Tag Archive | prayer

Prayer For Father

 Mother prayer

O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time we need

We humbly beseech thee to care, visit, touch and relieve Your beloved servant, our beloved father.

Look upon him with the eyes of the mercy; comfort him with a sense of your goodness

Preserve our lovely father from the temptations of the enemy, and give him patience under his powerlessness

We handed out our dear father to your loving hand; embrace him in your warm protection and care, as You are the place to whom we trust.

In Your perfect and beautiful time, heal and restore him to health, enable him to lead the rest of his life in the fear of You and Your glory alone.

Grant that finally he may dwell with Your loving kindness in life everlasting through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

My beloved readers, I going to let you know that for some times I will not being active do blogging. Several days ago my beloved father got bad heart attack and this morning, In Hong Kong, my father took coronary artery bypass graft and until now he still under strict and serious control and supervision of the doctor team. It would be a great honor to us you lift up the prayer for our father recovery. Thank you very much and God bless.

The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.

(Psalm 41:3)

Karina – Living by faith

 

 

ONLY THROUGH LOVE (guest post)

Our Christian identity is not like ID card that reads “Christian”, the symbol of the cross, or a painting of Jesus hanging on the walls of our homes. Nor various attributes nuanced “Christian” that we use.

Our Christian identity is LOVE, because love is God’s “FINGER PRINT” in us. Only through the love then the world will know the Father through us.

Have we live and move only in and by Father’s love??

From the beginning the Christ followers had experience a variety obstacles and challenges. Acts 4 tells us that Peter and John were arrested by the priests because they proclaim Jesus’ resurrection. In Chapter 5 the high priest and his followers captured the apostles and put them in jail because of jealous and indignation. And after the martyrdom of Stephen in chapter 6 and 7, many obstacles and challenges increasingly expanded until now.

This is not surprising because the Lord Jesus himself said: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18–19 NKJV)

As followers of Christ in the modern world, we not only have to maintain the purity of faith in the midst of an increasingly free lifestyle, but we also have to be careful and thoughtful in dealing with various obstacles and challenges that may come. Knowingly or not, the world will continually see us. They see every speech and our actions. They assess how a follower of Christ to respond when treated not well.

When our hearts are hurt, whether we will reply to wounding with sharper “arms” or we will forgive them.  When we are insulted, whether we will turn disparage them or we give them smile. When we hated, whether we will respond with scorn or we will give them love. The world will see what our respond when all the unpleasant things happened to us.

In Acts 6 & 7, Stephen was being treated cruel and unjust. He was falsely accused on charges of blasphemy: Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen.  And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” (Acts 6:9-11)

The result of all that is Stephen brought to the council and must take the punishment that should not be, that died at the hands a lot of people who stoned him. Right at the threshold of death, Stephen prayed: “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:60 NKJV)

In the midst of overflows hatred and anger of crowd to him, Stephen’s heart surrounded by the love that enabled him to forgive those who wronged him. What kind of love that able to forgive that great sin? It was not love that comes from the heart of an ordinary person!

In Acts 6:3,5,8 was written that Stephen was a good reputation person, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, full of faith and power. All of it, are spiritual qualities which only owned by the pious people, namely those who actually maintain his relationship with God. People are not just run a religious duty, but always live in intimacy with God, abiding, and really put their lives on God.

The reflection of Stephen’s intimacy with God is look so clear in the council when the witnesses gave false testimony about Stephen: And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw HIS FACE AS THE FACE OF AN ANGEL. (Acts 6:15 NKJV)

Stephen was full of God’s presence. The glory of God is so real surround him until other people can see it! The Holy Spirit lives within Stephen so he filled with love that enabled him to forgive and faithful till the end. Musing for all of us is: Did anyone else see the glory of God through our lives??

We know that human nature is returning evil for evil, and kindness with kindness. Some are even repay kindness with evil. But as followers of Christ we are required to live in different standard of love:

“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46 NKJV)

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-28 NKJV)

Christ teaches us to love those who hate us because they don’t know what they did. They hate us because they do not know God the Father. “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” (John 15:21 NKJV)

If we hate them, then who will preach the Gospel of Salvation to them?! Hate those who “persecute” us is tantamount to closing the door of salvation for them. Father’s will is that everyone is saved. Therefore we must demonstrate God’s love for them through concrete actions. Thus they will get to know Father in Heaven through us.

