Knowing God

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Photo credit: /foolme

When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him. And, in fact, He shows much more of Himself to some people than to others—not because He has favourites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favourites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as in a clean one.

– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

 

Talking to God

Praying is the most important deed for us to get closer to God. Praying is us communicating with God. It’s us sending our earthly thoughts to heaven above.

Sometimes, some people say, “but I am not sure of what to say.” Nevertheless, praying is not about the words you say or how you say it. God already knows what we what’s bothering us, what we want, and what we need. Some people say, “but all I have are worries and complains.” Nonetheless, say it out and offer them up still. You see, God is and will always be bigger than all our doubts and fears.

Prayer is not so much about what you’re praying for. He’s God. He can do anything He wills. It’s a matter of putting our trust in him. Soren Kierkegaard said, “Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes the person who prays.” The thing is, when we decide to pray, we recognise that He is God and we are merely His children. When we pray, we are professing our faith in the most honest and true sense of the word. We are admitting that He IS God. That we believe that He can handle anything. That whatever we need is beyond our human capacity and He is the only one who can fulfill things. Putting our hands in prayer is akin to bowing our heads to our God, lifting up our human inadequacies, and letting go and letting God. Remember when people say, “Ask and thou shall receive.” Yes, God will provide what we ask but first, we need to ask.

That said, praying also calls for meditation. Imagine having a friend confide to you about their problem yet refusing to listen to the advice you’d have to say. Same thing goes for God. When we ask our Father to take care of things, we need to allow His Holy Spirit to guide us through our thoughts, words, and actions. Sometimes, we keep on praying but complain that He isn’t answering our prayers. But, did we ever stop and think that maybe it is us who aren’t listening? Perhaps, it is already out there but we are just not looking.  Henceforth, after pouring ourselves to Him and asking for His help, we need to sit down and listen. Listen to His words of love, affirmation and encouragement. Listen to the lessons He want us to learn, the path He wants us to take, or a new plan He wants us to follow. Listen to His words of wisdom and enlightenment. Because when we ask for something, He’d surely have blessings to provide as well. Perhaps it is not what we asked for or not when we asked for it, but it’s His blessing still, with a purpose bigger than ours. The question is, are our hearts and minds truly willing to achieve them?

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Deliver us from evil

Oh Father, you are the source of all strength. Now, that I am on a new chapter of my life, I’m sure you’ll provide me with bountiful blessing.  But, being blessed by God carries one of the greatest perils as it tends to dull our keen sense of dependence on God and make us prone to presumption. So, please help me when I get lost, especially when my human wants foreshadows your big plans for me.

Dear Lord, please keep evil and temptation far away from me.

Please keep me away from evil because for every success and blessing you bless me with, I know that temptations from evil will also come. I confess that what I think is necessary, smart, or beneficial is so often only the beautiful wrapping on sin. Please protect me from deception and keep me from making the mistake I’m most prone to when temptation comes.

Please spare me from dangerous misjudgment and keep me safe from the pain and grief that sin brings. For the dangers I can’t see or the ones I think I can risk because of my experience, pride and carelessness, put up a spiritual barrier please. Protect me by your power.

Please keep me from the powerful pull of what feels right to us but is wrong. Keep me safe from temptations that pull at my emotions and physical needs that call out to my sense of what I deserve, what I have the “right” to feel and enjoy. Because You are the source of all that is really life, direct my steps away from all that is not of You.

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where were you?

I was there. I remember. I was quietly sitting on the newly varnished brown pews of this all-too-familiar church. I remembered mumbling, “thanks be to God.” There is no awkward silence here. With only one man speaking in front of a massive congregation, the silence is very calm and serene. –in today’s gospel– almost like a lullaby. –from the book of- Everything here is done in a well-rehearsed routine to glorify the Lord. –talks to us about repentance– Okay. I shall pay attention and not fall asleep today. –we go for confession-Oooh I like that girl’s dress. That guy is not bad. – we ask for forgiveness– My attention shifts to those low v-neck tops on well-endowed ladies, –to cleanse ourselves– those short skirts parading some girls’ long limbs,   yet, humans are fallible- those men glancing at their eye-catching neighbour. – all of us are sinners -It was interesting to look at how people stare blankly to the altar. -each and everyone of us– While looking at those familiar faces, there’s a sense of comfort in me –no matter how convoluted– It is amazing how a church is called a community. You mean, I’m supposedly connected to those -or self-serving– strangers I’ve never talked to before?. –your sin was– You mean, I share something –because He loves us– with these people other than me faithfully –He saved us– observing them weekly? –He gave his life for all of us – My gaze shifts to the windows. –the worst punishment– The sun was barely shining onto the colour-tinted glass. –crucified on the cross-  It will probably rain today. –For God so loved the world- Hmmmm… Can I go for a swim today? Maybe I’ll go for a run, instead.-He gave– Damn. I was supposed to go cycling with David. -His only begotten son– But, it’s such a nice day to sleep in.. Hmm. What movie can I watch? –Jesus sacrificed Himself– I’ll probably rush my school work next week instead. –He never leaves us- Oh no. I have presentation due tomorrow. Why do I have so much things to do? Oh God. Can I just have a break please? I’m so tired from all the things I need to complete. I feel like there’s so much burden on my shoulder. Dear Lord, can you please help me? Then, out of nowhere, the priest concluded, “God is always with you. The question is, are you with God?” OH MAN!!! What did the priest say for homily?…..