For the past few weeks, during this sermon series on marriage, Pastor Adam has said, right before the prayer at the end of the message, “If you are sitting near your spouse, take their hand as we pray.” Touch of all kinds is important to us as human beings. We are wired to connect physically with each other, and not just in a sexual way. Jesus often reached out his hand to touch people and heal them.
There can be great comfort and power in something as simple as holding the hands of someone else while you pray. According to scientists, a warm touch seems to set off the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps create a sensation of trust, and to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Another study suggests that humans are wired to “share the load” of processing problems, and that simple touching of one another helps initiate that process.*
When you are “processing problems,” is prayer part of that process? Do you take your fears, frustrations, joys or concerns to others and ask them to join you in carrying those parts of your life to God? Do you hold hands while you pray, powerfully connecting to each other as you connect to God?
This week, find at least one other person, hold their hand or touch their shoulder, and pray with them. If you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable praying with in this way, come to Firestone Chapel on the south side of the Narthex before and after worship this weekend, or the Congregational Care offices in the East Building of the Leawood Campus from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on any weekday, and one of our pastors, CCMs, or staff members would be blessed to hold your hand and pray with you.
*Evidence That Little Touches Do Mean So Much. Benedict Cary. NY Times 2/10/2011.