Repent is begging for forgiveness for sins committed.
|The "A" Basket of Prayers|
I am sure that you would agree with me that among the four letters of the acronym, it is the "A" for Ask, that is the "most popular". If God needed baskets to put in the world's prayers for every letter of P.R.A.Y., He would probably still have a LOT of room for "P"; extra space for "R", a nearly empty basket for "Y", but would need hundreds of additional baskets for "A"! Praying, to our understanding, almost always meant asking God for lots of things, miracles, favors and blessings.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"I am not happy. I think I am actually depressed in the truest sense of the word. Will I ever snap out of it or will I forcefully do the snapping out? These months have held nothing but trials. I even feel alienated from going to mass nowadays. Stopped the daily masses or even the novenas. I still pray, yes, but it seems to me that God's Will will prevail come what may and no amount of praying can change that. I also stopped going to mass because maybe, just maybe,
I am "bribing" God to do things I want Him to do by being overtly religious. I am trying not to overdo it but still have faith in Him. I know I can't count on anyone but God and His Mercy nowadays.When one's life is this messed up, only God Who created life can fix it...
I am so scared of rejection that I cannot pray to God for my particular intention lest He not listen to me and I just crumble even more. In my heart, God knows what I want and I don't want to force Him to give it to me, so I don't pray altogether. I'm scared that God will reject me."
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May it bless you richly.
TOP 5 REASONS GOD WAS NOT ANSWERING MY PRAYERS:
1. I was proud and arrogant.
What virtue should I have in order for Him to hear me? HUMILITY
What virtues should I have in order for Him to hear me? FORGIVING and REPENTANT
Bible Verse to Live By:
1 John 1:9
Number 1 and Number 2 go hand-in-hand with Number 3 too.
I kept a long list of things I disliked and detested about my husband, and I would enumerate them in my mind and to God all the time.
"Lord God, Dong is at it again! He slept late and is now still asleep! How can he be so lazy? Why can't he be like me? I sleep early so I can wake up early. I still have time to tutor Therese for her tests. I also have to squeeze in time to bake (Note: Veronica's Kitchen)! Good thing he now helps me with some of the decorating, but he doesn't do it when I want him to do it, always putting it off for the last minute! If I were not this busy, I will do those cake decorations now. I wouldn't hold it off one more minute! Lord God, why can't he find his purpose? It's so easy! I mean, I knew what I wanted to be ever since I was a child! He is a grown up already, and yet, he still doesn't know what he wants to be? What is he suffering from? The Peter Pan Syndrome?!"
Reason God did not answer my "prayer": I was judgmental and self-righteous. I was devoid of self-introspection. I was judging him instead of judging myself and my own wrong and godless attitudes. I was constantly pointing out the specks in his eye, while totally oblivious to the planks in my own.
What virtues should I have in order for Him to hear me? UNDERSTANDING and FORBEARANCE
Bible Verse To Live By:
4. I doubted God.
How else can you explain that I was extremely controlling of my marriage and of Dong if I believed in a Sovereign God?
I doubted God every single moment of my life during those dark years.
I felt that He was not in control, that He was incompetent, that He could possibly not look out for my best interests, that was why I had to take "control".
I was always afraid for the future -- of our finances, of our health, of our security... I didn't trust that God would take care of me and of us! I didn't trust that God would see us through.
I had to put everything in my hands because if I allowed Dong to take charge, we won't go anywhere! He did not know how to be the head of the family or the main provider. I was more capable and I was not "lost'. I knew my purpose and he didn't. So, I should lead the family and not him.
I did not believe in my heart that God is already in the future, and that He was, is, and always will be in control, and that I was not. :(
"Lord God, I want to get this particular job because it would mean higher pay. I want to get that particular show because it would mean more exposure and more projects. Please bless my plans for the family so that I can provide for my children. I am afraid that if I do not get those jobs, our family will starve! What would happen to the children if I stopped working?! Please do not make me die ahead of Dong because he cannot lead the family! What will become of the kids?! Please do not make us meet an accident. Please do not let burglars go in the house. Please do not let our finances dwindle. I am so scared that we might not be able to pay all the bills! Please do not allow our children to be sick!!! Please make sure I do not get cancer! Please, please, please do not (Fill in the blank the latest fear of the moment.).
Reason God did not answer my prayer: I did not really believe in Him. I did not put my hope in Him. I did not trust Him. I was just always afraid, always scared, always negative. I doubted His Sovereignty, His Mercy, His Love, His Generosity... I acted like God was not at the helm, and that I had to be on top of things all the time.
What virtues should I have in order for Him to hear me? FAITH, HOPE, TRUST in God
Bible Verses to Live By:
He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
1 Peter 3:1-7
Those years were our saddest years -- full of discontentment, resentment, anger, bitterness and lack of peace. The only thing that held us together was our love for each other and our belief in God.
I was miserable from being masculated and unfeminine since I was the one leading and providing.
He was miserable from nearly being emasculated since he was relegated to just following and supporting me.
