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Prayer and Power of Contentment

Updated on February 24, 2015

One Great News About Being Content

I do understand that there are different worldviews in the world and society. Fundamentally, there are theists and atheists. These are two opposites. On the other hand, there are some people who fall between these two perspectives. To most atheists, prayers are illogical and nonsense because there is no God who hears, understands, and answers. To them everything happens the way it supposes to happen. For example, both atheists and theists experience disorders, diseases, suffer, lose jobs, get marry, face death, etc. Atheists can argue that good things happen to them and good things happen to all other people. To the theists, prayers are logical, beneficial, and form of communication with God. These perspectives remind me of the words of Jesus Christ:

43You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” 44But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.

45Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. 46If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for this? Even tax collectors

tax collectors: These were usually Jewish people who paid the Romans for the right to collect taxes. They were hated by other Jews who thought of them as traitors to their country and to their religion.

love their friends. 47If you greet only your friends, what's so great about this? Don't even unbelievers do that? 48But you must always act like your Father in heaven.



If you are atheist, think about the concept of God in this passage. The gist of this message is expressing kindness, goodness, and love toward those we loved and appreciate and toward others who inwardly and outwardly seek to hurt us. Jesus Christ gives us God’s (the heavenly Father) general grace toward humanity without merits. He used antithetical parallelism to explain the graciousness of God. The opposite of good is evil and the opposite of just unjust. It is important to differentiate the meaning of good and just. Jesus Christ is not conveying that human beings are good as God is Good and human beings are just as God is Just. The attributes of God is infinitely Good, infinitely Just, infinitely Omniscient, infinitely Omnipotent, Love, etc. These descriptions Jesus Christ list such as human beings being good, evil, just, and unjust are referring to societal basic understanding of these descriptions. Therefore, triune God is infinitely Good and Just by continuing to permit rain and sun to benefit some people who are considered good or evil and some people considered just or unjust in human understanding. When atheists argue that bad and good things happen to all people and there is no God, they are missing and not able to perceive the incognito of the general grace embedded in reality of God.

Some people think of the word contentment, they perceive and understand it as a negative word. By negative, they would rather use the word fulfillment because they always want to get what they want. There is nothing wrong to have ambition or humble desire to do better in life. But I want to argue that to do better in life, we must have and continue to have the attitude of contentment. I am using the word (contentment) as an adjective to describe personal nouns-human beings. Dictionary.com defines contentment as follows:

1.

mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are

2.

assenting to or willing to accept circumstances, a proposed course of action, etc

I want to define contentment as the humble and selfless attitude to embrace God’s general grace and specific wills or purposes in life. Before we can embrace, we need to control of our minds (mentally) and feelings about things (emotionally), and surrender to triune God as omniscient and omnipotent. Ultimately, only God can truly assist and transform our lives to accomplish this goal.

This morning as I was resting on my bed, I wake up with this attitude of biblical affirmation of contentment:

God listens to my prayers. By listening, I mean God is omniscient. The triune God answers them according to divine heavenly wills and purposes. Jesus Christ encourages me to continue to ask and God will continue to answer my humble prayer requests according to divine will and plan. God answers prayers not according to my humanly and earthly wills; but according to heavenly and divine will. Therefore, the way I deal with life after my prayers is to embrace my biblical understanding of contentment. I will continue to be content with God’s will and purpose daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

I think that we can be content daily by reinforcing continuous attitudes of contentment. In whatever situation we may be in, I think the first attitude of contentment is to be appreciative of God’s given gift of self-awareness. It entails two elements: physical awareness and spiritual awareness. Atheists can also be content by appreciating God’s general grace even though they may not acknowledge the reality of God. Theists can be content with both elements of awareness. The point is we can celebrate having abilities to five senses, which allows us to complete many daily activities. For example, sometimes we do not really understand the importance of being able to move around until we get sick or injured. When we are not able to eat personal favorite food, we see the value of having healthy taste buds. These physical senses are all part of triune God extending general grace to many people without merits. As for the theists, we can be content with the physical blessings and spiritual blessings from God. To have spiritual understanding, to know that trusting, depending, and relying on the great works and promises of Jesus Christ to have a personal relationship with our heavenly Father and experience eternal life with the God of the universe are amazing and exciting.

