Friday, April 1, 2011

prayer vs anger

Jesus said his followers should avoid anger and make peace with enemies (Matthew 5:21-24); in fact we should love our enemies and pray for those who hurt us (Matthew 5:43-44). But does it work? It seems it does.

Psychologists in the US and Holland have conducted studies on the effects of praying on the person who prays - and found that when faced with situations likely to lead to anger, praying has a significant calming effect. One of the scientists involved said:

"The effects we found in these experiments were quite large, which suggests that prayer may really be an effective way to calm anger and aggression"

The scientists suggest prayer works "probably by helping them change how they view the events that angered them and helping them take it less personally", but perhaps God should get some credit? The studies didn't test any effects on the person being prayed for, although other studies on prayer suggest there may be a positive effect.

All this is adding to the picture already known that faith in God and following spiritual practices have positive effects on wellbeing.

But there's another side to the story (next post).

tell us what you think

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