To engage your mind, energize your body and calm your emotions, carve out a little time for prayer and meditation each day. It offers both relaxation and energizing benefits at the same time. Encompassing fitness, health and wellness, prayer develops a mind-body connection that can be realized by no other means. And essential oils are a great way to further deepen your connection with God while getting all the health benefits that come with the use of oils. Prayer when practiced regularly can be powerful, calming to the nerves and will bring the mind into a restful state. Research has shown that prayer and meditation may physically change the brain and body. And it can potentially improve health, as well as, promote healthy behaviors. 
Essential Oils and the Five Senses 
Of the five senses, our sense of smell is the most primitive. This sense is the one that is most closely associated with our emotions and how our bodies respond to them. And amazingly, essential oils are known to activate the limbic region of the brain and to release emotions that are stored there. Together with a balanced diet, nutrition, adequate exercise and water, aromatherapy can help you achieve a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Aromatherapy when paired daily with exercise can also help to gently access the deeper, unconscious levels of physical and mental processing, including the release of habitual tensions, as well as, emotional blocks.
The Gift of Essential Oils
Essential oils are a gift from God that will deepen your special time with Him. One of the ways to help you enter a prayerful state is to use essential oils that bring focus, clarity and relaxation as you strive to move away from the busy-ness of life and into God’s presence. You can choose a single oil that seems perfect for that moment, or you can choose or create your own relaxation blend of oils.
Because of their thousands of benefits, essential oils are able to stimulate deep breathing, therefore improving relaxation during prayer time. There are no special postures required. Just find a quiet and peaceful place to be still, relax and breathe in the essential oils of your choice, while resting in the Lord. 
Aromatherapy and prayer is the natural way to quickly bring your body back into balance. Prayer and essential oils help to stimulate the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems (which God designed for us, by the way). And when paired together they do wonders releasing negative thoughts and feelings, thereby facilitating emotional wellness. The more the gifts of prayer and essential oils are used in conjunction with each other, the quicker you will be able to remain calm and relaxed during other stressful situations. I suggest a time set aside every morning, where you may experience, what I like to call, a love letter from God.
Simple Ways to use Essential Oils
A simple way to use essential oils during prayer and meditation is to apply a couple drops to the palms of your hands, rub them together, place your hands over your nose and mouth and breathe in deeply. If you are new to essential oils, you might want to try a single oil, like Frankincense. In the beginning with essential oils, low and slow will serve you well. And if you have one, you can add a few drops to a diffuser. 
Preparing for your Daily Devotions
During my daily devotions I like to add a few drops of White Angelica to my diffuser. And I almost always have a bottle of Frankincense handy as well. Frankincense is arguably the most desired essential oil single available today. It has gained notoriety for supporting the immune system, maintaining youthful and vibrant skin, and enhancing prayer and meditation going all the way back to ancient times. 

Frankincense is very grounding and can be inhaled to calm the mind and bring a sense of focus and well-being. The composition of Frankincense oil is especially high in “monoterpenes” which are components that help to rewrite harmful information in the DNA of the cells like, signals inducing stress, fight or flight, cellular issues or cellular memories related to trauma, injury, etc. 
This gives us insight into why Frankincense has been revered for centuries as a good choice during times of prayer and spiritual practice. That makes sense to me. Think about it. Prayer and communion with God can bring healing, especially when it comes to rewriting the lies and stressors that invade our mind, body and spirit from time-to-time, drawing us away from God and His gift of presence with us. 
So much of our health stems from emotional and spiritual roots. When we take the time to address the stress and chaos of the mind and spirit, there are always physical benefits to come. This is undoubtedly why Frankincense is infamous for its overall benefits to the immune system, as well as, to that of regulating cellular activity. If you have not yet tried incorporating Frankincense with prayer or a practice of stillness, this is an excellent way to dive into the emotional and spiritual uses of essential oils firsthand! People have known this for thousands of years. Historically, frankincense was used for: spiritual connection, immune support, cell regeneration, and was gifted to the baby Jesus. 

Want my guide, The Art of Centering Prayer? 


Hope & Purpose for the week!!
If you would like those peaceful moments, you know... the ones you feel right after Sunday worship, to last a little longer throughout the week, I'm here to tell you that there is a way.

In this place you will hear encouraging messages followed by the celebration of Holy Communion.
It is my prayer that you will find enough hope for your soul, to carry you forward throughout the week.

In His Service,
Reverend Paula Behrens
Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church



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