If we’ve done a good and right thing but others are still figure out our mistakes… If we are currently facing particular pressure because we are the obedient Christians… If someone mock us as “fanatics” or “pastor” because we do not want to compromise with certain sin… No matter of the form of obstacles and challenges that happened, our first response must be LOVE. If our hearts are always filled with Christ’s love, then that love will keep us so that our next move will not deviate from love corresponding with Father’s will.

In 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 was written the extreme comparison of love. Let me quote it in full for we reflect together:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV)

Love is our Christian identity. Without love, all we do is nonsense, useless, and nothing! Let us not be known just as Christians who went to church, energetic in ministry, and is active in various social activities. All was good, but above all let us be known as a Christian who full of loving Christ.

However, how perfect the love of Christ! How high and deep His love is always far beyond of human’s love. Without His help, we would not be able to reach it. The love that could meet standard of God’s love is only love that comes from God’s Spirit alone!

“Now hope does not disappoint, because THE LOVE OF GOD HAS BEEN POURED OUT IN OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY SPIRIT who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5 NKJV)

If we want to have the love of Christ, we must always be in with the Holy Spirit. If we continue to build intimacy with the Holy Spirit, from time to time, we will be change into more and more like Christ, so that we will enabled to love others as Christ has loved us first.

The core of Christianity is love because God is love. The reason of God’s works for the world is love. If we wish to be a blessing and bring many souls to Christ, there is no way other than we must always be connected with the Holy Spirit.

Let us open our heart and allow the Holy Spirit pour Father’s love till the love attached to be our identity that cannot be separated from our lives, flow through our lives, and touch a lot of people so they can feel and see it. Because only through love we can be a blessing and praising God.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV)

Amen

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo credit: Google Images

Edit with: pixlr App

EXPERIENCE GOD PERSONALLY (guest post)

Hello my dear readers, my  guest post this time that written by Sella Irene still talk about “The man of faith”, Abraham. She wrote not just focused to Abraham, but he focus to Abraham’s faithful servant, Eliezer. There is a faith quality comparison between Eliezer with his master, Abraham.  I hope and pray that this guest post will become a blessing to all us.

 EXPERIENCE GOD PERSONALLY

There were some names of Eliezer in the Bible. The one was Eliezer from Damascus,  Abraham’s servant, the elder of his house and entrusted to rule over all that he had (Genesis 24:2). Just because Abraham didn’t have a child then he intended to take Eliezer as his heir, until finally God gave Isaac the biological son of Abraham, who later became a great nation in accordance with God’s plan (Genesis 15:2-5) But Eliezer was a good servant. Though he knew that he no longer become of Abraham’s heir, he was remaining comply and totally devoted to Abraham, his master.

One day Abraham asked Eliezer to finding a wife for Isaac. The story begin when Abraham asked Eliezer to swear: “…….Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, AMONG WHOM I DWELL; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” (Genesis 24:2-4 NKJV)

Eliezer hold firm his vow and run his task with full of responsibility. He came back with Rebekah, a wife for Isaac. No doubt Eliezer was a faithful servant and trusted servant. But let’s take a look to the other side of him, while looking at ourselves as well.

The detail of Eliezer trip to find a wife for Isaac was written in Genesis 24. We will take a look two things in this passage. The 1st thing is about heart attitude of Eliezer before God. The 2nd thing is about the difference between Abraham and Eliezer in looking to the Promise Land, Canaan.

Let’s have a look to the 1st thing:

BELIEVE BUT DON’T BELIEVE

Eliezer was starting his duty with a prayer for help and special sign from God:  “O LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, please give me success this day……. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.” (Genesis 24:12-14 NKJV)

After God granted his request, this was what he did: Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. And he said, “Blessed be THE LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master……”(Genesis 24:26-27 NKJV)

Notice that in every of his prayer Eliezer always said: ”LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM.” Happened the same thing when with full of grateful he told his trip to Rebekah’s family in verse 42: “And this day I came to the well and said, ‘O LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, if You will now prosper the way in which I go”  Also in verse 48: “And I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed THE LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, who had led me…….”

Whether Eliezer worshiped God? YES! Is he also recognizes The God’s greatness? YES! But he didn’t really made God as his God personally.

