’ll find no artifice in the prayer closet. One can’t simply mumble “I’m fine” when one is alone with God. The realizations that God knows our frame, has a clear understanding of who and what we are, and that He loves us anyway gives us a humility that strips us of false pride and opens our heart to allow the LORD to change us. Situations that cause stress in our life may not change instantly, but our attitude of peace in the face of the stress will make our life seem different. The result of prayer as a stress relief is the recognition of our dependence upon the “Prince of Peace” to bring us through anything!
A prayer for stress relief might include some of the following statements to God: “Father, I know that You know my life and You know the problems and stress that I face. Help me to keep my eyes not on the problems or the stressful situations, but upon You and Your mercy and grace. Father, I cannot change the situations that cause stress in my life but I know that You can. LORD, keep my heart humble and willing to submit to the ‘all things’ that you have allowed into my life. Father, give me Your strength to stand because although I do not understand how this will change me, I know that You are working in and through me to conform my life to glorify You. Lead me into Your truth by helping me to surrender to Your Word. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions
Anxiety and stress can really get the best of us sometimes. The more we dwell on the bad things, the worse we feel energy wise and health wise. Here are 8 prayers that you can pray in different situations of life’s troubles and problems.
Table of contents
Dear Omnipotent Father, the Almighty, all powerful God, give me strength today through all of my health issues. I pray that You will eradicate the diseases plaguing me this day. I feel weak and useless. You have the power to do as You please gracious Father, and I pray that Your will be done. If You will that my back pain goes away or stays, I will obey You, Lord. If You will that my migraines get stronger or go away, I will love and honor You this day. Amen.
Gracious, Heavenly Father, You already know the worries on my heart. I pray that You will give me the peace that passes all understanding in the trials that are ahead. I am scared about what the future holds in my career, family and finances. I give these worries to You Father and ask that You will carry me through this difficult time. Your agape love surpasses all love that I could possibly give. I thank You and praise You for Your patience with me. I love you Father! Amen.
Father in heaven, I fear for the doors that may be closing in my life. I have a good job, but the company is cutting back. I pray that if I am fired that You will open a new door for me. I pray that You will provide me the exact outlet You want me to be in to do Your will. I pray that You will provide me a job that will still pay for my mortgage and feed my spouse and children. You are gracious Father, and I have experienced many blessings from You in my life. I am thankful for all that You have done for me. Amen.
Holy God in heaven, I come to you now with a heavy heart. You already know that I have been screened for skin cancer and You already know the results. I pray Father that the results will give me a clean bill of health. But if they don’t, I pray Lord that you would free me of this disease and heal me completely. I will obey You Father no matter what. You are omniscient and know what is best for me; that is why I love You so much. I praise Your Name, O Holy God! Amen.
Lord, I am scared about the bills this week Father. I was not expecting the car to break down requiring $800 in repairs. Lord I don’t know how I am going to make it this month. I pray that You would provide me necessary means to make up the extra money in side work. If not side work, I pray that You will provide the money somehow. I trust in You completely Father and I will declare your grace and mercy because You are good, Lord. You are faithful. You are abounding in love! I love you, Father! Amen.
Salvation for Loved ones
Father, You know the agony I am in over my brother. He refuses to believe in You and I am scared that he may never. Lord, please give me an opportunity to talk with him when he will actually listen. I don’t want to be in heaven without him Father. I love him so much! Please hear my distress and anguish! My heart is breaking for him every single day that goes by. I pray that he will receive salvation, Lord, no matter from who tells him the gospel. In Jesus is life and I want so badly for my brother to experience the life-changing power of the cross. I love You, Abba, Father! Amen.
The Thorns in my Flesh
Oh patient Father, I am so thankful that You love me. Lord, I pray that you will help me to be patient with my co-workers that defile Your Name every single day. Lord, I pray that You will soften their hearts to receive the message of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I cannot stand hearing them speak Your name in vain, Father. I pray that You will fill me with overwhelming joy that I can sustain the depravity that is before me. You are amazing, Father, for being patient for as long as You have with all of mankind. I pray that I will be patient with the mankind that I come in contact with on my short time here on earth. You are worthy of all praise! Amen.
