Sunday, August 27, 2006

Left Brain vs. Right Brain Praying

Inspiring and Igniting Prayer in Our Churches

Wind & Fire is a monthly newsletter that seeks to help start, spread, and sustain a church-wide prayer movement by ministering the Word in ways that inspire and ignite every RCA congregation to become a house of prayer for all peoples.

Wind & Fire

Prayer in Us: "The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" (Genesis 2:7). "Were not our hearts burning within us?" (Luke 24:32).

by J. David Muyskens

Most of our education and our daily tasks exercise the left hemisphere of our brains. We have been taught to think, calculate, and analyze using our left brain.

The right side of our brain is also ours to use. When we use our whole brain we move into the creative activity of our right brain. Artistic expression, music, and dance exercise the right brain. When we see the big picture and make decisions intuitively we are using the right hemisphere of our brains.

Prayer can be merely a left brain activity. As we verbalize our requests to God, as we develop theological statements, as we study the Bible, we use our left brains. Prayer can also become a wonderful use of our right brains. When we are still before the mystery of God, when we listen for what God is saying to us, when we allow the Spirit to move us intuitively we are using the right hemisphere of our brains.

So much of the religion we practice is left-brained. We listen to intellectual sermons; we read theological books; we learn the teachings of Scripture. But when we allow ourselves to be deeply moved, when our love of God captures our inner being, and when we are engaged in the compassion of Christ, we are using the right half of the brain God has given us.

To use the minds God has given us we use both sides. More than words, our prayers become a deeply felt communion with God. Prayer is to love God with mind and heart, body and soul.

Wind & Fire

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