[random notes: koontz & prayers]
My parents didn’t raise me to ask God for blessings or benefits. For guidance, yes. For the strength to do the right thing, yes. Not for a winning lottery number, not for love or health, or happiness.
Prayer is not a gimme list; God isn’t Santa Claus.
As they have taught me, I believe that without asking, we are given all we need. We must have the wit and wisdom to recognize the strengths and tools at our command, and find the courage to do what must be done.
~ Jimmy Tock, Life Expectancy (Dean Koontz)
I finished one more book by Koontz last night, Life Expectancy. It has taken me quite some time to read it (I got it on January 29) due to the fact that I was also reading another book by Koontz and a few others (as always…). But I loved this book – of all works I’ve read, this one is one of the most quotable.
As I was reading the words I quoted above, I thought of our prayer meetings that started over half a year ago, taking place almost every Friday. I am sort of sad that I haven’t joined the group sooner, but I was worried that I might not be getting enough sleep (the prayer meetings were from about 10PM late into the night, sometimes until 3AM or so) and my life was a mess which I didn’t want to share with anyone I knew personally. It’s one thing to write about it on my blog and it’s another thing to actually tell it to someone face-to-face. Finally, in January, I sat at our Church board meeting, listening to our youth pastor talk about these prayer meetings and I decided that I want to go. I haven’t missed a meeting since. It is such a freeing experience.
There are a few rules for those who want to participate.
Prayers gotta be short and there should be minimum silence between prayers of different people.
This rule turned the prayer meetings into what they are. Since the prayer cannot be too long, you toss away the idea of using long and theological words and come to Him in simplicity. Also, since different people pray, that helps others to be alert and not to fall asleep (yeah, the spirit is willing, but the body is weak).
You gotta be honest.
That rule is quite obvious. There’s no point in coming if you’re going to hide stuff. It takes time to get used to being honest, but once you know that these people are willing to listen and to support you – it becomes easier. Besides, everything that’s being discussed at the prayer meetings stays there, no leaks.
When you pray, don’t pray for yourself.
It certainly helps to get the focus off oneself and once again, it’s a freeing experience. It reminds you that God’s prepared all you need already – but timing is His. Just like Jimmy Tock from Life Expectancy shared – when we focus on our needs, we tend to forget all that we’ve been given already, all the resources at our command.
All in all… I am thankful to God and my youth pastor. To God because… well, lots of reasons. To my youth pastor – for not giving up when it seemed like everyone (including me, at one point) were against him. I look at him these days and know that although we do have our differences, I stood on his side when he first came to our Church and I know that it wasn’t wasted on nothing. That man is a man of God and after God’s own heart.