Lord, you know my situation. I want so badly for You to bring a suitable mate into my life. Lord, I love You with all of my heart and I want a partner that feels the same way. I do not want to be unequally yoked and I pray that You will give me discernment to know when to run away and when to stay. I will continue faithfully in obeying You, Father, no matter the outcome. You know what is best for me and I will gladly follow where You lead me with my anxiety over this issue. I love You, Father! Amen.
One fact of life for God’s children is that we all face trials, troubles and tragedies at some point. I hope you are encouraged by the fact that God loves you so much and He is always there to listen when you pray through all of life’s tribulations. God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!
Have you read what the Bible says about anxiety? Take a look:
Bible verses about anxiety
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The last thing I think of when I’m stressed out with work deadlines and complicated homework projects with the kids is to get on my knees or attend Mass. But a growing body of research suggests prayer and religion rank high among the best stress busters.
In her new book, The SuperStress Solution, Dr. Roberta Lee devotes a section to the topic of spirituality and prayer.
“Research shows that people who are more religious or spiritual use their spirituality to cope with life,” notes Dr. Lee.
“They’re better able to cope with stress, they heal faster from illness, and they experience increased benefits to their health and well-being. On an intellectual level, spirituality connects you to the world, which in turn enables you to stop trying to control things all by yourself. When you feel part of a greater whole, it’s easy to understand that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in life.”
Among the research she cites is one study of approximately 126,000 people that found that the people who frequently attended services increased their odds of living by 29 percent. Another study conducted by the National Institute for Health Care Research (NIHR) illustrated that the Canadian college students who were connected to their campus ministries visited doctors less often and were less stressed during difficult times than the other students. The students who had strong religious correlations also had higher positive feelings, lower levels of depression, and were better equipped at handling stress.
Dr. Lee points to the research of Harold Koenig, M.D., associate professor of medicine and psychiatry at Duke University, who surveys more than a thousand studies appraising the effects of prayer on health in his book Handbook of Religion and Health. Among them:
- Hospitalized people who never attended church have an average stay of three times longer than people who attend regularly.
- Heart patients were fourteen times more likely to die following surgery if they did not practice a religion.
- Elderly people who never or rarely attended church had a stroke rate double that of people who attended regularly.
- People who are more religious tend to become depressed less often. When they do become depressed, they recover more quickly.
Why all the benefits of prayer and religion?
First, religion and faith provide social support, a consistent element of happiness and good health. Regular churchgoers not only get support from their community, but they also GIVE support to others, and the altruistic activity promotes better health.
Second, religion reinforces a belief system. People bond when they hold common opinions and beliefs, even it’s a form of gossiping.
Third, religion and spirituality do what a parent or supervisor at work does: give you 10 laws to abide by. And, although you may not like the regulations set upon you and try to break a few, you are glad they exist, because, for the most part, your life runs more smoothly when you follow them.
Finally, faith attaches meaning to events. It gives folks hope, the ultimate stress reducer. Hope, doctors say, is about the best thing you can do for your body. It’s better than a placebo.
Ever since the dawn of time (or at least since humans have existed), there have been countless theories about higher powers or a single higher being which have made, and continues to control, just about everything in the known universe. These theories have transitioned into special books which have been supposedly represented as the words and records between humans and the Gods themselves.
Now, times can be rough in this world, especially for certain people who are unfortunate enough to be born in a not so wealthy environment or whom are struggling financial wise. Tough times such as these will no doubt push people into the process of praying to the powers that may be and asking them either for advice on how to fix the situation, or sometimes practically begging for help.
Although being under stress isn’t as intense or soul-destroying as being utterly homeless or having recently loosing a loved one, it can be enough to warrant a prayer or two, especially if you were a religious person already. But do these prayers actually help your case? And if so, how and what other benefits are there? Let’s find out.
How Can Praying And Faith Relieve Stress?
