Tag Archives: benefits

Benefits of Prayer Practice

be-still-and-know-that-i-am-god-ps-46-1Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, February 19, 2017


Benefits of Prayer Practice

When I practice being aware of my breathing, I automatically begin to relax. I find myself breathing intentionally, and I move more slowly and deeply.

These are all good, beneficial things.

The teacher Thich Nhat Hanh lists several additional, positive things that he sees happen as a result of breathing, meditation and prayer. “Sitting and breathing mindfully brings four important elements into our lives: peace, clarity, compassion, and courage.” [1]

The teacher doesn’t touch too much on either peace or clarity in this reading, but he does mention compassion and courage. I had actually connected compassion with prayer, and loving, outward acts as outgrowths or expressions of concerted meditation and prayer. However, I had not thought about the way courage is also highlighted through prayer and meditation.

Thich Nhat Hanh equates mercy and compassion towards others with a compassion toward myself. He claims (with some validity) that a healthy sense of compassion and care for others translates into the capacity to think, speak and act in a similarly compassionate way toward myself. (And, this capacity does indeed cut through a great deal of red tape.)

The teacher has highlighted a fascinating cause-and-effect relationship. Something for all of us to be concerned about and aware of. Dear God, thank You for helping me to be aware, too.



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] How to Sit, Thich Nhat Hanh. (Berkeley, California: Parallax Press, 2014), 66.

Rekindle the Soul Connection

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, June 14, 2015

campfire photo

Rekindle the Soul Connection

I love fires. Fires in fireplaces, or in fire pits. Cooking fires when camping. Even gas fires in fancy-shmancy gas fireplaces (no cleaning up afterwards!). Something about setting up the wood to begin with, kindling the flame, feeding the fire. And then, sitting there in comfort, enjoying the crackle of the leaping flames. The warmth of the flickering glow.

How much I relate this to the care and nurture of my soul! Sometimes, I need to see to my soul-connection. Make sure that the fire inside of me is properly banked for a long-term burn. And, I can’t neglect the fire inside, the warmth and light that the fire provides. Provides nurture and care to my insides. Jack Canfield’s chapter in Handbook for the Soul reminded me of this, so strongly.

Canfield spoke of reconnecting with the soul, and mentioned so many different activities. When he participated in these various ways, they aided in his energy and awareness. As he mentioned, “When you set aside time for peace and tranquility—a massage from a loved one, a yoga class, thirty minutes of deep meditation, and the like—it’s hard to stay in a conflicted state of mind. When the benefits are so consistent and reliable, one has to wonder why so few people engage in these soul-energizing practices on a regular basis.” [1]

When put that simply and cogently, I need to truly ask myself: why don’t I engage in these soul-energizing practices on a regular basis?

Yes, many people are fooled into thinking that they don’t have time to engage in these nurturing practices. Except—and I am doing some sincere soul-searching here—I do know the benefits. I have experienced the positive, soul-energizing effects. Why don’t I practice these things, on a regular basis?

Canfield mentions a great many techniques, several for each different type of person. I want to. I really want to have the benefits of this wonderful soul-nourishing practice. Not the least of these is something I try to do on a regular basis. I’ll let him speak for himself: “one very powerful way to connect with spirit, to lift yourself, and to make a difference is to engage in some kind of selfless service, such as feeding the homeless, teaching the illiterate to read, tutoring in an inner-city school, or volunteering at church.” [2]

Amazing journey I’m on. We are all on this journey called life. We all are encouraged to rekindle the soul-connection inside. And, our individual journeys are One Day at a Time. Excellent chapter. Excellent advice. God willing, God can help me in this endeavor.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Handbook for the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995), 89.

[2] Ibid, 92.