Eliezer lived with Abraham for many years. He saw Abraham didn’t have anything until blessed by God. He also saw how God did many miracles in Abraham’s life: “The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great…..And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old…..” (Genesis 24: 35-36). But every God’s work that he saw didn’t make him recognize God as his own God. Otherwise, (allow me to talk a bit about Ruth) Ruth saw Naomi’s family since they rich until have nothing, but Ruth indeed wholehearted recognized Naomi’s God as her own God: “…..Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16).

Did Eliezer trust to God? YES! Did he trust that the God of Abraham is the mighty God? YES! That is why he prayed. He believed God because he saw how God made miracles in Abraham life. But this time he prayed by himself, not Abraham.

Let’s take a look what Eliezer did after he pray: “And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey PROSPEROUS OR NOT.” (Genesis 24:21 NKJV)  He wasn’t totally believed that God will answer his own prayer. This was an act that wasn’t being in accordance with Faith principles: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24 NKJV)

Like Eliezer, many people follow Jesus but they aren’t earnestly place Jesus as God and they don’t have strong relationship with God. They know God from what others said and from others experiences. They praise the God’s greatness when they hear what God did in others lives. They pray and hope to God when they facing the problems, but they aren’t sure that God surely listening their prayer.

Trusting God’s greatness because of the miracle that has been done to others, isn’t same with when ourselves experiencing God’s miracle personally. Sometimes when we heard or seen the others’ testimony, we become strong and vibrant, but when are facing the problems, we begin to doubt whether God will help us. Why is that? Because we don’t feel the pain, struggles, pressure, and all the emotions that these people feel upon passing the problems. We just heard a victorious end result, without feel the process.

Currently, if there are among us who are experiencing the struggles and are under hard pressure, remember that God is good to all His children. If God is willing and able to help our brothers, believe that God also MUST be willing and able to help us. Still put hope and wait patiently for the Lord

Now let’s have a look to the 2nd thing:

DIDN’T HAVE FAITH LIKE ABRAHAM

Back to Genesis 24:2-4 especially verse 3. Abraham delegated Eliezer with words: “…..that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, AMONG WHOM I DWELL….. But Eliezer said to Rebekah’s family: “…..You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, IN WHOSE LAND I DWELL.” (Genesis 24:37 NKJV)

There was a fundamental difference between words of Abraham and Eliezer. Abraham never said that his living land was the Canaanites’s land. He just said that he dwelled among the Canaanites. Abraham had faith that the Canaan land was his land in accordance with God’s promise: “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8 NKJV). But Eliezer quoted Abraham’s word with his own comprehension. “… The Canaan, IN WHOSE LAND I DWELL.” In the other words, Eliezer considered that the residence of Abraham is the country of Canaanites. In fact it was true. In the real terms the land of Canaan was still owned by the Canaanites. But by faith Abraham believed that the land of Canaan was his because the Lord had spoken to him.

Eliezer already saw how great Abraham’s faith in God so Abraham faithfully did what has commanded by God. Eliezer also saw that God indeed can be trusted and never embarrass those who hope in Him. But all of that didn’t make him had faith like Abraham.

Faith is not built based on the reality, but FAITH IS BUILT BASED ON GOD’S WORD. The fact it is often contrary to our faith. If we put faith the reality, we will be easy to hesitate and falter. Let me share my experience about this.

I once had very bad financial problems. We were worse. Logically, we really didn’t even know how to get out from the problem. We just cried out and asked God for help. We were always strengthened when we heard the sermon. And our hope raised up when we received the God’s promise. But the reality didn’t change at all even there were times our condition getting worst. I admit that sometimes we doubt and worry. But there is no other way beside put hope and trust to God. To whom we hope except to God? Day after day we strengthen our trust to God and learn to hold firm God’s promises to us, while continue knowing God and His ways. Till now, have been many years we went through it all. Right now, I dare to say that God will never disappointing and embarrass those who put hope and trust to God. By His own way God help us. It is not as we imagine, but we believe God’s way is totally perfect. Already proved that until today God always take care, deliver, and help us.

