I love reading Psalm. It describes the characters of God so detail. For me, it’s like love songs and letters to God. It contains lots of emotions and feelings; longing for the justice of God to come, happiness and thanksgivings because what God has done, disappointment ending up with thanksgivings… so rich of feelings…But overall, it describes how great God is…how too little the problem we face is for Him…The Psalm teaches us to come to God, to talk to God everything that we’re experiencing…sadness, fear, happiness, anxiousness, disappointment, etc etc…The Psalm contains those kinds of emotions while we’re talking to God. One thing that is very comforting is that He is always there, He always listens, and He gives more than we ask for according to His will…So why don’t you come to God first in every circumstances that you are in? Why do you seek something else or someone else who is not like God? Well, you can share with other people what you’re experiencing, but do you go first to Him? If not, I think you just miss such a great privilege that we have as His children…
Couple of days ago I and some friends had a chat about our recent lives…Unexpectedly, the discussion came into the problem of singleness for Christian girls. One of my friends said ‘why this kind of problem becomes a problem, it should not be a problem at all’, she said. Another friend and me were silent for a while, don’t know what to say, particularly me who raised the issue first. At that moment, I a bit regretted to raise that issue; maybe it is too sensitive for some girls. After silence for a little while, I replied ‘well, when we become Christian, it does not mean that we don’t face the same problems as before being Christian. The problem is still there, but the difference is that when we become Christian, we are hoped to deal with the same problem differently with before being Christian”, I said. ‘We’ll never be able to deal with that problem if we deny or ignore that problem’, I continued. I kept that conversation in my mind. In the evening the same day, as usual I tried to remember all things happening in that day and say thanks to God. ‘But, how to deal with the problem then?’ the conversation was still clear in my mind, ‘I myself cannot do that…I need God…why didn’t I talk every problem, not only about singleness, to God who knows everything, who loves his people, who is powerful, who knows what best for his people, who is merciful, who is faithful, who is loving, who is just?’ I almost could not stop mentioning the characters of God. I stopped thinking, and started praying…
I am reading ‘Knowing God’ by J.I. Packer; I am still in the second chapter. While I was reading its foreword, I was talking to myself, ‘such a great book, why didn’t I read this long time ago…’ For those of you who have read the book, how blessed you are. For those who might not yet read it, I suggest you to do so… I’m not trying to do advertising here, but really, it’s really helpful…in chapter two the author describes the character of people who really know their God; one of them is ‘prayerful’. He wrote ‘the invariable fruit of true knowledge of God is energy to pray for God’s cause…the more knowledge, the more energy!’ while I am processing this message, I was thinking, do I really need lots of energy to pray? Didn’t Jesus says, ‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28)? Besides, Many times I was very weak, not have enough energy to anything else rather than to pray…The result is that after praying I have more energy. But the author’s statement might want to remind us that if we are called ourselves Christian, we must be prayerful.
Even though I am a Christian, I often underestimate the importance of prayer. Many times I look at giving and doing action are things that are more important than prayer. I don’t know whether you have the same wrong thought as mine. Prayer is asking God to act, praising Him of what he has done, exalting him in all His goodness and sovereignty, while giving and action are two things in which we are as the actor…who do you think more powerful, me or God? I am not saying that giving and doing something good are wrong and bad. But these two things should be as the result of praying. Therefore, I should not think that prayer is less important than two other things mentioned.
I was asking myself this question just now, ‘if I am praying, who do I think getting the benefits?’ without any doubt, I answered ‘I do get the benefits’. ‘So, why am I not prayerful if it’s for my goodness?’ I continued talking to myself. Some might ask, how if I pray but God does not give what I ask for? I have one passage for you:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
If you notice, the promise given after we’re praying is not that God will answer and say yes to all our requests. But rather, it promises that ‘the peace of God’ will guard our hearts and minds. He will definitely give everything for our good according to His will.