Understanding the Christian Prayer By Carrie and Jeremy
Hello Dear Readers! This week, we have had Carrie and Jeremy (the latter who was in charge of MANLY carrying baby Jamie and coaxing her to sleep) in leading us to understanding more about Christian prayer (quite a self-explanatory title… Haha)
Nevertheless, there were 2 main focus about prayer and they are: –
- What the bible tells us about prayer and its importance in our relationship with God
- What can and should we do when it seems that God does not listen to us
Cutting to the chase, how important is a prayer really? As a Christian, we oftentimes follow the adage of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), in the bible, Jesus prayed constantly and fervently, He prayed for those he met on his journeys, his disciples (John 17), the off chance that He might be lifted from the passion (in Gethesmane Matthew 26:39), and at His moment of death (Luke 23:46). The importance of prayer fundamentally is the medium through which we build and develop a deeper and lasting relationship with God, as we are all made in God’s image, prayer is the natural reaction to the yearning for God. Its significance can hardly be overstated, and it should and can never be taken for granted.
Within the bible, it teaches us: –
How often we should pray, which by the way is at all times (Ephesians 6:18);
How we should pray, singing praises with mind and spirit (1 Corinthians 14:15):
What we should pray for, other than world peace like in beauty pageants, to be of service to God and to glorify Him (Psalm 50: 14-15);
Who we should pray for, those suffering (like the social media star who recently stopped social mediating… jkjk), but for those who are really suffering and fighting their own hard battles in life, those cheerful in thanksgiving, and especially those who are sick (James 5:13-14)
In our living relationship with God, which is ever changing, we nurture and develop it like any other, and communication is key to the maintenance and understanding that little better about ourselves and our God. Furthermore, prayer as a medium of communication is oft and most effective when we quieten our hearts and listen to him, at a time reserved specially focused on God.
It is important to know that God doesn’t benefit from our prayers in His Almighty and Awesome-ness, rather, it is for our own. To acknowledge our inadequacies, failings, humanity through prayers of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, repentance and petition. We grow through prayer and in our relationship with God.
This brings us then to the next section, when if God does not seem to listen to our payers, what does it mean then?
Well, rather than looking at what in our opinion God should and could answer us by, we should be aware of our petitions to Him,
Are we asking with the wrong motives?
Have I confessed my sins to God? Where often times, sin is the curtain which blocks us from seeing the face of God (Isaiah 59: 1-2)
Have I made anything more important than God? Where we intentionally or unintentionally set up false idols in our hearts which we prize above our God (Ezekiel 14:3)
Am I contemplating enough on His Word? “If you remain in me and my words remain in your, ask whatever your wish and it will be given to you” (John 15:7), do we really understand his Word which applies to our situation (Which by the way on the first Friday of every month, there is the Mass of Sacred Heart at 8pm followed by Eucharistic Adoration @ St Ignatius which can help us practice this art of contemplation…FYI)
Of equal importance is to know that God may say NO for an answer, but as we learn in our faith, we must maintain the faith and trust that it is because God has prepared something great for us, which even if we cannot see nor understand in its relation to our suffering at the moment, we must continue to trust in our Lord.
We should always remember here that Jesus too got a NO that night in Gethsemane, but it is only because of His sacrifice for us, through His blood, which we are cleansed of our sins, and given this chance to reach paradise with the promise of Eternal life.
In our journey of being Christian and in our prayers always remember “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek; and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened…” (Matthew 7:7)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), for after all, before an almighty and all-knowing God, before He who knows our heart’s deepest desires and fears before we ourselves, prayer does not provide any benefit for him, rather it is us who through prayer are given the opportunity to stand closer with God and to love deeper as Christians.