Focus: Talking to God
1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
Possibly the most significant way we can put our words to good use is by talking to God. The sense of comfort and peace that we gain by talking things over with Him can’t be measured. Prayer is our ‘secret weapon’ against all of the things we are battling, including health issues.
The effectiveness of ‘prayer for healing’ is widely debated in scientific studies. In recent years, millions of dollars have been spent in attempts to find whether prayer has any significant effect on people who are undergoing medical tests and treatments. While the results of the tests vary, due largely to the difficulty of measuring faith in quantitative terms, some positive results were seen.
Rob Stein, a staff writer for The Washington Post says, “Many studies done over the years indicate that the devout tend to be healthier. But the reasons remain far from clear. Healthy people may be more likely to join churches. The pious may lead more wholesome lifestyles. Churches, synagogues and mosques may help people take better care of themselves. The quiet meditation and incantations of praying, or the comfort of being prayed for, appears to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, slow the heart rate and have other potentially beneficial effects.”1
In my experience, it seems like the righteous have many physical trials—just like the unrighteous. The difference between the two groups, in my book, is that people of faith develop strength in trials because of our belief that God will use everything toward ultimately bringing about ‘good’ in our lives. For that reason, people of faith tend to have a more positive outlook when we are faced with trials.
A study conducted in 2010, suggested that there is a strong correlation between prayer and reduction of alcohol consumption. People trying to recover from alcoholism drink much less when they are personally praying to become free from their addiction.2
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
When a person is able to regularly engage in a conversation with God, it’s likely that they may also become involved in Bible study. The Word of God sets forth standards and principles that encourage clean living and good habits. Learning and employing better ways of living and talking to God are bound to bring positive results to people who have struggled with depression and dependency.
One thing that could definitely influence the effects of prayer is whether or not a person prays properly. In our culture, we have learned to ‘pray silently’. I grew up accepting that sometimes we pray out loud and other times we pray ‘in our heart’. At this point in my life, I struggle a little bit over that. I don’t see praying ‘in our heart’ in the Bible. When people prayed, they spoke. When Jesus prayed, He spoke. I have to ask myself if ‘praying silently’ is a lack of faith. Are we afraid of being heard by someone and suffering embarrassment? I know God would honor a silent prayer that was prayed by a person who wasn’t capable of speaking, but if a person is able to vocalize—it would seem they would gain better results by using their tongue to speak their prayers to God, in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Communing with God in our hearts could be compared to ‘pondering’ or ‘meditating’…but whenever possible, a true prayer should be spoken. We can’t ‘call something that is not as though it is’ in our mind—in order to call it, we have to say it.
Of course this is my opinion and I welcome you to do your own research and see what you find—but I personally believe that if something is important enough to me that I feel compelled to pray about it and I hope to get the best possible results from my prayer, then I should make it a point to pray out loud and speak to God with my voice.
Declaration: I will find new strength and healing for myself and others by praying to God in the Name of Jesus Christ, out loud.
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1 Stein, Rob (March 24, 2006). “Researchers Look at Prayer and Healing”. The Washington Post, In the News
2 Lambert, Nathaniel; Fincham, Frank; Marks, Loren; Stillman, Tyler (June 2010). “Ivocations and Intoxication: Does Prayer Decrease Alcohol Consumption”. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 24 (2): 209-219