How Can Worship Help Us in Our Recovery ~ blog
I thought I would do some research on this subject and so I turned to the internet. The articles I found were of some interest but then I found the Neurophysiological Benefits of Worship. Here is one of the first sentences I tried to wade through.
“Dopamine has four major pathways by which it affects the brain which are the mesocortical, the mesolimbic, the tuberoinfundibular and the nigrostriatal pathways.”
Ok, so maybe I need a medical degree to even begin to understand what that sentence is saying. Let me bottom line it for you. This scientific research comes to this conclusion…
Both Worship and Prayer affect the brain in ways
that increases one’s self-control!!!
The article views several passages from the Bible to use as examples of how this plays out in the lives of people in the Bible and from words coming from the lips of Jesus. Take Job for example. He was a man that in one day lost almost everything that he held dear in his life. He lost all of his livestock, his servants were murdered by the Sabeans and Chaldeans, and those that survived were killed by “fire from heaven.” Then all of his sons and daughters were killed when the roof of the house they were partying in collapsed.
And what was Job’s response?
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head,
and he fell to the ground and worshiped.”
He fell to the ground and worshiped. Why? Because he was a godly man and years of prayer and worship made that reaction his default action. Then we read;
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”
My question is how does one begin to make our default reaction to the stress and pains of life begin to be choosing worship and prayer instead of turning to porn? Guess what the scientists say they learned from this very large study they did? Read it for yourself;
“These same robust results as described above are available to all believers who are willing to spend as little as twelve minutes a day in prayer and worship.”
Twelve minutes??? That is what they learned. Spending 12 minutes a day in prayer and worship will create in your brain a neurological pathway that defaults you to prayer and worship when you encounter stress and or pain.
I have seen this in my own life in two areas of my battle with sexual temptation. The two main ways I get tempted to lust is when I am trying to go to sleep and if a sensual woman or image of a woman enters my field of vision. Let’s deal with those one at a time.
For years I have had trouble falling asleep. Typically, it takes me about 30 minutes and so what I choose to occupy in my mind has become critical. When I am tempted, and in the early stages it was always “when” and not “if” …I started to use Scripture memory as my choice of what to think about. For several years it was Romans 6:1-4. The more I did it the more automatically is began to happen. A favorite fantasy knocks at the door of my conscious and WHAM, I start quoting … “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?”
So, what about when I would see a woman or an image and am starting to be triggered by her sensual appearance? I tried the bouncing of my eyes and even the rubber band on my wrist. But I did not feel like that was eliminating the real issue which was in my heart where I had been treating women as sexual objects for me to consume.
Now, I default to a prayer I will say out loud to myself if nobody can hear me or silently in my mind, which addresses a change in my heart as well as my mind.
“Father, thank you that you made that woman beautiful. She is created in the image of God and I have no right to view her as an object for me to use. I do not want to dishonor You or her with lust. So, please help me to value her as one of Your creations.”
And what I have found happening in my mind is that my eyes have opened to seeing the world around me in a different way. Instead of being on the hunt for a fresh piece of meat for my lusts to consume, I am actually seeing the world around me as it really is. If you are on the hunt for a flash of cleavage or any other body part you fancy, you are missing so much going on around you. It has become an obsession that titillates you with guilty sexual arousal while hundreds of other valuable sights remain unseen.
Twelve minutes a day to develop worship and prayer as your default response to whatever life throws at you. And I do not know about you but these times we are in seem to be flinging more and more of it every day. So, my suggestion in addition to 12 minutes a day worshipping and praying … how about a week of fasting from all news???
That will put the icing on your cake, and you can have your cake and eat it too.