It was a dark time. :(
"Lord God, isn't it normal these days for men to be "housebands" while the women are the breadwinners? I mean, times have changed. We should not be concerned with who brings home the bacon. Women are actually "better" than men! We are more hardworking, more driven, more patient. We are even morally superior! It should not matter if I am always the one outside of the home to work for us, while he takes care of the kids, right? People should not be concerned with how we conduct our lives. It's our business, after all. Who cares, right? But, I care, Lord. I feel so empty, so humiliated and so masculated. I feel like a man! I hate it! I am a woman. I am very feminine. I want to be the one to be taken care of, not the one fending for the family! I want Dong to lead us but I don't believe that he could. I do not think he can do a good job at it. I am stuck in this situation. But I will just make the most of it. Come to think of it, I am not alone. Almost every woman I know is in the same boat as I am. So, if it is the norm, even if I feel miserable, I should just accept the fact that in these modern times, it is just "normal" for women to be wearing the pants in the relationship. Dong is doing a good job at bringing the kids to and from school anyway, while I am busy with my career. At least, I am assured that they are safe because he is with them. Better yet, God, please give Dong a good job so I can be free to pursue my career without leaving him behind. The more I succeed, the more he looks lost. That reflects badly on me! Sigh. I hate our setup! I just feel so unhappy..."
Reason God did not answer my prayer: We were not following God's Design For Marriage. It was upside down and inside out. We had it so wrong. Not only was I proud, self-righteous, judgmental, doubtful of God and fearful, I was also doing roles that were not designed by God for me to do - that of leading and providing. No matter how I prayed to be "blessed" and even if yes, God did oftentimes send His Provisions through me, I still felt miserable and restless. It was because both Dong and I were fitting square pegs in round holes. We were not fulfilling our God-ordained purposes.
Reason God did not answer my prayer: UNGODLY ORDER IN MARRIAGE and INTERCHANGED GOD-ORDAINED ROLES
What virtues should I have in order for Him to hear me? BIBLICAL SUBMISSIVENESS and RESPECT FOR HUSBAND
When I let go and let God in September 1, 2013, I decided that I would submit fully to God,
and then submit to my husband, Dong.
I repented to God and I asked for forgiveness too from Dong for my years of disrespect and prideful behavior.
We decided to take baby steps in fixing our marriage, including our God-ordained roles in the family. We are still taking it a day at a time now, but things are becoming easier as the days pass by. Our "new normal" is getting to feel normal.
Around the time I submitted to Dong, the Lord had provided for us materially, enough for me to not have to work. I was also at a period in my life when I felt that I was "done" with my broadcasting career and wanted to just focus on our home. I figured, the Lord had been so gracious and generous with me for more than a decade, and I have done everything I wanted to do as far as my career was concerned. It was time to stop pursuing my worldly ambitions, and time to start supporting my husband's simple dreams. (Not to say that I will turn down all opportunities if and when they do arise. I will still consider them prayerfully, but with my godly priorities in mind.)
One of us had to stop. It had to be me.
The Lord could not move in our lives while I was busy chasing after my selfish pursuits.
I was too dominant and my husband was too passive.
In love, for it to be real, there must be sacrifice. The Lord had to suffer in order to save us.
He had to die in order to give us Life.
Contrary to what the world says,
one "cannot have it all."
And after years of living for myself and for my dreams, the Lord instilled in my heart a desire so strong, I just had to follow it.
For the first time in my life...
I wanted to keep still.
Today, I can joyfully say, that the Lord has been blessing us in all aspects and areas of our lives! There is great joy and peace and love now, that was absent or lacking before, when I was still too busy pursuing my career, my desires to be esteemed and to make a name for myself, all the while, searching for hallow meaning.
When I gave up my life to God, I was given a new one.
When I died to myself, I found my most authentic self.
When I got to know Him through His Word, I realized who I was in relation to Him:
That I was NOTHING and yet He loved me.
I did not need to add onto myself any title or accolade.
I mattered simply because I was His child.
Jesus is ALL that mattered.
With Christ, I had EVERYTHING.
Jesus Christ died for ME.
And He died for you too.
Are you ready to hand over the reins and let Him rule in your life?
I am now free from all my bondages! :)
I am now enjoying a godly marriage with my loving husband! :)
I am finding purpose in my roles as wife and mother, sister, friend, daughter and neighbor...! :)
I have Christ's peace, joy, love, strength, and hope... daily! :)
I still have problems. Dong and I still have problems. Who doesn't? But they are "exciting" to have because we know that God will manifest Himself in them. He will glorify Himself through them.
Because you see, we serve a BIG GOD.
No matter how big the problem is, our GOD is BIGGER.
God never guaranteed a problem-free life, but with Him in control, every "yoke is easy and every burden, light." (Matthew 11:30)
I cannot thank God enough for calling me by name, for opening up my spiritual eyes, for freeing me from all my bondages, and for giving me a new life.
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I end this long post with a PRAYER. I ask the Spirit to pray with me and through me.
I praise and thank You for the gift of life. I praise and thank You for Your Goodness. Praise You o God for You are worthy to be praised! You are omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. You know everything about me. Even before I was born, you already knew me. Thank You for calling me by name. Praise You o Lord, for Your Mercy and Love.
