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Praying For The Right Reason
God Is Always Listening
Being in a Christian home, raised with parents who made provision for me to be baptized in the Catholic faith, I learned that it is important to pray. I learned that prayer is a part of the Catholic Mass, what we do before we eat a meal, what we say before we fall asleep at night. I was also taught that prayer is talking to God, and believing that He would always listen. As a child, at the age of five, my first grade teacher in Catholic school taught me and other classmates to pray. I remember that she said to ask Jesus to come into my heart and forgive me. I remember repeating the prayer, what I later found out as a young adult was a "sinner's prayer". To ask Jesus to come into my heart and to forgive my sins I was sorry for was an act of receiving salvation, I later learned when I was the age of eighteen.
How do we pray? Do we ask God for things? Do we tell Him where it hurts? Do we tell Him what our neighbor did wrong? Do we give God thanks and praise? Do we pray to Jesus' mother, Mary, hoping that she will pray to her son for us? There is a wrong way to pray, and the right way to pray.
No one is expected to be an expert at praying. Just as we open our mouths to say God's name we wonder if we will receive the answer to our prayers. Effective prayer is as good as you put your faith into practice. You have to Do the Word of God, as well as say it. Everyone can quote the Bible, and everyone can say that they speak to God. To constantly seek Him always in everything you do, by demonstrating what is described in His Word is a good way to learn to trust in God and have a relationship with Him.
The Ten Commandments were written by God as presented to Moses and instructed to give to the Hebrew nation. For that time, it was necessary for God to appoint a messenger to contain law and order so that His Prophecy could be fulfilled. Moses talked to God, even expressed his frustrations with Him. God already knew how the people were going to be. To this day presently, children in the Sunday Schools in all denominations of the Christian faith have some lesson in what the Ten Commandments are. Moses learned the right way to pray even when he went about it the wrong way. His faithful obedience made him a miracle worker.
ASK AND YOU WILL RECEIVE
In the Gospel of Matthew, in the seventh verse of the seventh chapter, it is written, " Ask and Shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you ". I remember asking for God to do several things for me in my life, and even though some of the answers did not come right away, I always believed He was listening. Even though we ask God for certain things, we must demonstrate to Him that we can be obedient in what He expects of us. King David wrote in his Psalms, number 143, verse ten, "Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God". Doing what God expects us to do, as instructed in the ten commandments, along with what Jesus taught His disciples, such as Love one another, and to Forgive one another, and to show thanksgiving and praise always will strengthen the relationship with the Lord Almighty God. He is always loving us no matter how we have been.
I find it is important always to thank God for my existence. I thank God for my life each morning, and I thank Him for everyone I have ever known, and everything that He has ever provided for me. I especially Thank God the Father for sending His Son Jesus to this earth to teach us and to show us how to live well, and for His dying on the cross to forgive all our sins, seen and unseen. And I thank God for everyone that matters the most to me in my life, and I have asked for His forgiveness upon them, and I in turn tell God that I forgive them. I also thank God the Father for sending us our Helper, the Holy Spirit so that He will bestow His Spiritual Gifts as allowed at His own time. Giving thanks and praise to the Father God in Jesus' Name in all situations, no matter if it be unfavorable. St Paul wrote to the Romans telling them, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans, chapter 8, verse 28).
KNOW GOD'S VOICE
We may think we know God's voice. I believe it takes one who has a consistent relationship with Christ Jesus to understand and discern if what "inner voice" is correctly from Him. It is a personal response that God chooses to give to the right individual at the right time. When I want to figure something out and desire to seek God's direction, I may receive the answer through a dream at night, or through a spontaneous thought when being quiet. Also, I have had the experience of opening the Bible randomly to the right page at the right time. The Holy Bible has so many answers to all the questions that a human can ever possibly have. The credibility of the Word of God is based on the amount of Faith of the believer. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we don't see." (Hebrews 11, verse 1) .
When in the presence of other Christians, it is good to be on one accord in prayer. The Power of Christ is strong, and He is there when two or more are gathered in His Name. Intercessory prayer, the act of praying and interceding for others encourages the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be activated. The Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues, a language that only the Holy Spirit can understand cancels out any presence of the enemy, or anti-Christ, which is not believing in Jesus Christ. Some may even receive the gift of interpretation which is a priveledge that that person may be gifted to be prophetic. I have attended several intercessory prayer events through my Christian Ministry that have been filled with Holy Spirit gifts, causing a powerful response! The evidence in the Acts of the Apostles, in the New Testament is true and concise: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit,and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." ( The Acts, Chapter 2, verse 4).
DAILY CONVERSATION WITH GOD
I have taken advantage of the time that God allows me to be with him. It is the moment I wake up, whether it be in the middle of the night, or when I awake in the morning. It is the 30- 40 minute commute in my car to work, and then on the way home. It is before I put anything to eat into my mouth. It is when I am in complete privacy away from anyone; and it could be even silently in a crowded room. I have a "tight" relationship with the Lord. Though I do have to confess that I will sometimes forget to acknowledge Him first, He is always knowing where my heart is when I catch up with my own weakness at times.
There is no need to feel ungrateful for time lost in a lifetime that one did not spend in prayer. He takes each one of us as is, no matter how we believe or what background we have come from. Even a 90 year old who is terminally ill can accept Jesus right before death with a promise to reach God's eternal peace. The one who leads one to Christ will also receive a blessing for such deed that only few are chosen for. Thank God for the one who leads you to a relationship with Jesus. He is waiting to hear from those who are forever grateful for Him.
Copyright @2011 CMCastro
The Serenity Prayer
God, Grant me the
Serenity to accept things I can not change
To Change the things I can,
Wisdom to know the difference.
Prayer Brings Us Closer To The Almighty.
- The Ten Steps To A Good Prayer Life
Prayer is communication With God. It is not a one sided communication, it is a commitment to be in touch with the Creator of this universe. It is an opportunity to open up to God and let Him perform his...