Prayer makes us healthier—relieves stress, increases focus, and helps us live a longer, happier life. Dr. Herbert Benson, at Harvard Medical School found that prayer decreases metabolism, slows the heart rate, reduces blood pressure and we become calmer. Prayer boosts the immune system and can help us recover from illness quicker according to a University of Cincinnati study. University of Pennsylvania found that prayer increases our sense of well-being and joy.
Prayer seems a splendid antidote in the grip of a pandemic winter of snows and cold. Prayer can soothe the strains that hold us back from joy, ease the isolation of loneliness and connect us to the divine presence in our lives.
Prayer need not be difficult. Find a moment to be quiet. Breathe deeply a few times. Then talk with God as if you’re talking with a genial friend. “God, this is what is on my heart today” is a good place to begin. You might include a few items that you are thankful for. And ask God’s blessing on the ways you wish for life to grow. When you’re done talking—listen. Listen to the silence or the thrum of God’s presence speaking in your soul.
Between now and Easter we will be sharing Wednesday evening praise and prayer services online. These simple services will engage you in song and prayer. Join us on Facebook, YouTube or through Yorkvilleucc.org and you might be healthier and filled with joy.
In this long winter of Covidtide I find myself ever in need of persistent prayer. I find relief from
anxiety, focus for my day, and refreshment for my soul. I hope you’ll join me in prayer.