35. Health Benefits of Prayer
Source: Journal of Personality & Social Psychology – Several studies in Germany looked at students facing the threat of terrorist attacks, and how religious affected their reaction to the situation. Researchers found that students who held deep personal religious beliefs had fewer fears or thoughts of death, and their religious convictions reduced the stressful impact of threats, which helps to improve overall health.
The study concluded that religion provided meaning, helping these students to feel significant and to view themselves as eternal.
Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT) – Romans 3:18 NLT stated, “ “They have no fear of God at all.”
On 1 John 4:18 NLT says, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.”
On Romans 8:38-39 NLT says, “38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – Quoting from Psalm 36:1, Paul states the bottom line condition of these people: they have no fear of God to restrain them. To fear the Lord is to recognize God for who He is: holy, almighty, righteous, pure, all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-wise. When we regard God correctly, we gain a clearer picture of ourselves: sinful, weak, frail, and needy. When we recognize who God is and who we are, we will fall at His feet in humble respect. Only then will He show us how to choose His way.
Paul’s brief tour of truth ends almost full circle. He began with the fact that no one is like God (who is righteous), and he ends with the parallel truth that we lack fear of God. Some people lack this fear out of ignorance, while others, through familiarity with God, lose the sense of humble awe that ought to characterize a person’s attitude before God.
Let’s meditate and go deeper more on those Scriptures above. Because believers are becoming like God (1 John 4:17), they certainly need not fear His judgment. To be fearful is to lack confidence; to lack confidence is to show that God’s love has not been perfected in that person. Believers ought not be afraid of the future, eternity, or God’s judgment, because of God’s love. We know that He loves us perfectly.
Yes, we are secure in our Lord Jesus Christ – Paul was convinced of this, and so should we be. Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love for us (Romans 8:39). In both death and the trials of life in this evil world, we will be in God’s presence. No spiritual forces, such as angels or demons, are powerful enough to undo what God has done for us.
Nothing in the sphere of time itself (fears and worries) can threaten us; nothing that can happen in the present and nothing that can happen in the future, such as persecution and hardship, pandemic and/or riots would cause God to leave us. No powers that exist (Satan, human governments, etc.) are more powerful than God; they can have no effect on our relationship with Him.
Nothing in space, from high above or in the deepest ocean, can take us away from God’s love. Nothing in all creation can take us away from God’s love or thwart His purposes for us.
Paul’s point is simple and compelling: once in His care, it is impossible to be separated from Christ. His death for us is proof of His unconquerable love. Nothing can stop His constant presence with us. God tells us how great His love is so that we will feel totally secure in Him.
We can resolve any fears first by focusing on God’s immeasurable love and then by allowing Him to love others through us. God’s love will quiet fears and give confidence. Amen!
Reference: The Mind Health Report – Special Report from Newsmax
THE PRIORITY OF PRAYER by Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries https://www.intouch.org/watch/the-priority-of-prayer