What are the benefits of prayer and how can it help you during uncertain times?
Fear, anxiety, worry. I wish there was a graduate course that says – I have my Ph.D. in this and no longer suffer from these issues! I have conquered them!
But that is untrue. Please don’t let anyone tell you it is so. We learn more quickly how to respond without regret but the feelings will still come.
How do you respond to uncertainty in life?
In uncertain times, do you stay focused on the media? Do you call your family? Do you clean the house?
If cleaning the house was the answer, I would have had the cleanest house ever in my previous years of anxiety! And I do mean – years!
There is no doubt that we’re living in one of the most unique times in history. Very few people living today have experienced collective sacrifice for the good of a nation. The last major time this happened, the world was at war. We are now engaged in a different kind of battle.
An unknown territory.
What you can do? What will help?
Perhaps you’re already working to help your family, friends, or society as a whole. Even though you’re doing things to help, maybe you still feel anxious. Did you know that staying active help, but there’s something more powerful to bring you peace and calm?
That something is prayer. But maybe you’re wondering what are the benefits of prayer when you’re feeling uncertain?
Prayer Benefits During Uncertain Times
More and more people around the world are following the recommendation of staying at home. Or at least close to home (getting outside at a safe distance is a really good idea!) People are stocking up on grocery and household items. Shortages of medical supplies and certain foods and toiletries are continuing. Many people are frightened. Life is very different. Many things have changed. We’re living in uncertain times. They don’t know what’s going to happen.
How long this novel virus we’re just learning about will last is a huge question. We don’t know how long kids will be out of school. Or how long businesses will be shut down. Nor do we know how long employees will be ordered to stay home.
The future seems very uncertain.
However, this is the best time to discover the benefits of prayer.
The ambiguity of the immediate and distant future unsettles people. There are actions we can take, however. Actions to protect our physical health. More important, though, are the measures we can implement to take care of our mental and emotional health.
Benefits of Prayer – A Reminder of God’s Love
No matter what challenges or circumstances we face, the Lord never changes. What a great reminder! God has not moved. God has not altered His goodness or His presence from His people. The Coronavirus is not an emergency in heaven. God knew it was coming and He has prepared his comfort and direction just for you. Romans 8:38-39 reassures us nothing can separate us from God’s perfect love.
In His infinite love, the Lord has opened up a line of communication we can access anytime, anywhere: Prayer.
What are the Benefits of Prayer?
While praying may not feel like we’re ‘doing’ something, it is the most active way to engage in battle.
How will prayer help? How can it free you from anxiety?
Let’s take a brief glance.
Prayer connects us to God during Covid-19
One of the major changes during the Covid-19 crisis is our ability to connect with other people. We were created as social creatures and thrive off contact with others. Even introverts have a need to connect.
We have suddenly been thrust into life without gatherings. Without dinners and parties. Not worshiping in person together. Without coworkers to eat lunch with. Without classmates to laugh, talk, and commiserate with.
We also live in an age where we can communicate via various forms of technology, but it’s not the same.
We crave to connect.
What hasn’t changed, is God is as close and available as He’s ever been.
A moment of quiet, whether it is in your bed, closet, kitchen, or on a walk, links you to the Lord. Who else greater to be linked to at this or any other time?
When we take time to pray, we’re reminded who God is. We remember that we have access to and can connect with God:
- Who is perfect and holy
- Who loves us with an everlasting, faithful love
- For whom nothing is impossible
- Who keeps all His promises
- Whose strength is unlimited
Connecting with other people blesses us. How much more does connecting with such a God bless us?
Prayer Accesses Gifts from God
When we seek God in prayer, He pours many gifts out on us. Including, but not limited to His:
- Peace – which isn’t dependent on our circumstances. Jesus said He gave us peace. (John 14:27.) We already have His peace! We simply need to tap into it through prayer. As a bonus, it’s not the kind of peace that comes from everything in the world is right. God’s peace flows freely and can fill us no matter what’s happening around us.
- Guidance – which gives us wisdom in decision making. Again, the Lord says to come to Him for wisdom. He desires we ask! (James 1:5.) We want to make the best decisions. Sometimes we read or hear conflicting advice. We may not have all the information needed. God knows all. He has all the knowledge necessary to show each one of us the right course. Our heart may need practice listening, but He is always willing to lead us in the right direction.
- Love – which fills us when we are missing the people we love. One of the most difficult aspects of living during a time of social distancing is not being with the people you love. These may be coworkers, friends, church family, or biological family. Talking to them helps, but is not the same. We aren’t giving and receiving hugs, handshakes, or fist bumps. We don’t have the advantage of watching someone’s body language as we talk with them. This creates gaps in our hearts. God is love embodied. (1 John 4:16.) He has more than enough for us. His love can fill the gaps.
- Strength – which provides what we need in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9.) Life brings difficulties. Challenges are increasing. We may feel weak emotionally, physically, financially, or spiritually. Regardless, God provides. Praying reminds us where our strength comes from.
- Comfort – which stills our fears and soothes our sorrows. The Lord is the God of all comfort. ( 2 Corinthians 1:3.) God soothes our frazzled nerves. He reveals His truths, which are more powerful than any fact. He consoles us in our grief. And He reassures us in the unknown.
Receiving the Gifts
Remember: Just as we are physical, we are spiritual. Just as we are spiritual, we are physical!
Aren’t those amazing gifts? The more incredible aspect of them is God delivers abundantly. To receive all His gifts, all we need to do is spend time with Him. Talking to Him. Pouring our hearts out to Him. Worshiping Him. Listening to Him.
Wherever we are lacking, God provides.
Wherever we are uncertain, God guides.
These are free gifts the Lord offers. Our part in accepting is to spend time with Him. To pray – pray at the dinner table, pray with your family… That’s it!
Prayer Fortifies Us
A quick glance of the New Testament shows us how often Jesus prayed. If He found it necessary, we should so much more.
Prayer is our fortress – our walls of protection to help us in this chaotic world. Prayer gives us stress resiliency!
When uncertainty lasts for days, weeks, or months, the long-haul might exhaust us. Or fill us with concern. When we pray, we’re reminded that God is all-knowing.
- Has already seen the end
- Knows our daily challenges
- Doesn’t move or change
As challenges continue, we can go back to Him over and over. He will help us and sustain us.
He will give us what we need when we need it.
There is no point we can come to where God is unavailable or unable to meet us where we are. Isn’t that encouraging? Doesn’t that help you keep going when you’re not sure you can?
Spending time with God praying (and reminding ourselves of His love) strengthens us. We are reassured that God is with us and will help us every step of the way.
So remember – just as we keep food in our pantry for our daily needs, and now our reserves, we need to see prayer the same way: daily and for reserves!
This reassurance is helpful in normal times, but even more so in circumstances of uncertainty. God loves to have conversations with you at all times. Pray! Keep the conversation going and experience the abundance of God’s presence, comfort, and strength.