February 3, 2020
Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. – Acts 10:4
Brainwaves are divided into four general categories based on the frequency level of the waves. By monitoring brainwaves, scientists can determine the intensity of a person’s thoughts and activities. Higher frequencies indicate a high level of mental engagement, which occurs during activities such as problem solving and learning, whereas the lowest frequencies signify non-engaging activities, perhaps daydreaming or even sleeping.
After studying the mechanics of brain function, I noticed an interesting parallel between brainwaves and prayers. For example, the most intense thoughts or expressions that we have are categorized as beta waves. When the brain is engaged in beta wave activities, it is learning, growing, and creating new abilities. Thinking about this in terms of prayer, I am reminded of James 5:16, which says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Fervent prayer, whether interceding for another or seeking the Lord for our own needs, takes great effort and focus, but it produces results. We learn and grow spiritually from “beta wave” prayers.
The next level of brainwave activity is the alpha wave. These waves mark the times when our thoughts are more casual, like when we meditate or reflect after accomplishing a task. These activities are important to human development, and it reminded me that not all prayer must be intense, beta prayer. God also answers the quiet prayers we say when we are listening and communing with Him.
Theta waves are the next to the lowest frequency brainwaves. Here, life enters the surreal, when we daydream until we forget where we are. This state allows ideas to flow freely without censorship. This reminds me of the time we spend basking in the presence of the Lord without interruption, thanking and praising Him for His goodness and love.
The lowest brainwaves are delta waves, which occur when we are in deep, restful sleep. Just as our minds need rest at the end of the day, there also comes a time when we must allow our spirits to rest in the Lord and His promises.
A healthy mind is one that engages at all four levels at different times throughout the day. A mind that functions continually at beta and theta levels is likely to become exhausted and ineffective, but if it never engages in high-intensity activities it will not grow or develop. Similarly, a mind that sleeps or daydreams all day long accomplishes little, but a mind deprived of those activities will be useless for other tasks. Our minds need a balance of activities in order to function well, and our prayer lives also need to be balanced if we want to be effective in the work of the Lord. Neglecting any one form of prayer can stunt our spiritual growth.
When the frequency of our brainwaves drops lower than a delta wave, brain activity stops and we become brain-dead. So, too, our souls cannot live without prayer! The different types of prayers need to all be incorporated into our relationship with the Lord. Our spiritual well-being depends upon it!