It seems almost sacrilegious to reduce the power of prayer to yet another online Top 10 list. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that there's much to be gained from prayer. If prayer is not a regular part of your life, here are some reasons why you may wish to consider making it so.
1. Prayer Invites the Holy Spirit into Your Life
The Holy Spirit is the third Divine Person of God, the other two being God the Father and God the Son; i.e., Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is, if you will, God’s direct connection with you, acting as your comforter, counselor, advisor, strengthener, encourager. When you pray, you invite the Holy Spirit and therefore God into your life to help you live it. And remember, you need not get down on your knees, bow your head, and fold your hands in order to pray. You can talk with the Holy Spirit anytime, anywhere you wish, and He will listen to you.
2. Prayer Restores Your Soul
When you’re hurting clear down to your soul, prayer restores your soul. The 23rd Psalm speaks to this when it says, “He restoreth my soul.”
3. Prayer Helps You Find Direction in Your Life
If you’ve reached a crossroad in your life, or if you’re simply drifting without any idea where you’re headed or why you should head there, prayer can help you resolve this situation.
4. Prayer Gives You a Better Sense of Self
Think about it. As you draw closer to God through prayer, you can’t help but draw closer to your essential self as well. The real you, the one often distracted and even overcome by all the hassles of your daily life. The quietness of prayer can help you rediscover yourself.
5. Prayer Reduces Stress
If you’re like most people, you experience frequent stress. Maybe it comes from your job. Maybe it comes from your family. Maybe you’re the caregiver of an elderly parent or a special needs child. Wherever your stress comes from, it saps your energy and leaves you in a state of persistent fatigue. Prayer gives you the opportunity for some quiet “me” time.
6. Prayer is Good for Your Heart
Studies show that while you pray, your heart rate decreases and your heartbeat becomes stronger. While prayer, of course, is a mental and spiritual activity, it can give you physical benefits as well.
7. Prayer Improves Your Attitude
Anger is a very debilitating emotion. It affects you much more negatively than it affects the person or people with whom you’re angry. Praying, especially asking the Holy Spirit to help you manage and control your anger, can help reduce it.
8. Prayer Helps You Express Gratitude
Admit it. Even if you think your life is a mess, you still have many things to be thankful for each day. A spectacular sunrise or sunset. A particularly beautiful flower. A rainbow. A random act of kindness by a complete stranger. Whenever something, small or large, makes you feel glad that you’re alive, take a moment to stop and thank the One who made it possible for you to experience it.
9. Prayer Gives You Hope
It’s all too easy to lose hope when you’re going through a bad period in your life. But when you lose hope, you also lose the ability to think rationally. Depression sets in and thoughts of suicide start to invade your mind. Prayer, and the quiet reflection it provides, can help you get to a better place where you recognize that despite whatever is troubling you, life can still be good for you if you’ll only let it.
10. Prayer Helps You Give and Receive Forgiveness
People hurt you. You hurt them. Whether deliberate or inadvertent, hurt is part of the human experience. Asking God through prayer to forgive you for the hurts you’ve caused and to forgive others for the hurts you’ve experienced is your first step in recovering from them. It doesn’t mean that you’ll forget what happened, but it does mean that you’ll start to forgive yourself and others for adding to the hurt in the world.
If you’re still not convinced that prayer can have an extraordinarily positive impact on your life, here are a few more benefits to consider. Prayer helps dissipate your negative emotions. Prayer helps you maintain a positive attitude. Most importantly, prayer helps you develop a relationship with God.