Now, if there are among us who are in the trouble and already praying, serving God, and learn to be faithful… But the God’s answer doesn’t come true and the reality doesn’t change, be patients… Strengthen our heart, and keep trust. Like Abraham, we must direct the eyes of our faith in the God’s word, because the Lord who promised is faithful and trusted. “By faith, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was too old, he received the ability to procreate, because he regarded the one who had given the promise to be trustworthy.” (Hebrews 11:11 NET)

Why Abraham truly believe to God, even when everything seems impossible? Because he really knows who is God that he worshiped. We will not know God if we aren’t build a personal fellowship with God. And if we don’t know God, then we will not totally trust Him.

WALKING WITH GOD

It is good become the serve servant, but built an intimacy with God is much better. That is way make Jesus as the one and only God and walk with Him. We have to experience it personally. For that we must live in obedience and willingness to do God’s will, and allows God to be fully involved in every aspect of our lives. Entrusting ourselves to the guidance and God’s decision to choose the ways for us according to His will. Through the experience after experience walk with the Lord, God’s word becomes real and alive in our lives. Let us diligent in prayer and reading God’s word every day so that we know God more and our faith muscles will be stronger. AMEN.

 

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Background images: Google Images (edit with pixlr app)

 

 

 

 

HATRED (Guest Post)

GOD, help me to forgive

In a ministry of prayer, I saw a young man. At first glance his physical and looks are fine. But when he prayed, he burst into tears. It was apparent how much he wants freed from the extremely heavy burden which has endured. What is that? Hatred!

All originated from an event with someone who really hurt him. Since then grows hatred in his heart. He thought that all will be fine. He thought his hatred will fade gradually as time goes by. But the opposite happened. Increasingly the hatred was getting bigger and rooted, until it turns into bitterness.

When he knew that hatred has destroyed himself, he decided to forgive in order to gain liberation and relief. But he was powerless to do it. No matter how he wants to forgive, he cannot! His mind was aware that he had to forgive, and he was willing to forgive, but his heart refused. Hatred has transformed into a bitter heart. Hatred is so bad! But thank God, that young man was coming to the right place that is in the presence of God who able to liberate him.

 

At first we are satisfied when can vent anger and hatred to someone. We feel that they deserve to be hated. Their deeds and words are very painful. They might be a traitor, cheater, liar, thief, braggart, and so on. But if we do not immediately make a decision to forgive, then hatred will have a place to plant roots in our hearts. Finally we ourselves were harmed.

 

A SNAKE IN THE GRASS

Hatred robs joy, steals a peace, destroys a friendship, and disunites the family. Many good things are lost when our hearts are filled with hatred.

 

HATRED ALIENATE US FROM GOD

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20 NKJV)

Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15 NKJV)

 

HATRED IS A SIN! We cannot approach the very presence of God if our hearts are filled with hatred.

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV)

 

HATRED MAKES OUR PRAYERS HINDERED.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2 NKJV)

 

HATRED HARM OURSELVES.

But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2 :11 NKJV)

 

HATRED IS LIKE A SNAKE IN THE GRASS. Every day we live with him and close to him, but secretly he will destroy us from within. An external enemy is easier to watch out and fought. But the enemy that comes from within is very dangerous! Therefore, do not give place to the hatred.

“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (Ephesians 4:26-27, 31 NKJV)

 

PERFECT LOVE

DAVID had a reason to hate their parents and siblings because they had forgotten him  when Samuel comes to selecting and anointed king of Israel (1 Samuel 16: 1-13). David also had a reason to hate and revenge on Saul who continued hunt to kill him though he was not guilty.

JOSEPH also had reason to hate and revenge on his older brothers who has harmed then sold him into slavery (Genesis 37: 18-28).

BUT DAVID AND JOSEPH are the ones who choose to forgive when they have a reason to hate. David did not kill Saul even though the opportunity was opened widely in front of him (1 Samuel 24: 1-16). Joseph precisely accommodates and maintains his brothers who ask for his help during the famine (Genesis 45-47). David and Joseph chose to love when they have a chance for revenge. Whereof they got the power to do it all?  All of it just from God’s loves alone.

looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; (Hebrews 12:15 NKJV)

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. (Proverbs 10: 12 NKJV)

THE OPPOSITE OF HATE IS LOVE. Not human love, but perfect love of God that is at work within us. Jesus is the perfect example of love. Jesus could punish and condemn those who despised and tormented him. But in his omnipotence to do everything, Jesus chose to say: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34a NKJV) That is the love of God.

 

HOLY SPIRIT

Forgiving is not easy. But the forgiving is not an option, but a necessity.

