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Prayer for July 5, 2017

Genesis 28:15-17 (NRSV)

15 Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” 17 And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

In Scripture, the word “sleep” is used a little over one hundred times. The interesting thing to me is that God never sleeps and is always aware of what is happening, and God can use the time we are sleping to get our attention. Sleep is also is the last element of neuroscientist John Arden’s acronym describing what we need to cultivate if we want to nourish clear thinking in our brains. This week I am will touch upon what each of his S.E.E.D.S. represents as we begin to explore how the brain works physically, mentally and spiritually. For more information you can explore Arden’s book, Brain2Brain.

Arden’s first seed is ‘S,’ and it emphasizes the need to develop positive social skills. Good relationships promote better moods and improved health. We learn from Scripture to ask, “Are any among you are sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.” We are created to live in right relationships with God and with others.

The second seed is ‘E’ for exercise, which spurs the vascular endothial growth factor. Exercise is the best antidepressant. One study showed that a walk for 45 minutes a day at least 5 days per a week reduced moderate depression in 90% of patients after one year. (B2B, p. 37)

The third seed is ‘E’ for education. Learning new things increases our neuroplasticity and frees up energy while building a reserve of neural circuits that will increase the brains longevity. (B2B, p. 39)

The forth seed is ‘D’ for diet. “Balanced nutrition leads to a balanced neurochemistry and a healthy brain.” (B2B, p. 42)

The last seed is ‘S’ for sleep. Arden has a full page for sleep hygiene guidelines. They are useful for people who have trouble sleeping—respond privately is you want more information.

This is a bare-bones description, to show how important our life style is to nurturing our brains. The brain regulates everything else that happens in our physical, mental and spiritual bodies. Will we take seriously how we care for our brains?

Prayer recap: Dear Lord, Help us to plant seeds in our hearts that nurture our brains to produce life on earth that is as in heaven. Amen.

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