The act of prayer is something that gets taken for granted, even by highly religious people. The action of taking time and conscious effort to speak to a higher power can have a tremendous impact on our day-to-day lives, even if it is something that we don’t realize. As such, daily prayer is a powerful tool that brings a host of different benefits to our lives. Making praying a part of your daily routine isn’t difficult, either, but it makes such a huge difference. Here is a list of some of the most impactful benefits of everyday prayer…
Prayer Brings You Closer to God
The first, greatest, and most obvious benefit of daily prayer is that it helps build and foster a relationship between you and God. Having a higher power in your life that you work to connect with creates a powerful feeling of fulfillment. As an act of love, prayer is one of the most direct and straightforward ways that you can practice devotion to a higher power. Think of going an entire day without talking to your significant other. That doesn’t feel very “loving.” Prayer is simply the act of talking to God and showing that you value that relationship and connection.
Prayer Can Help Reduce Stress
There are actually tangible health benefits of prayer. This has been shown in a variety of different journals and studies, such as Health Psychology, Depression and Anxiety, and The Journal of Reward Deficiency Syndrome. The main connection that prayer has with physical health is that it serves as a way to reduce stress. Instead of bottling up feelings of anxiety and stress, we are able to channel them in a productive way that helps remind us that we aren’t alone. Reducing levels of stress is great for our mental health, but also helps to improve our physical health, as it is linked to a reduction in cancer, heart disease, and more.
Prayer Can Give You Direction
If you are feeling lost or directionless in life, prayer provides an avenue where you can get all of your thoughts out of your head and into the open. If you do this every day, you’ll start to recognize that there are clear and obvious trends that you bring up that can give direction to your life. I’ve had friends who were non-believers state that the act of praying in nature, even if they weren’t praying to a specific higher power, was met with feelings of affirmation, confirmation, and clearer direction.
Praying Brings Clarity
Just like the gift of direction, prayer brings with it the gift of clarity. Sometimes, when we get caught in our own heads, we have a tendency to overcomplicate certain situations and cloud our thoughts with messy emotions that get in the way of reason. Prayer helps take the immense weight of our responsibilities and the world and then lifts that weight off of our shoulders. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have the same responsibilities, but it does mean we don’t have to tackle those responsibilities alone. We have something that is bigger than ourselves that gives us clear directions on how to improve our lives. This very aspect of prayer is why it is such a big part of addiction recovery programs (such as the 12-step program).
Prayer Improves Your Attitude
Daily prayer and all of the benefits that come with it manifest into a healthier outlook in life. This helps give us a more positive outlook on things that happen around us. This doesn’t mean thinking that everything is sunshine and roses around us, as that is fairly unproductive. Instead, it means maintaining a positive belief that things can be improved and that our own actions can play a role in improving them. Immense negativity leads to inaction, and prayer is a way to cure that negativity.
Prayer Can Be a Community Experience
Lastly, it’s important to remember that prayer doesn’t just have to be a solitary experience, although it definitely works as one. Sometimes the best prayer comes in the form of communal experiences. Standing together and sharing feelings of faith and affirmation with the people in your life is a powerful experience that helps make you feel closer to those around you. In this way, prayer functions as a community building experience, whether it is with your friends, family, church, or even complete strangers.