Forgiving is not an option but a necessity. Oh… but it is so difficult. Yes, right. But if God has commended, He will gives us a strength to do it. God gives us the Holy Spirit as a magical helper in all circumstances. No one can change the human hearts except the Holy Spirit. As long as we are willing to open our hearts and allow Him, the Holy Spirit will helps us to love and forgive beyond the limit of our ability. Therefore constantly build a relationship and intimate with the Holy Spirit is very important.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because THE LOVE OF GOD HAS BEEN POURED OUT IN OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO WAS GIVEN TO US.”  (Romans 5:5 NKJV)

At the moment we feel the anger and hurt, immediately cried out and surrender to God before hatred become deeper and cultivating bitter roots.

 

LIFESTYLE

For how long we have to forgive? Until we return to the Father’s house. Peter had asked Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV)

And this is what God wants us to do:

Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Colossians 3:13 NKJV)

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV)

Just as we were always requires forgiveness from the Father each time we make a mistake, so we must always forgive those who have wronged us. As a sinner who has been redeemed by Christ and become children of the Loving Father, let’s make a forgiving as our lifestyle. Not by our strength but by God’s power and love.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 NKJV)

Let God the Father in Heaven bestow love and mercy for us all so we can live in harmony with His word. His perfect love is able to heel and restore everything. Amen.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

https://sellairene.wordpress.com

Original Image from Google Images

Waiting for His Answer

Waiting for His answer - Karina's Thought

There is an old story of faithful mother who had been praying for 28 years for her son to come to faith in Christ. Year after year her son was rebellious. He abused drugs, was in and out of jail, and showed no sign of ever knowing Christ. The days and years dragged on with absolutely no indication that there was anything different in the man’s life. Then one day, 28 years after his mother first prayed for him, this man, and this man came to saving faith in Christ. Today this man, Terry Williams, uses his testimony to help other prison inmates find their way to a relationship with the only one who can save:  Jesus Christ! What if this mother had given up? What if she decided it was not important enough to keep praying each and every day? What a difference this mother made in hear steadfast prayer due to her undying love for her son. Today her son is making an external difference for other in prison. This was all due to prayer, even though she had to wait.

This story shows how persistent a mother praying for her son. Not just persistence in prayer but also illustrates patience in waiting the answer from God. This evening I would like to talk about waiting for God’s answer of our prayer. This is often becomes a problem when we pray and waiting for the answer from God.  When we talk about waiting for God’s answer it mean we talk about God’s timing. When we talk about God’s timing, we will be faced by something which is seemingly not clear and uncertain, will make us impatient, raised doubts in our heart, and finally we will draw conclusion that God not hear and answer our prayer.

Actually, God expect us to wait patiently on his perfect timing. Let we dive into the some scriptures in the Bible. Let we see what they said. First, we look in Hebrews 10:36, “For you has need of patience, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise” This verse clearly said that if we have to patient and doing God’s will we will receive His promise.  Next, let’s take a look to Psalm 37.  This chapter is a great Psalm to read when we are seeking the desires of our heart with realization that it may take some time.

“Rest before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not worry when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes” (Verse 7)

“I was young and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Verse 25)

“Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it” (Verse 34)

Sometimes the desires of our heart need time. They do not happen overnight.  We tend to treat God like a vending machine when once we insert the coin, choose what we desire, and then we can got what we want very soon.  God is most often at work when He appears to be the most silent. Let’s take a look for awhile to the book of Daniel. Even though Daniel had to wait for 24 days before his prayer was answered, God had actually answered his prayer that very day that he prayed. Don’t think that since God does not immediately reveal to us His answer, that He has not answered it and has not answered it right way. Daniel had his prayer answered the very same day of his request but it took time for God’s sovereign timing for it to reach him and it did at exactly the right time, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” (Daniel 10:12)

My dear readers, maybe this time we’re struggling with severe problems and had been praying for so long but there is no answer from God and we begin to falter. Based on many story in the Bible and based on a bit my experience, this evening I encourage all of us  to remember one thing that God actually hear any prayers we say even He already knows what we are going to pray before we pray. Every prayer with strong faith, humility, with a pure heart, according to His will and not oppose with God’s commandments will answered by God and whatever His answer, it is the best for us. Like the story of mother above, we just need persistence and patience. Remember our timetable is not God’s timetable. God will answer our prayer in His time.

