THE PRAYER THAT SHOULD BE

pray“Dear Chi, I praise God for all the answered prayers…”

This was a short phrase in one of the letters I received from a prayer partner. I felt some ambivalence when I read it- happy because once again God proved Himself faithful and true, on the other hand, sad and guilty because the Holy Spirit gave me a stinging rebuke- ‘Are you really faithful and fervent in your prayer life?’

This question hit me so hard that I began to do some evaluation. I could say I do pray regularly but all too often for those I call my “all-time favorites”- family, loved ones, the work and ministry. What about my nation and other nations? My prayer partners? My own  church? My other fellow workers and other equally important concerns? I honestly admitted failure to pray for these regularly. Occasionally, but only when I would be reminded of them.

In the book, The Necessity of Prayer by E.M Bounds, he wrote: “A persistent prayer moves the soul towards God. It is a stirring of the deepest forces of the soul towards the throne of heavenly grace; the ability to hold on, press on and wait. Restless desire, restful patience, and strength to hold on and  wait. Restless desire, restful patience, and strength to hold on are all embraced in it. It is not an accident or a performance but a passion of soul, not a half-needed want but a sheer necessity’”. In James 5:16, it says that fervency of spirit with continuous confession and soul – cleansing is a need not to be taken for granted when praying; and that this makes for effective prayer that can accomplish more.

From them on, I never prayed the same again. As the moment, I’m keeping a prayer notebook and prayer request cards. I pray for more people and items daily according to need  (the ministry, spiritual growth, undertakings, health, salvation of loved ones and friends, etc) in addition to my “all time favorites”. I update and evaluate this at intervals. Because of this, I feel more dependent on God. I am moved to magnify our God who is active and alive!

BY: CHIE BUMANGLAG

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