I am sorry o Lord, for all my sins. I did not know I grieved Your Heart for so long. I was so caught up with the world, with my desires and with my dreams. I chased after selfish pursuits hoping to find myself and hoping to find my worth, only to end up still feeling empty. I am sorry for my sins of pride, of envy, of bitterness, of anger, of being judgmental, of fear, of worry, of doubt. I acted like You were not Sovereign, and that only by putting things in my (flawed and frail) hands can my life have direction. How foolish of me! I was so blind, Lord! I did not have You in my heart. I said I was a "Christian", I professed that I was a "Christian", but all my actions and thoughts belied what I spoke. I was always afraid, angry, envious and resentful. There was no peace in my soul. There was no joy in my heart. I acted like there was no God and that I was god. How shameful it is to even admit that! For that Lord, I ask for Your utmost Forgiveness. Please forgive me.
I ask You, o Lord to convict me of every single sin. Do not let a malicious thought, a prideful word, a fearful deed ever escape my mind, my mouth or my body, without convicting me of it. I do not want to be enslaved by this sinful flesh anymore, o Lord! I want to be able to hold every thought captive for Christ! I no longer want to act as though my life belonged to Satan because of my worldly desires for esteem, honor and glory. I no longer want to be ensnared by my senseless fears and worries. I am tired of that life, Lord. I am tired of feeling always afraid and restless.
You are already in the future, o Lord. You know what will happen to me. You know when I will die. You know when my children will die. You know when Dong will die. You know everything. I rest in Your Loving Arms, knowing that no matter what happens to me, to my children, or to my husband, we will be okay simply because You are in control. Your Grace will be sufficient for any eventuality. I put my full trust and faith in You.
I ask, o Lord that You continue to bless my husband with Your Wisdom, Favor, Guidance and Provision. Help him to be the godly leader that you want him to be for our family. Lead him to the right path at all times. Bless his businesses, his ideas and his plans. Lead Him closer to You so that we can serve You more as a couple. For my part, Lord, help me to be the godly wife that You desire me to be. Help me to be supportive, kind, loving, respectful and humble. Help me to be his helper and encourager. I humbly submit to my husband, as I submit to You. I pray also for our children. Grant that despite our many faults and failures, they may grow up to be godly people, with a great love for You! Thank You for giving us Therese, Andre, Reuben and Isabelle to cherish and to raise. We are so blessed.
I pray also for all people I hold dear. That You watch over them and their loved ones. That they get to know You and accept Your Gift of Salvation. That I can be of much help to them in whatever way I can. I pray for those who are undergoing trials right now, o God. Help them to be strong. Comfort them. Show them Your Grace and Mercy. Do not hide Your Face from them. I pray too for those who are undergoing marital problems. Bless them o Lord with Your Love. Show them whatever it is they are doing wrong, in order for them to change, have healing, and have Christ's peace reign in their homes.
I pray for my enemies, o Lord. Thank You for allowing me to be pruned because of adversity and opposition. Help me to be a better person because of them. I forgive them for whatever hurt they have caused me. I forgive them for whatever false accusations they may have said of me. Bless them in all areas of their lives, o Lord. Grant that if it be Your Will, reconciliation will be made possible in the future. But if not, I pray that they may accept my gift of forgiveness.
I lift up to You too, o Lord -- our country, our leaders, all the nations in the whole world. There is so much strife and violence everywhere! There is so much poverty and hopelessness all around! Let us find You in the midst of all these. Help us to trust in You amidst this evil. The devil will never win, o God. You are most powerful! Your Children know that. Help us to flee temptation and to cling on to You at all times. With You with us, we are already victorious!!!
Continue to show Yourself to me, o Lord -- through Your Word, through people, and through events. Help me to see Your Will for me through all of these. Speak to me too, o God, in the silence of my heart. Speak o Lord, for Your servant is listening.
Draw me, o God. I pray for all of these intentions, and lift up unto You, everybody asking for prayers, along with their petitions.
You know who they are. You know what they need.
Draw us all to You.
I love you, Lord. Use me and my life in whatever way that pleases You.
I am all yours.
I ask all this in Jesus' Mighty Name.
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So to the question, WHY DOES GOD NOT ANSWER OUR PRAYERS?
The answer is, maybe because we are not praying with the right intentions; maybe we are in a state of sin; maybe we are asking for things that are contrary to God's Word or to His Will; or maybe it's simply because it is not yet the right time for God to answer our prayers.
Ultimately, we pray not just to get what we want. We pray because we love God and He loves it when He "hears" from us, (whether or not we get what we pray for). Rest assured, our Heavenly Father knows everything about us, and He will give us everything we NEED, not just what we WANT in His Time. We just always have to be patient, humble, trusting and hopeful.
God's Answers are never too early; never too late; they are always ON TIME.
Psalm 120:1"I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to him, and He answered my prayer."
I can pray with, and fast for you and your intentions. God bless you. Thanks.
May we all be richly blessed! :)