Prayer increases self control and emotional equilibrium, according to a recent study from Saarland University and the University of Mannheim. Participants were given a test in which they were asked to counter their natural tendency to react to a comedy video and to written words on a page.
Those who prayed before the test had an increased ability to resist temptation, while those who merely focused their thoughts beforehand had difficulty, and quickly depleted their ability to withstand temptation (Robin Yapp, “Does Prayer Help Us Resists Temptation? Talking to God Boosts Self-control and Emotional Stability, Claims Study,” DailyMail.co.uk, November 29, 2013).
Though interesting anecdotal information, this study is really no surprise when you read God’s Word, the Bible. Jesus Christ set down the parameters for true Christian prayer in chapter six of the book of Matthew.
Prayer is to be clear, focused and above all, addressed to God the Father, and concluded in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is not a mere recitation of formulaic lines. Prayer requires belief, that is, faith in God and in His ability to answer. Belief requires obedience—following God’s way of life.
True prayer is therefore powerful and life-changing: “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much,” (James 5:16 James 5:16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
American King James Version×, NKJV).
Prayer is a rare tool, a means of communicating with God. Never neglect this vital resource!