“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
43. Health Benefits of Prayer
Source: Neurology – In a Canadian treatment center, researchers evaluated the effect of religion among 70 people with Alzheimer’s disease. They found that those who placed a high importance 0on their religious beliefs and private prayer experienced a significantly slower progression of the disease. The researchers were not able to identify how this worked, but observed that private religious practice improved mental function to a marked degree. Attending religious services did not seem to slow down progression of the disease.
Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT) – Romans 12:2 stated, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
On the book of Philippians 4:8-9 NLT says, “8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is tr.”
Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – When believers offer their entire self to God, a change will happen in their relation to the world. Born-Again Christians are called to a different lifestyle than what the world offers with its behavior and customs, which are usually selfish and often corrupting (Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:14). Christians are to live as citizens of a future world. There will be pressure to conform, to continue living according to the script written by the world, but believers are forbidden to give in to that pressure.
But refusing to conform to this world’s values must go even deeper than the level of behavior and customs – it must go to the transforming of the way we think. Believers are to experience a complete transformation from the inside out. And the change must begin in the mind, where all thoughts and actions begin. Much of the work is done by God’s Spirit in us, and the tool most frequently used is God’s word. As we memorize and meditate upon God’s word, our way of thinking changes. Our minds become first informed, and then conformed to the pattern of God, the pattern for which we were originally designed. When believers have had their minds transformed and are becoming more like Christ, they will know what God wants and they will want to do it for it is good, pleasing to God, and perfect for them.
Let’s meditate on Philippians 4:8. If one is to have this inner peace from God and maintain a life free of worry, then certain steps must be taken, notably in his or her thoughts. This list describes what should pervade believers’ minds. Believers should fix their thoughts on things that are:
- True. Truth includes facts and statements that are in accordance with reality (not lies, rumors, or embellishments), sincere (not deceitful or with evil motives), and loyal, faithful, proper, reliable, and genuine. Truth is a characteristic of God.
- Honorable. These matters are worthy of respect, dignified, and exalted in character or excellence.
- Right. Thoughts and plans that meet God’s standards of rightness. They are in keeping with the truth; they are righteous.
- Pure. Free from contamination or blemish; unmixed and unmodified; wholesome. Paul probably was speaking of moral purity, often very difficult to maintain in thoughts.
- Lovely. Thoughts of great moral and spiritual beauty, not of evil.
- Admirable. Things that speak well of the thinker – thoughts that recommend, give confidence in, afford approval or praise, reveal positive and constructive thinking. A believer’s thoughts, if heard by others, should be admirable, not embarrassing.
- Excellent. Moral excellence; nothing of substandard quality.
- Worthy of praise. This phrase may be restated as “anything that deserves the thinker’s praise” or “anything that God deems praiseworthy.”
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