In addition, we can exercise contentment with food. Living in United States of America, we have many kinds of food from different cultural backgrounds and countries. Some people have the financial assets to buy expensive foods, drinks, and other goodies. There are other individuals who barely have something to eat. Personally, I have experienced periods in which I only ate donuts and cup of noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The power of contentment is having God-centered understanding to embrace and to be thankful for God’s will for our lives in our current situations. I just describe two somewhat fundamental differences between those who eat well and those who barely eat. How would these two spectrums respond when they experience each other’s circumstances? Let say the poor individuals now get money and are able buy expensive foods and healthy foods. And let us say the individuals who used to possess material assets which enabled them to enjoy many taste buds in various vicinities. I want to argue that these groups can experience contentment in mist their current situations. I do not doubt the love of my triune God for me. I am confident in the grace of God given to me and my relationship with God is not conditional, meaning whether I have little or more, God continues to shape character to depend on God no matter what.

Further, contentment in the area of transportation is essential. In sociology, there is a theory that conveys that we tend to live for others. Some people desire others to view them favorable and as a result, they buy things to impress others in order to feel great about them. For example, many people purchase vehicles that they cannot afford based on income. Others try to buy new products every time. There is a sense of always not being content with simple things in life. People self-worth and esteem are embedded in these material goods. Therefore, when they do not have what is considered by society as “things to have,” they feel awkward and uncertain about whom they are. I have a seven year old vehicle. I will not spend more money that I cannot afford to get a new vehicle that might bring more stress in my life. I have some people encourage me to get new car, but I am content with what I have. There are times when I may need a new vehicle, but this is not the time form and I am content.

All human beings can practice the attitude of contentment. We are not competing with each other, although that is what some people want us to believe and do. We are running a marathon; each member has to run his or her pace. The finish line is not determined by society, but triune God who establishes his will for the runners through general grace and to the theists, God fulfills eternal objectives in their lives. I want to leave you with the words of Apostle Paul who wrote one-third of the New Testament:

10But I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at length ye have revived your thought for me; wherein ye did indeed take thought, but ye lacked opportunity. 11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content. 12I know how to be abased, and I know also how to abound: in everything and in all things have I learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want. 13I can do all things in him that strengthened me (Philippians 4:10-13; ASV).

Take Contentment Over Discontentment

The power of contentment protects people from worry, anxiety, envy. It saves you money and resources. Contentment reduces stress, which prevent diseases, disorders, surgery, unhealthy lifestyle, and aggressiveness.

Key Points

When atheists argue that bad and good things happen to all people and there is no God, they are missing and not able to perceive the incognito of the general grace embedded in reality of God.


I want to define contentment as the humble and selfless attitude to embrace God’s general grace and specific wills or purposes in life. Before we can embrace, we need to control of our minds (mentally) and feelings about things (emotionally), and surrender to triune God as omniscient and omnipotent.




Thoughts and Reflection

God listens to my prayers. By listening, I mean God is omniscient. The triune God answers them according to divine heavenly wills and purposes. Jesus Christ encourages me to continue to ask and God will continue to answer my humble prayer requests according to divine will and plan. God answers prayers not according to my humanly and earthly wills; but according to heavenly and divine will. Therefore, the way I deal with life after my prayers is to embrace my biblical understanding of contentment. I will continue to be content with God’s will and purpose daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

Teachable Moment

Families need to revisit and reinforce the attitude of contentment. They are role models for children. Children learn by examples in the home.

Daily Contentment

Are You Content Daily?

See results

© 2014 Michael Obeng

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