How God Changes Your Brain

Mark Virkler's picture

(Much of the information below is my summary of the book, How God Changes Your Brain by Andrew Newberg M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman. I have added my own reflections to their ideas.)

Biblical praise, worship and meditation bring one into a consciousness of God which alleviaties mankind’s three biggest killers - fear, hopeless, and anger - by replacing them with God’s three abiding realities of faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). A 12-minute meditation exercise for 8 weeks is effective in promoting change.

A meditation which incorporates six different neural-altering techniques is optimal

  1. Relaxation – smile, cease your labors, enter into rest (Hebrews 3,4)
  2. Deep breathing – spirit and breath are the same word in the Bible, so breathe in His Spirit deeply
  3. Worshipping in tongues – your mind rests and your spirit communicates with God (1 Corinthians 14:2)
  4. Coordinated finger/bodily movements – musical instruments, flagging, painting, drawing, dance, etc.
  5. Background music – soft soaking music which aids and does not disrupt
  6. Focus mind and heart by using imagery – See the Lord and commune with Him (Acts 2:25; John 5:19,20,30). Get in flow.

I find worshipping in the Spirit with my autoharp is ideal (1 Corinthians 14:15). It combines all six of the above and truly energizes my spirit with God’s divine energy. It’s part of the “celebration” that God is calling me into. Other devotionals which can easily combine all six include Emotional Freedom Techniques, River of Life, which is part of the New Creation Celebration devotionals, this audio prayer for healing with background music and the 7 Steps in Biblical Meditation.

Action - Take some time to ponder what would be the most meaningful meditation experience you could have with God: devotional Bible meditation, praise and worship, getting in flow, creating from your spirit, etc. Try each of the prayer meditation approaches discussed above two or three times and see which ministers the most spiritual life to you.

A positive perception and experience of God is crucial to making your meditation exercise healing and healthy

Americans hold four different views of God: 1) The authoritarian God (31%), 2) The critical God (16%), 3) The distant God (24%) and 4) The benevolent God (23%). (From How God Changes Your Brain by Andrew Newberg M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, pages 107-110.)

There are only two key truths we need to know about God in order to have a proper perspective of Him: 1) He is all powerful and 2) He loves me.

  • Power belongs to God (Psalm 62:11), I am God Almighty (Genesis 17:1), I am the Lord and there is no other (Isaiah 45:7-7).
  • Love: 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

Own these two revelations. For me, experiencing God as a loving God came through two-way journaling.

Maintaining a healthy heart and mind

Faith is essential in maintaining a healthy heart and mind. Other things you can add to faith are companionship, bodily exercise, meditating, yawning, staying intellectually active, and smiling. These recommendations are from How God Changes Your Brain by Andrew Newberg M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, pages 151- 165.

A neat tool I have used in learning to relax, love and meditate is the emWave®2. It is a small handheld device that can be used on its own or plugged into your computer that allows you to view graphs of information it outputs. Its specific function is to measure “heart coherence,” which is a state of inner congruence within your heart and between your heart and your mind. When you clip the sensor to your ear lobe, it measures heart rate variability, letting you know if you are maintaining the following postures:

  1. You are tuned to your heart;
  2. You are at ease and in the moment;
  3. Your mind and heart are functioning together in harmony (coherence);
  4. You are expressing a Kingdom emotion such as gratitude or compassion;
  5. You are projecting those emotions out to others.

This is truly amazing. So far I have completed over 150 sessions with this unit and I can personally vouch that it verifies you are experiencing the above five realities. Heart coherence appears when I am tuned inwardly to my spirit, a relaxed smile on my face, breathing God’s compassion and gratefulness into my heart and releasing it out to others.

Going further

Related Resources: 

Spiritual Transformations   

Related Blogs: 

Healing Emotional Dis-ease   
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