How long? Three weeks like Daniel? More than two years as I pray for my fiancé to open his heart to receive God as his personal savior? 25 years like Abraham waited to have a child? Or 28 years like that mother?   We just don’t know. What we know is only continue to persevere and be patient, always rely on the God’s power and wisdom. Keep faith and do not waver. Truly understand God’s will and purpose. Always live in the Divine righteousness. Submit all control of our lives to God through the Holy Spirit and His Word.  The answer of a prayer is a mystery that only God knows when that prayer would be answered. We do not have the ability to unveil the secrets of the Divine. We just know that:” He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Amen.

Karina – Living by Faith

Photo credit: Google Images

The Mystery of Prayer

The Mystery of Prayer
Beyond that which words can interpret
Or theology can explain
The soul feels a “shower of refreshment”
That falls like the gentle rain

On hearts that are parched with problems
And are searching to find the way
To somehow attract God’s attention
Through well-chosen words as they pray,

Not knowing that God in His wisdom
Can sense all man’s worry and woe
For there is nothing man can conceal
That God does not already know…

So kneel in prayer in His presence
And you’ll find no need to speak
For softly in silent communion
God grants you the peace that you seek.

Unknown.

Photo credit: common.wikimedia.org

Focused Prayer

focused prayer

The idea of this post is derived from my best blog friend when she was share unfocused prayer problem in her blog yesterday. Why I am longing to write and share this post because I really concern about prayer. Praying has become a part of my life. I spent about 1-2 hours (sometime more) a day to talk with God privately.

Back to the problem. I think this is not only her problem. Including me, I believe many of us often have a problem like Julie. So, how we can stay focused in prayer? How we avoid a distracted prayer? Below are some of my thoughts. But this is not a theological theory. This is just a thought based on my personal experience.

First, when we want to pray, it means we are ready to talk with God in our special time. Be ready! This is important to us. Our minds and hearts should be ready to take our prayer. Our hearts and minds have been leads to God and ready get into the God’s presence. For a while forget about other things that exist in our minds.

When we are truly ready, let us praising God through a song. We can do it by listening to a spiritual song with the theme of praising God or prayer then we can sing following its song. Paul admonished the Ephesians church to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:19-20). According my experience, praising God through music before praying can help our hearts and minds to get in to the God’s presence. Choose a short song, not too long.

 Then after singing (or just listening a song). Start our prayer with praise and thanks.  Psalm 100:4 said:” Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Open up our prayer time with praise. Take around 5-10 minutes to thank God for what He’s done for us. Spend time focused on what Jesus has done for us and praise and thank Him for that. Then, continued with worship to God. Worship is different with praise and thanksgiving. Praise is thanking God for what He’s done, but worship is about who God is! Take the next few moments to simply marvel at the awesomeness of God such as: “LORD, You are everything to me. There’s none like You in the heavens or in the earth!”

After praising, thanksgiving and worship take time to ask God to forgive us. Worship should always lead to repentance, worship sees God for who He is and allows us to see how unclean we are. (Isaiah 6).We can read Psalm 51 for a prayer for repentance.

The next is intercession. Move to praying for others needs and for our needs. If we use a list for prayer requests, bust that thing out and start praying. One lesson I was taught in this area was to pray for other’s needs first then put your needs last. Get prayer focused on God, then others, then lastly yourself. Make categories for this part of prayer. I usually begin to family, friends, ministers and church, government, and lastly myself.

The last is I usually end my prayer time reflecting and reading my Bible. This is also a good way to listen for the voice of the LORD. Usually other needs start to “pop” into my head and I can pray for those needs as well. This part is hard because we feel like we aren’t doing anything.

What about an environment for praying? Is this important? Yes! This is important. We cannot pray in a noisy environment. Every day I always pray in my bedroom or work room which there is no one else except me. I turn off the TV or other tools that can produce unwanted sound that can distract my prayer. I recommend that do not pray while lying on the bed. We can lose of focus and even worse I am afraid we can fall asleep! God does not want us to say “Amen” in the next morning when we woke up!

Well my dear friends, this is my thoughts about focusing in prayer. If anyone wants to add or just sharing experiences in prayer. Feel free give your comment here.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”(James 5:16)

Karina.  Dedicated to Julie Garro (http://followhislight.wordpress.com)

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