Ima taught me how to pray. First, as a simple devotion on waking up and before going to sleep. Then as an answer to all the things that a little child could be worried or excited about. There were nights when I could not fall asleep because of too much excitement or fear. Ima would pray with me and soon I am all asleep. I would routinely pray before every important happening in my young life.
In my life, there is nothing that I have fervently prayed for that was not given to me. In some instances, it takes time before my prayers are answered. But in time, they eventually are. I realize then that God was putting some things in place before granting me my request. And often, I am simply overwhelmed by what I receive, usually more and better than what I prayed for.
There is some form of spirituality these days that would tell people to claim what it is they are praying for. This smacks of the arrogance and selfishness of the Prodigal Son demanding his share of the inheritance from the father. Rather, I pray by humbly asking, diligently seeking and persistently knocking for God to answer me.
My most earnest prayers though are not petitions. My most grace-filled prayers are those moments I simply spent in the presence of God. I say nothing. I do nothing. I even try not to think of anything. But simply feel the presence of God in my life, in my being and in my thoughts.
Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
~ Psalm 138
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.
“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets.”