What lie is holding you hostage? What wrong thought robs you of living a life of joy? Pastor and author, Craig Groeschel, provides a list of reflective questions to think about in order to focus on how we can improve our thoughts to align them with the way God would want us to think about ourselves.
Are my thoughts tearing me down? Does my self-talk cause me to shrink back in fear? Do my thoughts cause me to keep people at a distance? Are my unhealthy thoughts keeping me from the life that God wants for me? Does my inner voice tell me I’m helpless or that life is hopeless?
The goal is to shift from these questions to affirmative answers to the following questions. Are my thoughts building me up? Do I think peaceful thoughts? Does my self-talk inspire me to take faith risks? Do my thoughts help me get closer to others? Do my thoughts reflect my faith? Do my thoughts reflect my hope and joy in Christ? Do they equip me to become more like Jesus? Do my thoughts connect to the vision God has for my life? You cannot defeat when you cannot define. It is important to identify any lie about yourself that is holding you back and replace it with truths and promises from God.
One way to do this is through prayer. Prayer can change you. As we pray to God, we can thank God for the blessings that He provides us. We can praise His great name. We can bring our requests and struggles to Him, confident that He hears us and is working to help us. When we spend time in prayer, God will have a way of working answers into our lives through thoughts or through others.
Prayer can even change your brain. Dr. Andrew Newberg, director of research at Thomas Jefferson Hospital and Medical College in Pennsylvania, studies the brain by using neuroimaging techniques. He has written a book called, How God changes your brain. He describes that prayer is like a physical workout for the brain and changes its chemistry. Another doctor in the same field, Dr. Caroline Leaf, further describes the impact of prayer on the brain. “It has been found that twelve minutes of daily focused prayer over an eight-week period can change the brain to such an extent that it can be measured on a brain scan. This type of prayer increases activity in brain areas associated with social interaction, compassion, and sensitivity to others.” Prayer also increases frontal lobe activity, which involves problem solving, memory, judgement, and impulse control.
Prayer is powerful because it is God’s power at work in our lives. Prayer can change your brain and move your life and thoughts in a positive direction. This is important as your life is always moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts. We can seek to pray and saturate ourselves in God’s Word to keep from being influenced by the devil or the world. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2.
Prayer can renew our mind, leading us to God’s peace, joy, and understanding. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7. We can actively seek to know Bible verses that will correct any harmful thoughts that we might have. We can ground our thoughts in God’s Word and hold on to His promise and truths.
Christian, author, and professor of mathematics education.