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WEEK 10 – Faith is Required.
I thought long and hard about what I should say about this section on faith and prayer, but every time I would sit down to write something, the words would feel forced and trivial. It really frustrated me that I could not find the right words to say. After trashing my second rough draft, I finally sat down and thought more about just what I wanted to say on this section. After thinking for a little bit, I realized that in my previous drafts, I was mostly rehashing what the author had said about faith and prayer just in my own words, and that is why it felt forced and trivial. I then decided to forget trying to rehash the author’s words and simply give my own thoughts on what I read and learned.
For a long time now, I have had a pretty good idea of how faith and prayer are supposed to work. Most of what I read during Week Ten, I already knew for the most part. I knew that faith is not the same as believing; it requires action too, as the author pointed out. I knew that faith meant we trust in God and live our lives by that trust. I recognized that faith grows as we mature in our spiritual walk with God. I knew that prayer is not a means of manipulating God into doing things we want him to do. I was well aware of the fact that prayer involved more than just presenting God with our “wish list.” I knew that God already knows all of our needs and how everything is going to happen and has our best interest in mind. Additionally, I knew that our prayers should involve yielding to God’s will and not our own, and lastly, I knew that prayer requires faith in order to work.
Even though I knew all of this, in the past I never really took an active role in developing my prayer life. I just sort of let in happen passively. I would pray using faith based on all of these things that I previously mentioned, but I never stopped to think about why we should pray that way or how it worked. I also never made God’s will the primary focus of my prayer. Like I said before, I was a part of my prayer life, just not the focus of it.
After reading this section, I thought a lot more about my prayer life and have reworked it. Now when I pray, I pray with God’s will being my focus. I still may ask God for things, but I do it with the understanding that He is in control and knows what He is doing. I know that no matter what He decides to let happen, that he will be with me to see me through it. I now use prayer as a way to realign my faith in God. Whenever I am nervous about the future, I pray about it, and tell God that I know his way is best.
Take for example when my sister was in the hospital suffering from Crohn’s Disease. For the first half of the week, the doctors were not sure what illness Becca had. Becca’s symptoms like a low blood count, vomiting, and diarrhea had me worried. It was an uncertain and fearful time for me. I prayed a lot that week. When I prayed, I told God that I understood that he knew best and that my sister’s life was in His hands. I told Him that no matter what disease or condition Becca had, I knew that God would help her and the rest of my family through it. I did pray for God to heal Becca, but I did it with the understanding that God can do whatever he wants, and I would submit to His plan. Even if the disease turned out to be fatal, I would have had faith in God and His plan and accepted it.
Meditation by C.J. Maguire
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