Prayers are a special time when we let go, submit ourselves to our faith and bow down in worship (literally and figuratively). In these acts of submission and calmness, our emotions are set free and the power of prayer impacts us. Prayer is a blessing, a coping skill, a form of meditation, therapeutic, a comfort blanket and most importantly; an act of worship.
God does not need our prayers, rather WE NEED prayer.
Two Types of Prayer
We need to distinguish two types of prayers and meditations. The first type is when we are in worship, this is the time to show our submission and our love for our faith. The second type is when we are making supplications or asking for something such as asking for greater patience or asking for a specific outcome. In the Islamic tradition, we denote the second type as a duaa (supplication). Practitioners of meditation talk about asking the universe for what you need. Meditation and prayers are closely aligned although not on all levels. Whether you pray and/or meditate on a regular basis, both help us to connect deeper to our spiritual self. It is a time of reflection, reassurance and rejuvenation.
The first type of prayer should be done on a regular basis. Countless CEO’s and thought-leaders discuss how they start their day with meditation and use this practice to balance their spiritual self and alter their behaviors. Praying or meditating on a frequent basis is a holistic aid for our spiritual and mental health.
The second type of prayer should be done as needed and on a frequent basis. Just as some anxiety medications are prescribed as PRN (pro re nata) which means to take as needed. Duas should be made as frequently as necessary and they can be repeated many times.
Three Answers are Provided When we ask for Something in Prayer.
- Yes, but not right now
- No. I have something better planned for you
Imagine if that is our mindset every time we feel anxiety or sadness. We seek counsel and reassurance through our spirituality, vent our frustrations through our prayer and ask for whatever it is that we need. In that moment we let go and trust in our faith. Whatever is the right outcome for us, will happen, it is the will of God and we accept that. Alhamdulillah.
In this, we can find greater peace, serenity and our anxiety calms down. Imagine if you truly embodied this mindset on a regular basis. Our optimism will increase and our perspective on situations will be more positive. It is not what happens to us that matters the most, it is how we react to it.
The power of prayer and meditation as a spiritual practice that impacts our mental health is a large topic, which we can explore from a multitude of angles. We will do just that on this blog and I would love to hear how prayer and meditation impact your mental health.