«Let my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your word. My lips shall utter praise, for You teach me Your statutes» (Psalm 1 19: 169- 17 1).
In increasing number of researches, related to distinct religious or spiritual factors involved in mental health, have been developed for the last decades. One of them includes the practice of individual and private prayer. What kind of advantages does this type of prayer bring to people? What benefits does it bring to those who suffer from anxiety or depression?
The researchers Claire Hollywell and Jan Walker from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) set to carry out a critical and systematic review of the scientific literature on the existing connection between private prayer and the well-being of hospitalized patients. After examining 26 studies published in only one decade, they discovered enough proof to declare that private prayer is generally associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety. The frequency of the prayers which imply an intimate conversation with a caring God is related, simultaneously, to optimism and well-being. This is how they reveal it in their article entitled «Private prayer as a suitable intervention for hospitalised patients: a critical review of the literature,» published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Praying regularly has many benefits for people especially for those who suffer from anxiety. Inasmuch as the heart opens up to God with modesty and sincerity is possible, for example, to channel nervous tension, express the emotions and find the power and hope to face the vicissitudes of life with optimism.
However, the efficient and invigorating prayer contains an indispensable element and that is faith. «But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him» (Heb. 11:6). If we want to receive the greatest benefits of private prayer, it is necessary to believe in God and have faith in His Word. «When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise; for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most.» (Steps to Christ, ch. 11, p. 96).
If you want to enjoy each of the benefits of prayer, you can start by exclaiming, «Let my cry come be ore You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your word. My lips shall utter praise, for You teach me Your statutes.»