What Does Scripture Say?
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” Our intention during silence and stillness is to focus on God and put God first. Our agenda and our thoughts are secondary.
Mark 14:38 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Jesus asked his apostles to “watch and pray” while he was in the garden of Gethsemane. They fell asleep not once, but twice! He said, “the spirit is willing but the body is weak.” In our human condition, it seems as if our brains are wired to put ourselves first. God’s desire is for us to put God first. Watching and praying (contemplative prayer) appears to be a solution for keeping God first in our lives.
Matt. 6:7-8 “And when you pray do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Jesus spent time in silence so he could listen and be present for God. By cultivating silence, he learned to become faithful and obedient and not give into the temptation to put himself and what the world says before God.
Luke 10: 38-41 “Martha had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” In the story of Martha and Mary, Mary was sitting and listening quietly to what Jesus said, while Martha was distracted by all of the preparations for the meal. When she asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her, he responded, "Mary has chosen what is better." Jesus did not criticize Martha's actions, but by indicating what Mary had chosen was better he was stating that listening for God and putting Him first is the most important thing we do. It is not just about God answering our prayers; it is also about listening for God’s prayer for us.
What Does Science Say?
Scientific research conducted over the past 20 years has revealed that contemplative practices, such as Christian meditation and listening for God in prayer, "strengthen a specific neurological circuit that generates peacefulness, social awareness and compassion for others."
Science also teaches the Hebbian principle that states,” what is fired together, is wired together.” The more we repeat an activity, the more brain wiring occurs.
Focusing and attending to a loving God decreases activity in the part of the brain (amygdala) responsible for fear, anger, and anxiety. The practice of compassionate meditation increases activity in the part of the brain responsible for intuition, insight, empathy, compassion and receptivity. Our brains become rewired! Physical and emotional health improves. These changes can occur with as little as twelve minutes of meditative prayer a day. Jesus came to change the world and when we follow his example and teachings on cultivating silence and listening for God, our world is not only changed, but our brains are as well.
At every Take Twelve Today retreat, we share information on how God changes our brain through meditation. We invite you to schedule or attend a retreat or workshop with us where you can experience rest, renewal and rewiring!