20 Feb The Tranquility of Prayer
Psychiatrists, psychologists, priests, pastors and counselors (sorry counselors doesn’t start with a P) have known for over a century how healing it is for one to express, either verbally or in writing, one’s feelings about stressful things. There is something very therapeutic about putting our feelings into words. It seems to focus our ruminations allowing us to place them aside so we can focus on other things – hopefully things more positive. Hundreds of studies collaborate on the benefits of finding a method of expression where one can be honest regarding inner things.
Surely prayer (another P word) is the most superior form of self-expression; not memorized recitings but deep reflections of one’s needs and wants. It is the most trusted place we can go. Our secrets will never be told unless we want them told. The one who listens isn’t a billion light-years away but One inside us that loves us dearly. Praying puts words into feelings and words become pictures for the mind to artistically arrange on the walls of the museums of our minds. Some we want to place in a prominent spot so we will think of them every day. Others are hung in places of lesser importance and some we can totally trash never to see them again.
Jesus, the greatest psychologist ever, told us we cannot have our sins forgiven until we forgive. It wasn’t that He was being harsh with requirements for forgiveness. He, who created our minds, knew that peace cannot come until we let go of hurts done by others. To sleep well is to not toss and turn with hate in our hearts. When we forgive others we do more for ourselves than the other. We destroy the hurtful picture and replace it with something beautiful and healing. It is the heart of the abundant life.