There’s been a lot of talk about the emotional stress of being in lock-down. Lack of relational encounters, a complete change of routine, and an inability to stay busy with activities outside of the home just crack the surface of the emotional toll we face. Add to this the legitimate fear of falling ill to a virus that has killed 100,000 in the U.S. alone, and it’s no wonder we are struggling during this time.
Fortunately, as Christians, we have the peace of knowing that this world is not all there is for us. This isn’t the end. This isn’t the best it’s going to get. We have the belief that God has a plan, and when we have no control over what is happening in the world, we can rest assured that God does. We also have prayer, which many would argue is our most powerful weapon against desolation, despair, and hopelessness.
Research shows that spirituality expressed in various forms such as prayer or meditation affects our mental and physical well-being exponentially. It is a fantastic daily practice to set our intentions and move through the day in the best possible frame of mind. And particularly in times like these, it can make all the difference in whether we spend our days in misery or in joy.
Prayer has proven to:
- Calm anxious minds
- Provide new perspectives
- Decrease stress
- Reduce depression
- Bring peace even when all around us is in chaos
- Free us from the need for control
The power of the mind is extraordinary, and when partnered with a relationship with God, our ability to overcome obstacles and remain positive is the greatest it will ever be.
So where is the best place to meet with God? It varies for each person, but research shows that adding on the component of nature enhances mindfulness and reminds us of all that God has provided for us. There is something about being outside and witnessing God’s creation firsthand that reminds us to be grateful. An added bonus is that when we spend time outside, we are away from the time-eating and mind-numbing draw of technology. There are no distractions – just a breeze, the chirp of a bird, or the scurry of a lizard. You can combine prayer with a walk, gardening, or just staying still, eyes closed in prayerful meditation.
Christians are just as susceptible as the rest of the world to depression, sadness, and loneliness. But the power of prayer can move mountains and help you to change your outlook on even the worst situations. If you still need help, speak to your pastor or a mental health professional. God provides these resources to us to help us through the darkest times, while reminding us that He is always there.