I have read a lot of books on prayer. There’s always a chapter dedicated on prayer in every Christian book that I encounter. Most authors expound the breadth and depth of the kind of prayer mentioned in the Bible by citing incidents that happened in their lives. They try to help every reader with proper ways of praying. I understood many of them, and I tried my best to apply each of them in my life.
With an intense sense of wonder, I noticed that many (if not all) of the important prayers that I said in my quiet moments with God this year were granted one after the other. These prayer items were not as mundane as food, money, or any other material things. Apart from those necessities, the Lord has indeed opened the gates of heaven and showered things in my life that my hands would not fit to hold. They are all overflowing, and they come in the most mysterious yet special ways. That gave it God-sent trademarks.
In this recount, I will not retell the secret ingredient in praying nor will I list step-by-step instructions on how to pray appropriately. Looking back to what happened to me this year, I will try to navigate precious discoveries that the Lord revealed to me as I journey my complicated life. With some setbacks, comebacks, and breakthroughs, I can say proudly that indeed, I am highly favored.
One thing I am glad to admit now is that I pray every day. I have been a Christian for more than a decade, but I admit that there were days in the past that I haven’t whispered any single prayer. I would just discover later on and felt guilty that I haven’t prayed.
Although I pray every day, there is something I am not proud of my prayer life. Even if I pray everyday, I am not consistent in the quality of my prayer. Sometimes, I pray earnestly as if I am shouting out every feeling I have in my heart to God. On the other hand, there were occasions where I walked praying as if I were dead already.
I usually pray every time I go to work. Since I only stroll to reach my workplace, I can keep praying from 5 to 10 minutes. It was a good exercise and practice, but of course, I am not free from distractions. I have to face them daily.
If I am going to attribute the blessings with the quality of my prayer, that would not be appropriate. A person who prays more earnestly than me deserves what I actually receive from God. That makes me feel so amazed about God – His love. There’s nothing that we can do that will make Him love us more or there’s nothing in what we do not do that will make Him love us less. That’s always constant and His love is always unconditional and abundant.
The Lord sees our hearts. The Bible says “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” And I can’t disagree on that. Lately, I don’t pray as often and as lengthy as I did when I was still in my turning point as a Christian. I am not as involved in the church as I did when I was still part of our youth ministry. Despite that remarkable difference, the Lord has never changed – He answers every prayer that He knows would be best for me. He lets me know that He’s not just sitting there in Heaven watching what happens in my life, but He reminds me that He’s always in control.
One thing I hate about myself since the latter part of last year was my frequent worrying. I worry about my studies, my work, my finances, and my deadlines. I kept on closing my eyes and allowed myself to be burdened with the impossible as if there’s no antidote to solve them. Even though I am always like a doubting Thomas, the Lord always implants faith in me, renewing and strengthening me every time I feel like I am in the middle of a squall. He always makes me believe amid my disbelief.
In my previous blogs highly favored and another breakthrough , I mentioned how the Lord rescued me from my setbacks and showed me the way for breakthroughs. During the early months of the second half of 2016, I felt again how to be sank in a swamp as if nothing noteworthy happens in my life. If my life was a movie, the audience would find it boring. I made myself busy with a lot of things, but I only see slow-moving improvements and triumphs. At first, I didn’t understand why I had to experience and feel so down. Later on, I realized that it’s God’s way of showing me how I need Him so much. I might be strong, diligent, and hardworking, but those are nothing compared to the mighty thing that God can do. There’s nothing I can do compared to the great hands of the Lord. I am awestruck how the Lord crossed out my faith goals as they unfold right in front of my eyes.
As a whole, I don’t account my prayer for the blessings I receive from God, but that fact will not stop me in praying. I’ll continue to pray and talk to the Lord as often as I can. It’s not the way, the manner, or the venue of our prayer that God listens to us. He always listens to us whether we are in a middle of a battle, in the most amazing chapel, or in an ordinary room. What is important with the Lord is our relationship with Him. Although we fail Him many times and hurt Him every time we fall in temptations, we will always be precious in His eyes. Jesus sacrificed His life, so that we will live even if we deserve to die with our sins and be cast in hell. On the cross, He showed his great love to humanity. If He was able to do that, there’s no reason why He can’t save us from all our worries and challenges. He remains the same, and He’s always one call away. Our pains and wounds are daunting, but the Lord we have is greater.
Next time, I will pray. I will feel kilig because that is a very special conversation with a very important person in my life – God.