I am now about five years removed from the time my husband decided to leave without any attempt to heal whatever he thought was wrong and without any expressed warning to me. He had made up his mind to leave, and that is what he did.
Needless to say separation and divorce tend to lead those of us left in the rubble prone to stress. As I was researching the subject I found one way many relieve overwhelming stress is through prayer.
(Please note: I am not an expert, the following are just my thoughts and beliefs, with a few things thrown in that I found online.)
I found on many sites that prayer can act as a buffer against stress and can help those who are experiencing stress to gain more of a sense of purpose and peace. Prayer can have the same benefit as meditation such as decreasing blood pressure, increasing immunity, and optimism. Talking to God helps us cope with our problems and is a source of comfort and strength.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your request to God”
When this trauma entered my life prayer became my lifeline. I learned what it is to pray without ceasing, and even though many times my prayer was nothing more than an audible groan I know God heard and understood my heart.
I am sure there are several ways to practice prayer, and I believe there is no wrong way. Our time with God is personal and will be unique to each individual.
Many people set a specific time aside for prayer and seek a place of solitude to direct their thoughts to God. I think such a schedule keeps us consistent, but I know this is not always possible.
I believe God hears us in the whisper of a silent prayer and also in the chaos of our loudest crisis.
I like to pray using scriptures. I read the bible or a devotional and when there is a verse that strikes me I pray that verse which leads me to a place to talk with God.
I think it is essential to be specific in our prayers as we pray for ourselves and others. I also believe that whatever the prayer we offer to God we should trust Him with the outcome. For me, knowing God is in control is a huge stress reliever, it allows me to breathe.
Dr. Caroline Leaf says that 12 minutes of daily focused prayer over eight weeks changes the brain and this physical change can be seen on a brain scan. When I was first thrown away I became extremely sad, I lost weight, lost interest in the things I used to love, and I nearly gave up. A friend told me that if you are sad for long periods of time it changes the neurotransmitters in your brain and you become clinically depressed. Sorrow can change our brains in a negative way, but prayer has the power to change things toward the positive. What a wonderful gift!
Here are some suggestions when it comes to prayer…
Plan a time for prayer if you can, but keep in mind God hears our prayers anytime.
Thank God for all he is doing in your life even though it may seem all negative at the moment.
Be specific in your prayer.
Ask for guidance and then listen.
Memorize scripture that can be used as you pray and can also be your encouragement.
Put all your worries in God’s hands and pray for direction.
I would not have made it through the painful days in the summer of 2013 if I did not have God to help me. I found this help through God’s promises and prayer. No, prayer did not eliminate all of my stress, but by drawing closer to God through the practice of prayer, which strengthened my faith, I knew God loved me and walked beside me as he does today.
Has prayer helped you through difficult times?
I would love to know how prayer has changed your life.
God Bless You!