The reason why religious people might pray is very simple; they may be struggling with something and want guidance or help from the ones who made us and control everything we know. The same can be done for people who are under stress or suffering from any other mental strain such as anxiety and depression.
While I myself identify as a Christian (although I don’t attend church or do much praying to God above, so I don’t really know if I can be classed as one) I can’t exactly say if praying makes me personally feel better about stuff or not as I don’t exactly pray to God above.
But for others who are more tuned in with their respected religions, they might feel as though their prayers get answered.
The Other Benefits To Praying And Having Faith
It would seem quite ironic to compare science and religion together, especially as both are extremely different; religion for the theories of higher beings and science for the full blown proof of unexplained things.
But it may come as a surprise to know that science itself states that praying and having faith does have its benefits, from a lot more in fact rather than just simply relieving somebody’s stress.
Multiple studies have been done over the years on the connection between faith mental health. They found that people with higher religiousness have a greater chance of gaining a more positive outcome of their mental health than people with a lower state of religiousness; basically, the more religious somebody was, the fewer depressive symptoms they experienced.
It seems then that being religious adds a huge bonus to your life as you will be less likely to be depressed or encounter any other sort of mental strains such as stress and anxiety because of your faith with the powers that may be from above the fluffy clouds. However, there is a large problem (or two) that we’re overlooking…
The Problems With Prayer And Faith
The main problem with religion and faith is that there are of course people out these who don’t believe such things as Gods or higher beings/powers of any sort. In fact, as technology is advancing and we are starting to see the universe for what it is, and perhaps how it was really created, atheist numbers are slowly but surely growing higher and higher; humans see no need to believe in something which seems to not exist.
Furthermore, you can’t simply force anybody to believe in something they don’t want to. Although there isn’t any proof that there is a God in charge of all of us, there certainly isn’t proof that there isn’t one also, and everybody is free to their own opinions; we can’t force an opinion or direction on somebody if they don’t want to themselves – even if it seems that having a religious view decreases the chance of you having a negative mental state.
In addition to atheists and science supposedly bringing us closer and closer to the truth of us and the known universe, people who are heavily religious may depend all their wealth and good fortune on their respected God; this isn’t a healthy set of logic mainly because if something doesn’t go your way, and your misfortune or in this specific case, your stress, doesn’t disappear, you will be confused and wondering if you have done something to upset God or the powers above as they aren’t fixing your problems.
Only you can ultimately change the world to how you want it, and solely depending on God to do it for you is bad; of course, there’s no harm in asking God for guidance occasionally, and maybe to place a small amount of luck on your side every now and then.
Is Prayer The Final Method Of Stress Relief?
The researchers have the crystal clear evidence that religious people are less likely to be affected by depression or other negative mental health, so does that mean that having faith and praying to the Gods above is the sure path to becoming relieved from stress for life?
First off, you certainly can’t be relieved from stress forever. Sure, you can find the methods which are right for you to soothe it when it affects you, but it is impossible to avert stress from your life completely; it is natural and believe it or not, we are meant to have a little bit of stress from time to time – being stressless turns us away from being human.
Secondly… many people just aren’t religious and choose to believe in science and the Big Bang rather than God, and that’s perfectly fine. There is still a vast lack of evidence to support any side of how us and the universe were created, and the sole purpose of why we are here. For these people who would never see themselves praying to what some have called a “sky fairy”, praying would simply not be a method on their “stress relief methods” list.
To end it all off, the power of religion and prayer can be wonderful for the people who believe in God and the heavens above. There is heavy evidence to prove that praying and having faith if you are religious can help you lead a life where you are less likely to be overcome with depressive symptoms and quite possibly stress.
On the other hand, if you are not religious and are a more firm believer on everything being created by the Big Bang and us by evolution rather than from a big bearded fellow, then you would be better off if you focused on a completely different method of relieving your stress as praying… well, that would be the last thing you would do.
Whatever your religious beliefs however, you’ve got to be impressed by how powerful and effective faith and prayer is for people though. With how the world can be sometimes, it’s nice to have hope and a little faith that the powers above will be able to sort out our messes.
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