First Steps – June 8, 2020

Recently I read an article in Wall Street Journal (May 12) titled: The Science of Prayer. Being a pastor, naturally I was curious what the article was going to say.  Here are a few quotes to consider:

“Since [the] pandemic, the practice of prayer has increased. Amy Wachholtz, Associate Professor and Clinical Health Psychology Director at University of Colorado—’It [Prayer] lets you put down your burden and mentally rest for a bit.’  Different studies have revealed that it can calm your nervous system, shutting down your fight or flight responses.  It can make you less reactive to negative emotions and less angry.”

“Focusing on a higher power (article’s term) is better than just meditation. Imagine carrying a backpack for hours and then when it becomes too heavy, you give it to someone else—this is what prayer can do.  But not all prayer is created equal, experts say.  A 2004 study on religious coping methods in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who approach God as a partner, or collaborator, in their life had better mental and physical health outcomes, and people who are angry at God—who feel punished or abandoned—or who relinquish responsibility and defer to God for solutions had worse outcomes.”

“Florida State University research has found that people who pray for their spouse when they feel a negative emotion have more satisfaction in their marriage. “

If you are not a praying person, consider becoming one.  If you are, continue the discipline and trust God to carry your burdens.

Remember Jesus’ words: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.

This Week’s Readings:

  • Monday –  James 3
  • Tuesday –  James 4
  • Wednesday –  James 5
  • Thursday – 1 Peter 1
  • Friday  – 1 Peter 2

Please Pray for:

  • Our ministers and their families.
  • Those who are unwillingly absent.
  • The United Methodist Church family.
  • Our nation and our leaders.
  • The World.
  • The Lost.
  • The lives of those touched by the Coronavirus.