Wednesday, April 20, 2011


1Peter 3:12 declares, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

Here is a simple fact of how prayer works both ways. Having such a perspective provides a very clear process of its operation. Here’s a story of how it must be viewed: “A man's daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. "I guess you were expecting me, he said. 'No, who are you?" said the father. The minister told him his name and then remarked, "I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up," "Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?" Puzzled, the minister shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head." I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me, "Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest." "Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised; 'I will be with you always'. "Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now." "So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church. Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. Did he die in peace?" he asked. Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?" The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that."

The “empty chair” provided a real manifestation of faith in terms of establishing a solid communication to God through the application of prayer. No matter what the tool, it should always be simple and not complicated. St. Peter gave a vivid illustration of what transpires to achieve an answered prayer and the reason for an unanswered prayer. It does not get any clearer than that. Thus, when we follow this simple path, the result is predictable. The clear assurance of an answered prayer was established. Now, everything else is now up to us.

In prayer, it is both a spiritual and a physical event. It is a conversation between very close friends. We may ask, how does God respond to our prayer? He answers in many ways. To those that know Him closely, it will never be mysterious. This is what makes prayer different to those that involve in it. It should be done with an expectation from God and preparation from those that approach Him. God responds clearly with righteousness and He becomes clearly obligated to it. What a difference it would make when this condition is met from our end! Now the burden is on us not on God. Are you ready to go on the next level?

Let’s talk again!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Simplicity of Faith

“Who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?” (I Corinthians 2:16)

How does faith works? To find out how simple it is, let me share you a story I came across: “Dining out one day, the late William Jennings Bryan, an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, so enjoyed a slice of watermelon that he asked the waiter for some more of the seeds. He weighed them and found that about 5,000 seeds weighed a pound. Estimating the melon at about 40 pounds, he figured that one seed had grown to 200,000 times its own size. It had forced that enormous weight through a tiny stem and formed a watermelon. On the outside it had put a covering of green, within that a rind of white, and within that a core of red. Then it had scattered seeds throughout, each one capable of doing the same work over again. What architect drew the plan? Bryan questioned. Where did the tiny watermelon seed get its tremendous strength, its flavor, and its coloring? How did it grow into a huge watermelon? Bryan concluded that until we can explain a watermelon, we couldn’t doubt God’s existence or set limits to His power.”

The most learned man cannot explain a watermelon, but anyone can eat and enjoy one. In the same way, we do not have to understand everything about God. We only have to believe in Him and trust Him to enjoy the benefits and blessings of His love for us. With this in mind we can exclaim, “What a wonderful God we have!”

Jesus likened the simplicity of faith as that of a child. A child does not minced words when wanting something that they like. They blurt it out as bold as they can without any thought of negativity or apprehension. Filled with courage, they know full well that they can have it when they ask anything. Plainly speaking, they are free from inhibitions that many adults have. Thus, they clearly amplify their desires with simple language from their heart and mind without restraint.

Here is where the dividing line between child-like faith and the adult-kind of faith. Faith is a simple act complicated by the adult faith filled with skepticism and excuse. There are many hindrances that cause them to withdraw even before they utter any word. The heart believes but the rational mind process it too much bordering on unbelief. Having this situation triggers total abandon until the last moment of helplessness and despair. This is where child-like faith differs greatly. There is total abandonment of logic and just simply state their needs and wants at any given moment. No rules or boundaries, just speaking from their heart.

That is what is missing to many of us, we need to go back simply to the attitude of being a child, not childish, when we approach God as our Father. He is concern with everything that concerns us. Allowing Him to know our deepest need should be simple like that of a child. No complications whatsoever of being aware of what other people will say or how the “adult” mentality inside of us will react.

With this point of view, Jesus provided a clear illustration of how God desires to hear a simple prayer with a simple faith as stated in Matthew 7:7-8,11, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened…“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

Having proved that it takes a simple act of faith to approach God, what then are you waiting for? Never doubt but only believe. He is waiting to hear from you and let Him know like a child what is in your heart today for He is a Father to those that considers themselves His children through faith in Jesus Christ. (John 1:12)

Let’s talk again!