Welcome back everyone! Last week, I talked about how prayer may be the single most overlooked tool for finding joy in your daily life, and I suggested that you try a week of using it to “take every thought captive” yourself. I’m sure that suggestion turned a few people off, but for those of you willing to go with me on this journey, I want to take this time to share my experience with all of you…
First of all, I want to stress that I believe anyone can benefit from prayer, regardless of their spiritual beliefs. Now, obviously as a follower of Jesus myself, I believe that His way is best—which means earnest prayer to Him would naturally also be the best, since “de-facto” belief in a positive truth is always the most powerful kind. A lot of non-believers decry prayer as being pointless, or even as an ego-trip on God’s part. Something like, “Why would an all-knowing, all-powerful God need us to stroke His ego and tell Him what He already knows?” Partially, this is because He wants a relationship with us, but perhaps more relevant for today is that prayer is much more for our benefit than His.
There’s a good reason why they say confession is good for the soul. Negative thoughts and emotions tend to fester when left in the dark. Bringing them to the surface and voicing them, even in the privacy of your own head, can be deeply freeing, and allows you to gain some much-needed perspective. It’s almost a form of self-therapy. Not a replacement for community with another human being, of course, but for daily upkeep, you can’t beat it.
In fact, there’s a wonderful book by Dr. Andrew Newberg M.D., and Mark Robert Walberg called How God Changes Your Brain. The authors of this book weren’t believers trying to evangelize through science, they were scientists setting out to find the number one, most significant health practice in the world. As you’ve probably guessed, the answer they came up with was prayer—exercise was a distant second. I’d recommend picking up a copy if you want to know more about the physiological side of things.
I also said last time that it would probably take more than a week for this kind of semi-continuous daily prayer to feel natural. In my case, and most others I’ve talked with, it takes about forty days, and during that period it can get pretty annoying. You may have so many negative thoughts than “taking them captive” seems to eat up a lot of your energy, but I’d suggest you think of it as an investment. How much more energy do you think you’d have in a day if nearly all your thoughts and emotions were positive?
Now, some of you may have found it more than annoying. For some of you, those negative feelings may be truly overwhelming, and taking them captive may feel impossible. In those cases, your internal environment may simply be too negative for conscious control. Fortunately, I’ve spent the majority of my career finding solutions to exactly that problem. My Trilogy method is the best thing I’ve ever come up with for clearing the junk out of your subconscious. So if you’re having this problem, I’d advise temporarily shifting your focus onto Trilogy—the entire method is completely free, and takes just five minutes to learn. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to make real choices again.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!
Dr. Alex Loyd