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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why Does God NOT Answer My Prayers?!?!?!

Maybe you are at the end of your rope.

You have been "praying" for your husband to change far longer than you'd care to admit.

But, he is not "changing"!

In fact, he is becoming "worse"!!!

You do not know what to do anymore! 

Should you continue "praying" or will you just give up, since God seems to be not listening anyway?!

* * *

I think I am quite "prayerful" (based on how I think "praying" looks like). Even at my worst behavior and weirdest phases in life, I have always talked to God. He was a Constant in my life. When I won academic awards, I thanked Him. When Mama died of cancer, I cried out to Him. When I was so scared of giving birth, I seeked solace in Him. When the Lord showed me all my sins, I repented to Him.

I could not imagine NOT praying. It was my way of communicating with God. Jesus' Way of communicating to the Father was through praying. It was His Lifeline to Heaven. He even taught us how to pray when He gave us "The Lord's Prayer". That is how we all learned to pray.

When I was a little girl, somebody told me that P.R.A.Y. was an acronym for:

Praise is glorifying God and thanking Him for His Goodness.
Repent is begging for forgiveness for sins committed.
Ask is lifting up petitions and intentions to God.
Yield is letting go, keeping still and allowing God to speak to you.

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.

That is NOT bad per se. After all Jesus taught us to "pray unceasingly"...

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

In the Filipino tongue, be "makulit" (extremely persevering)!

This question then begs to be answered: Why does God NOT answer our prayers? E, ang kulit-kulit na nga natin!!! (We are already very persistent!)

I think the problem lies not in the asking per se, but in what we are asking for, and in our attitudes and hearts, while asking for them.

The problem is we treat God as a Divine Slot Machine that dispenses coins in the form of "answered prayers". We ask Him for something and we expect an answer pronto! When He does not give us what we want, when we want it, and how we want it, we conclude "praying" is a waste of our time. The "Machine" does not "work"! He just wouldn't listen!

I used to throw a spiritual fit, back in the day when I did not really know Who God was and who I was in relation to Him.

Here is an excerpt from my diary dated March, 2003:

"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."

See how totally off and devoid of wisdom my idea of God was at that time?

I "prayed" a lot because I wanted to "bribe" God into giving me what I wanted. 

and then....

I stopped "praying" because I knew God would not give me what I wanted anyway!

In even simpler terms, I "prayed" because I wanted God to conform to MY will, and when He didn't do what I wanted Him to do, I threw a spiritual fit by not "praying." Yikes! :(

That was not praying! That was bossing around the Big Boss. That was pure and plain as day, bullying! How dare the clay act so disrespectfully towards its Potter!!!

On my defense, I really didn't know  how to conduct myself towards God. I honestly thought, that was what one meant by "praying unceasingly". I thought it was enough to just tell God what I wanted again and again and again, and He would get my drift. You know what I mean? Isn't that what "praying without ceasing" meant? To be sooooooo persistent that even God would have no recourse but to give in to me?!

Matthew 7:8-11

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 

If God was "molding" us into being selfish and shallow, yes, that was what He would definitely do -- give us anything we wanted, the moment we asked for them. But, He didn't send His Son to die for us, just so we could act like rich spoiled brats! Jesus became Human in order to bridge the WIDE Gap between God and Man. Whereas before Jesus' Death and Resurrection, we were condemned to Hell because of our sinfulness, when Jesus bought us for a price with His Own Life and Death, He was able to open up the doors to Heaven. We could now be reunited with the Father by simply believing in Jesus, as our Lord and Savior! Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life! (John 14:6) What God meant by "ask and you shall receive" was that we would get everything we asked for, provided that it be aligned to His Will and would be for our own good, which ultimately will  lead to His Greater Glory.

Actually, God always answers our prayers but not in the way we expect.

There are always THREE answers.

The very wonderful YES.
The very disappointing NO.
And the usual reply we get which entails a LOT of unceasing praying - the NOT YET or WAIT.

* * *

When I was at my most controlling phase in our marriage, my "prayers" consisted of asking God to:

- change Dong's 'erroneous' work attitudes
- change Dong to make him more motivated
- change Dong's lack of direction and  to show him his life path
- change Dong's idea of providing and give him a good job
- change Dong's bad habits
- let Dong realize how lucky he was that he was married to me!
- etc. etc.

I was greatly disappointed in God at that time because He was not "answering" my unceasing "prayers"!!!! Dong was not "changing"!!! 

Little did I know (I was so prideful and spiritually blind then) that I was not really "praying" but just blabbing and yakking and pestering God all those times! All my "prayers" were just long sermons and complaints to God about Dong. Just because I could point out ALL his sins did not make ME a saint! God must have put on Earphones when I would start "praying". I could really be quite talkative. I could "pray" for hours!!!

* * *
Note: The sample "prayers" you are about to read were my usual "prayers" during my most controlling phase (2009-2011), when I was too prideful and when the Lord had not yet convicted me of my mountains of sins. I am ashamed and humiliated by those thoughts and by those "prayers" now, but I wanted to share them with you, thinking that you might see your "prayers" in mine, and be convicted too by the Lord, so you can ask for repentance from Him. Again, it is shameful to even write about them, especially since they depict me in the worst possible light, but this blog was written in order to bring wives closer to God and to open up their eyes to their own faults, and so, I open up my heart to you in order for you to identify with me, so that hopefully and Godwilling, by my exposing of my yuckiest sins, you too may be convicted, and would have the desire to change yourself and your "prayers" too. 
May it bless you richly.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

James 4:3
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives
so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
1. I was proud and arrogant.

James 4:6

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

I only saw Dong's faults and failures, and not my own. I felt that I was superior to him in most, if not all aspects, and that I was simply "putting up" with him.

I looked down on him and his ideas. I felt that his plans for the family were too simple and did not pass by my standards.

I thought him to be lazy, unmotivated, uncaring, selfish, and unconcerned about me.

Sample "Prayer"

"Lord God, please make Dong find his path. Please show him what You really want him to do. I am so disappointed in him! He has left me to fend for myself! All he does all day is play video games, watch TV and sleep, while I am left to work for the family! He doesn't care about me. He is even perhaps feeling so "blessed" that he has a wife who provides for him, while he does not do anything! Even then, he gets tired all the time. Tired from what? From not doing anything?! Here I am, being so hardworking, selfless, driven... I am doing everything for him, and being everything to him! He on the other hand is doing nothing!!!"

Reason God did not answer my prayer: He opposed me. I was devoid of humility. I was too proud.

What virtue should I have in order for Him to hear me? HUMILITY

Bible Verse to Live By:
2 Chronicles 7:14
and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2. I was cherishing the sin of unforgiveness.

Mark 11:25

25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

This went hand in hand with  Number 1 actually. 
Since I was already too prideful, I was also quite resentful. 
I resented that he resigned from his job/s.
I resented that he did not "think of me/our family" or the repercussions of resigning.
I resented that he was not like other men whom I worked with, who found it "easy" to blend in corporate set-ups.
I resented that he was not "normal" and was "antisocial".
I resented that he was not ambitious like my Papa was.
I resented that he could not provide for me, like my Papa did.

Sample "Prayer"

"Lord God, he resigned again! How many times do I need to go through this?! I hate that he could not keep a job. I hate that he is too "different", always wanting to engage in businesses, when he is so qualified to be a good employee! Why can't he be like so-and-so, who are so sure of themselves and their careers? So-and-so does not have problems with climbing the corporate ladder. If only he were more sociable and more "normal", we wouldn't be having these problems. Why can't he be more like Papa? He never had problems working or providing? I hate having to go through this again!!!"  

Reason God did not answer my prayer: I was unforgiving, resentful and unrepentant. I did not even know I was sinning against God and against my husband. I felt that I had no faults at all, whereas he had hundreds!

What virtues should I have in order for Him to hear me?  FORGIVING and REPENTANT

Bible Verse to Live By:

1 John 1:9
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

3. I was self-righteous and judgmental.

Matthew 6:5-10

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,

your will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven.

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.

- Lazy
- Clueless
- Proud ( I thought he just didn't want to take on a job because being an employee was beneath him. I refused to accept that what he really wanted to do was to be a businessman. I judged him as "proud" and "high-minded." I didn't really accept him and his ideas. I forced my idea of what a "humble" man should do, which was to get employed!!! NOTE: He finds nothing wrong with being an employee, but he just wanted me to support him first in his small dreams of having a business, which I violently opposed, judging him as "foolhardy"! Yikes.)
- Uncaring
- Selfish
-etc. etc.

Sample "Prayer"

"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:
Romans 12:3
For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
4. I doubted God.

James 1:5-7

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

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. :(

Sample "Prayer"

"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:

Matthew 8:26

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.

Mathew 17:20

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.
5. I did not abide by God's Design For Marriage.

1 Peter 3:1-7

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

I was the primary breadwinner and leader of the family around sometime between 2009 to 2011 or thereabouts. Dong, by then, had acquiesced to my headship because he had no choice. I would have grabbed it from him if he had not given way. He was, during those times, the secondary breadwinner and my supporter. He would give way to all my decisions and ideas on how to handle our family.

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. :(

Sample "Prayer"

"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.


What virtues should I have in order for Him to hear me? BIBLICAL SUBMISSIVENESS and RESPECT FOR HUSBAND

Bible Verse to Live By:

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her 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 did.

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I end this long post with a PRAYER. I ask the Spirit to pray with me and through me.


Lord God,

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.

* * * 


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."

If you need a prayer partner, please do not hesitate to drop a line here, or email me at
I can pray with, and fast for you and your intentions. God bless you. Thanks.

May we all be richly blessed! :)

"WHO AM I?" 
- JMM Covers sung by Mike Shimamoto


  1. One of the most preached about texts regarding prayer: In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes[a] (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian[b] kingdom— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

    4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:

    “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.

    7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; - Daniel 9:1-9

    1. What a wonderful story on the power of prayer! Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Thank you for sharing! I see myself in your post!! I'm working on those things!!
    When you decided to be still, did you continue to pray or just wait for God and refocus? I feel like there's so much to change and I'm not sure where to begin.

    1. Hi Anonymous!

      I am not big on "keeping still", to be honest. It was something I found very, very hard to do. I have "programmed" myself to always be on my toes, to be busy, to spread myself too thin, in order to "matter" or to be deemed as "worthy to live." To me, "keeping still" was equivalent to laziness. :P

      So, when the Lord instilled in my heart a desire to KEEP STILL (and know that He was GOD), it was initially difficult. I decided to not work, to just support my husband and to focus on the family (We have four kids.) Even that to me, in the beginning, sounded like slacking off. :(

      But, I knew that it was what God wanted me to do. So I asked Him to help me keep still. It took all of my energy to just stay put! Who knew "not doing anything" or going ahead of my husband or God, would be harder than being all over the place?!

      In my keeping still, it was physical. I gave up my career and focused on our family and our home. I knew that if I were to learn Biblical submission, and knowing myself (go-getter, overachiever, hyperactive woman!), I couldn't learn this while being out of the home pursuing my career.

      In my keeping still, it was emotional. Being an all or nothing sort of person, I was either too happy or too sad; I loved something or hated something... There was no middle ground with me. Emotionally keeping still meant that I had to keep my emotions at bay. Yes, there was much peace. Yes, there was much joy, but even that had to be tempered in order to not get in the way of my journey. I have a tendency to OverAct things a bit, you see... ;)

      In my keeping still, it was mental. Whenever my former thoughts would pass by my mind, I would immediately hold them captive for Christ. I had to unlearn old selfish, worldly thoughts and learn new godly, Christian ones. I needed to keep still my mind, most times, so that I was always focused on only godly thoughts.

      In my keeping still, most importantly, it was spiritual. I had to throw out my wimpy picture of Who I thought God to be and believe with my heart and soul, His Sovereignty. I read His Word daily. I meditate on His Teachings. I listen to godly music. I read godly sources. I prayed a lot.

      So, to make my answer short, my KEEPING STILL was the obvious stillness and the unseen stillness too. I basically just allowed the Spirit to work in me and through me.

      The way to begin is just to take it a day at a time. In this journey, every step towards the destination is already a feat in and of itself. There is greater joy and peace to be had with every choice to follow God, to submit to Him and to my husband, and to keep on "killing" my old self! I love it when the sinful flesh creeps out again, and my new self crushes it with God's Help! :)

      Hope that helped a bit? :)

      May you find great joy and peace in your own walk with Christ. The first step is always the scariest and the hardest, but once you've done it, there is no turning back. Jesus will change you from within! And, believe me, it is amazing!!! :)

      God bless you!


  3. Yes! It did! Thank you!

    We sound a lot alike in "busy-ness". I've slowed down some. I have to work so I don't slow too much. Ha! My biggest problem in being still is my mind!!! How I wish I could shut it off more! I can maybe get 5 minutes of stillness before it starts wandering. I try to refocus but it's difficult. Argh!! And I'm not sure what I'm listening for either so I wonder that too!

    I am spending time with Jesus everyday, I listen to only christian music, I pray ALOT!! I am trying to learn who God really is so I can chuck this fear and doubt I carry!! I want to learn what full surrender and dying to self looks like. I have a lot of knowledge but it needs to get to my heart! Not sure how!! Ha! I want that passion for Jesus and see Him work, but I'm lacking something.

    I know it's a journey. Thank you for your blog! You and April are great!!

    1. Yes, it is a journey! The prize is not just in the Destination, but in every step we take going towards the Goal! :)

      To slow down your mind, whenever negative or sinful thoughts enter it, refocus your thoughts on Bible Verses.

      It could be:

      Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God."


      2 Cor 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

      Whenever I have fears and doubts if I am on the right path, I remember the reason why I am in this journey in the first place, which is to submit fully to the Lord by submitting to my earthly authority, my husband, Dong.


      I remember this and I always answer, YES. :)

      Then, my mind and spirit are still again. :)

      April and I and all the other peaceful wives and peaceful wives in training , are with you in this.

      Together, let us all encourage each other in our own walks with Christ! :)

      God bless!


  4. Ok I need some guidance.
    I "know" what I need to do. I hear I need to die to self and let go and let God and let Him take the reigns etc... But HOW.? And what does that look like in a day? What am I suppose to think about? Everything is crashing around me , finances too. It affects every moment of my life and my kids. How do you let go and keep your eyes on. God and not the circumstances? I just don't understand when everything is a mess that I have to address every day. The enemy has a hay day with me... I'm like depaerately praying all these ways just to get some help. I pray scriptures, I pray His will, I pray blessings over my husband for his heart to turn back to God. I pray protection over all of us before my feet hit the floor each morning. I'm owning my part. I take everything to God even when I don't understand. But I get nothing. I started praising more. I fasted a meal last week. The only things I can pinpoint I got from that is I have gotten "It's not over until Jesus says it's over" through a podcast, devotional, comment on FB and a song five times in the last week. I've heard a song that is dear to me in my situation 3x today when sometimes I don't hear it for 2 weeks! I don't know.
    I get I need to surrender. That might be what's blocking but it's only because I don't know what it looks like. I've never had to depend on God for anything this big before. So I've been a christian for most of my life yet I've missed this. I always question why I'm seeking and knocking and losing and the one disobeying has everything falling in his favor. I. Don't. Understand. I want to!!!

    Also, I hear God speaks through His word. I never read what pertains to me. Unless it's a devotional but I don't want to depend on a devotion. I want to read Gods word and it speak to me but it's not working. I can't hear him or I'm missing it. :(

    1. Hi Anonymous sister in Christ!

      I wish it were really easy to "hear" God's Voice, as one hears the voice of a person you are talking with... but that is not the case for us poor creatures in exile on this earth.

      However, in my experience, I have been able to "hear" His Voice clearly, in the form of interior locutions, or a passing thought, or a passing vision in my mind's eye, when I am most still and when I am in a state of grace. Meaning, I am not anxious, I am not angry, I am repentant and humble... Then, after I pray to Him, He talks to me, and I can hear Him.

      Sometimes, or oftentimes, His Voice is not "audible", but He speaks to me through the Bible. They say that praying is our way to talk to Him, the Scriptures are His Way of talking to us.

      When I let go and let God, I totally renounced my will. Meaning, anything "I" wanted or desired, I did not immediately act on. I sought the Lord's blessing first, always lifting all up to Him and not worrying about the results, be it in finances, in my husband's business, in my own life direction... I believe that everything that is happening or not happening to me is passing through my Father's Filter, and so I am at peace regardless of circumstance. I know and believe that as an adopted daughter of our Father, He has me in the Palm of His Hand, and that He is in control.

      A great sense of peace has happened to me ever since I totally renounced my will, my mind, my Saint Augustine prayed. I want only what God wills, what God wants. I have asked Him to mold me, use me and fill me up with His Spirit so I am always in His Will. The greatest heartache for me right now is to work on anything apart from His Holy Will.

      To keep the Lord's Peace and to make sure that I have a clear ear to listen to God, I empty myself out all the time of negative thoughts and emotions by always thanking God for people and circumstances, regardless if they are edifying to me, or not. I constantly praise God and lift up the good virtues of difficult people whom I have a natural antipathy towards, knowing that the Creator is pleased with these people, even if I myself find them challenging! I also have closed down my personal Facebook account, do not watch TV shows that only manage create dissatisfaction or envy in me, and constantly read the Bible and holy books that help me get closer to God.

      Renouncing one's will does not look the same for everyone, but what does look the same is the total submission to the Lord and a constant state of joy and peace that those who have truly given up for the Lord, radiate. :)

      I don't know if I had been able to help. I wish I could be more thorough but this will have to do for now. :)

      God bless you as you search for God. The desire in your heart actually came from Him. Praise God you are acting on His Call.




Feel free to comment. I would love to discuss things with you. :)