Prayer and meditation is an integral part of the recovery process in most 12-step programs. These programs use different types of  prayer, in order to express gratitude and ask for guidance on a daily basis. There are many recovering addicts who have found spiritual freedom as a direct result of a reliance on God. What exactly is so effective about prayer? Why is prayer so important to incorporate into daily life?

Here are five benefits to bringing prayer into your daily life:

Improved Health

Many studies have shown that daily prayer has a profound impact on your physical health. There are a few reasons for this. Daily prayer has been shown to lower stress rates, which positively impacts many aspects of your physical health: from your blood pressure to your heart rate to your immune system.

Lower stress levels are also associated with lower instances of serious long term diseases like cancer. It has also been linked to healthier eating and sleeping habits, which mean better mental focus and a much higher likelihood of maintaining an ideal weight.

Positive Attitude

A large part of recovery requires that one maintain a positive attitude and maintains their faith both in themselves and in God’s ability to find the right path for us. Becoming sober is a major challenge that requires some support when obstacles inevitably arise. Daily prayer keeps one’s thoughts focused on on the things that they can and will accomplish.

It helps a recovering addict to view the world in terms of the possibilities that lie ahead rather than the regrets that may lie in the past. A positive attitude, achieved through daily prayer, also makes us feel happier and more confident in ourselves, and lowers the likelihood of suffering from depression, which may be a major trigger for relapse.

Divine Help

Prayer is about one’s relationship with God. It is very helpful to read scriptures and to attend church services, but the most important part of faith is cultivating a personal relationship with God and that is done through prayer.

In recovery, one recognizes that he is indeed powerless and that we need God’s help in order to truly achieve greatness. In prayer, one can ask God for the things that he hopes for in life, and if this is God’s plan for us, he will answer. Prayer is the best way to speak to God and to seek out the things we want in life.

Strength In Troubling Times

The reality of life in all forms is that challenges while arise, and these challenges will likely present major threats to a recovering addict’s sobriety because of the severe and intense emotions that might come with it. Daily prayer is a wonderful way to cultivate strength.

It is the tool that is used to find strength and peace even in the most trying times. Having a support group of strong and encouraging people is certainly one important tool for overcoming major challenges, but nothing compares with having a daily conversation with God.

Achieve Forgiveness

Every addict is familiar with experiencing the sensation of regret or guilt. The reality of using is that it leads one to make decisions that are harmful to both themselves and others. The wonderful thing about prayer is that it opens a recovering addict up to forgiveness.

Through prayer, we can finally achieve peace and serenity and begin to move forward in health and happiness without remaining trapped in a past that is riddled with mistakes and hurtful behavior. Daily prayer also allows us to forgive others who may have wronged us in the past. Doing this helps resolve anger and resentment that we may not even be aware we are harboring.