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30. Health Benefits of Prayer

Source: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin – Anger not only detracts from human relationships but is also associated with increased health risks, because it puts our stress reaction into overdrive, can raise blood pressure, and if frequent or chronic, can damage the brain. Studies at Ohio State University have found that praying for the well-being of the person with whom one is angry, or even praying for someone else, calms anger and fosters positive emotions and attitudes, such as compassion, that improve overall health.

Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT) Ephesians 4:31 stated, “31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – The sins listed in this verse picture the former way of life, the old nature (Ephesians 4:22). None of these attitudes and activities have any place in a believer’s Holy Spirit-filled life; indeed, they foster dissension today and are the opposite of how believers should be characterized (see Ephesians 4:32).

In our lives and in our fellowship churches, we as Born-Again Christian believers must get rid of:

  • Bitterness – a spirit that refuses reconciliation.
  • Rage – outbursts of anger or quick temper for selfish reasons. This could mean continual and uncontrolled behavior.
  • Anger – a continuous attitude of hatred that remains bottled up within. This could refer to what is under the surface, while “rage” refers to what bursts out. Anger would destroy harmony and unity among believers.
  • Harsh words – loud self-assertions of angry people determined to make their grievances known.
  • Slander – destroying another person’s good reputation by lying, gossiping, spreading rumors, etc. Malice often manifests itself through slander. This defamation of character destroys human relationships.
  • Malicious behavior – doing evil despite the good that has been received. This word is a general term referring to an evil force that destroys relationships, and it can mean anything from trouble to wickedness. It is a deliberate attempt to harm another person. Thus, all types of malice must be destroyed.

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THE PRIORITY OF PRAYER by Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries