Are your prayers effective?

prayerHow do you know if they are? Is it when your prayers are answered? How sure are you? We’re all used to different ways of praying. Something I know for sure, praying from the heart is a great way to start a prayer. Jesus gave us a guide of “how” to pray but it doesn’t mean that it will be a scripted prayer. Scripted prayers might lead to scripted lives. Are your prayers scripted?

Being able to pray to God is a really amazing feeling! It’s a personal bonding time with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings! It’s a privilege—a great honor for us to be able to pray to the Living God who can hear us and act on our behalf.

In Jesus’ Name

There IS power in the name of Jesus. We always here that. What we need to do is believe, receive and understand how powerful Jesus is that even the mention of His name can move mountains. Jesus suffered and died on the cross so that we can approach God’s throne and not burn to death. It’s all because of Jesus that we can do all the things we can do now. Jesus said that no one goes through the Father EXCEPT through Him. Only through Jesus’ name can our prayers be effective. No one else’s.

Prayer is powerful because we approach the throne of God. It has resulted to a lot of miracles and amazing manifestations of God’s limitless power. It is operative when we pray according to God’s will. We will get an idea of God’s will when we know His Word. That means we have to know Scripture. We have to read and understand the Bible.

Come Clean

Scripture says that “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16) and that “the prayer of the upright pleases Him” (Proverbs 15:8). That means we have to confess our sins before Him. We have to repent of our sins. Approaching guilt will create a wall and we won’t be able to say our heart’s desires if we know we are hiding something from God. He knows when we’re pretending. So we have to come clean.

Coming clean means confessing our sins—each and every one of them. Leave no stone unturned. Coming clean means asking for forgiveness and repenting. Turn away from everything the Bible calls sin. Worshipping idols, rejecting God’s call or ignoring His advice, or turning a deaf ear to the cry of the poor, all become obstacles to our effective prayer life. Check your motives. Why are you praying and what are are you praying for? Is it a selfish desire? Is it to hurt others?

We should pray continually with faith and thanksgiving when we present our requests to God. Approach the throne with reverence. Mention and acknowledge God’s power and position. He is not only our provider but our Gloriously Rich Provider! We have to pray with a forgiving heart toward others.

Meeting our Faith

Strong faith, not flowery words pleases Him. We don’t need to impress Him because he knows what we need. We don’t need to pretend. We have to come naked, so to speak. It says in Isaiah 59: 2, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” but because of what Jesus did on the cross, there is hope because it also said in 1 John 1:9 “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.

It may seem like a long list of things to think of just to say an effective prayer but effective prayers don’t depend on how well we pray. It all depends in the power of the name of Jesus! Prayer is a time to strengthen our relationship with God, our Father in heaven. It’s a time for Him to embrace us in His majestic arms and make us feel His Holy presence. Experience that close encounter with Him. When we know Him, we will be confident that He will be merciful to extend His grace and favor to meet our faith and bless us with answered prayers and praise reports.

 

When our prayers are answered, we should make sure to focus on the Bless-er, not the blessing. It is easy to lose track of the most important thing. We get answers to our prayers not because of what we do. Our prayers are answered because of His love, grace, mercy, favor and power. We should give glory to whom it is due.

Do you have an idea how to pray effectively? How will you start? Start by praising and worshiping God. Sincerely ask forgiveness of your sins, be humbled by His presence. Seek Him. Speak to Him like He is in front of you. And then, surrender. Lift all your concerns to Him. Cry to Him. Share your feelings. Ask for help. Don’t stop.

The Next Entry And Prepare to Fall in Love

Common is boring. And what we have is…Uncommon. And you know how I like weird. Saying I can’t imagine my life without you is cliche but having spent nearly half of it with you… I’d have you do my laundry until the day I die. Hahaha! Kidding.

You’re my everything is an understatement because you’re not only the boyfriend. You’re my strict doctor but very caring nurse; my friendly google map and life size bag (sometimes luggage) carrier; my freight and shipment coordinator and yelling (and I can yell at) business administrator; my funny-corny-gross clown but also very smart discussion buddy; my problem-solving adviser and all-time-crime partner; my faithful laundry machine and willing errand boy; my gruesome wrestling buddy and soothing massage therapist; my pitiful taste tester and my best critique; my love and life guidance counselor and lifetime prayer partner.

Clearly, that’s not yet “everything.” I’m so blessed to have you in my life because you’re like 100-in-1! The best thing is, we’re in love… And happy. And you’ve given me the best birthday gift anyone could ever give! Oh, wait. God did but only you could have been the instrument. Hahaha!

I hope I’ve been more than a few things to you too in the past decade or so that we’ve known each other. Saying I love you now is futile. It should go without saying that I’m madly, deeply, irrevocably but sanely in love with you.

Happy Birthdays to me as long as we both shall live! 😀Image

Ending the Count at 27!

I’ll just stop aging! Hahaha! Come on, gimme a break! After all, it is MY birthday. The last one I’ll ever count.

 

Ok, not literally! I’d like to think I’ll be 27 forever! Hahaha! It would really be fun to be 27 for the rest of my life. Still young but considerably street smart and at the peak of my existence (past the quarter-life crisis dilemma). Ok, fine. “Rest of my life” too much to ask? What about looking and feeling like 27 for at least the next 20 years? And then looking like 30 for the rest? Nothing is impossible. Heehee!

 

This is THE best birthday I ever had. In fact, it hasn’t even started yet but I’m already overwhelmed with love! I can CONFIDENTLY say that at this moment of my life, I AM CONTENT. Happy. I have nothing more to ask for. I have everything I need! Everything! …EVERYTHING.

 

Ok, ok! I don’t HAVE everything but I’m happy with what I have. And that’s way better than having everything, right?

 

I consider myself one of the overly blessed people in the world. I have the most loving, understanding, most supportive, genetically healthy and good looking parents. They’ve never really given me a headache. Heheh! I mean, they’ve made everything easier for me. Let me go off to sleep overs and drinking sessions. Given me room to grow and let me make grown up decisions. Let me make mistakes but still pick me back up whenever I fail. They’re the only people in the world I know who won’t judge me. With how I turned out, I can tell you that they did a pretty great job! I am nothing if not for my parents.

 

Daddy, Mommy, I love you both!

 

I love my brothers too! True, there were times that I imagine hitting them with a baseball bat and they’d fly until no longer seen by the naked eye. At this point in my life, I’m happiest about and for them. Those three little pigs (at one point in our, no their lives they were fat) are part of my life and I’m glad they’re finding their own ways. Good ways. As long as they stay away from trouble and stay healthy always. I’m all good. Hahaha!

 

Jeb, Jap, Jireh, I love you! I know I’m not the perfect “ate” but I can be your friend anytime.

 

My Lola! The best ever and my favorite and only Lola in the world! You are our family’s guiding light! Thank you. For everything! I love you. (Yung mana ko. Hahaha! Kidding!)

 

Aunts and cousins. You’re the ones I come home to during big holidays + Lola’s birthday. Spending time and catching up always makes them worthwhile.

 

Friends. My consistent friends. People who are not related to me but are constantly there when I need them to, even when I don’t want them to. They’re there.

 

Naj, you probably know me more than I know myself. Hahaha! Hate to say it but you’re my “ate” figuratively speaking.

 

KG’s! Zarate, Tine, Bing, Ayen, Kelly, Cath, Gladys, Portia, Mila, Rosalia, Salamat. Cuz you’re always there for me. Arlene, Sam, Alvin, Alfie, Jonel, Karlo, Efren. Thank you for making high school and beyond fun.

 

Jessie, you’ve inspired me and you continue to. You really are the Maestra.

 

Albert, your smile always brightens up my day even if you’re far away.

 

Eywa, you help me more than you’ll ever know. Just by being you.

 

Susan, Odette, Khaye, Bujoy. You’re my role models! Thank you for your wisdom.

 

Babek, thank you for sticking with me. For being the best friend I can always have free breakfast with. Hahaha! Tan, you don’t know but you’re constant in my life too. Hahaha! (Hint! Hint!)

 

Marky, Hanny, Yosh. You are proof that twitter can build true friendships. You’ve given me advise and conversations that really helped me through a lot. You know more about me than most.

 

I’m so blessed to have you all as constant friends in my life!

 

I’m grateful for my optimism. It’s like a friend to me. It keeps me tougher through to tough times and best through good times. Optimism has given me so much to live for and be thankful for. It’s changed my life around hundreds of times and it’s always the result of something great.

 

Glen. The boyfriend. Let me write up an entirely separate entry why I’m blessed to have you before you take up all the space in this one. Hahaha! ^.^ (please refer to the next entry and prepare to fall in love) chos!

 

My new purpose. I’ve been wandering aimlessly in the stormy desert for years. Just when I prayed to God questioning Him what my purpose in life is, he gave me this. And I immediately know it’s His answer. I doubted, questioned, asked, listened, read, meditated and I keep getting the same answer. So here I am with a new purpose in my life. A purpose that will make my life meaningful; a blessing I can use to also bless.

 

God and His love is so overwhelming! My life have difficulties sometimes. It’s not all bed of roses but compared to the undeserved mercy and grace and love He is showering me with, I am stunned. Amazed! He continues to bless me according to His riches! I have nothing to worry about. With God, I have everything I could ask for. Everything.

 

My heart is overflowing with gratitude. I’ve lived a really good quarter-life. I have no regrets. Looking forward to the next beautiful twenty 27th birthdays next year and the year after that, and so on.Image

Self-Induced Pain

Have you ever realized that you caused yourself most of the painful experiences you’ve had? Ever asked yourself why you went to that direction even if you knew that you’ll end up hurting? If you haven’t, I think you should talk to yourself more. 

I’ve been causing myself useless hurt recently. It was addicting, I can’t stop. I didn’t know how to stop. The pain in my heart was somehow keeping me alive. It gave me purpose, or so I thought. 

Until it hit me. That I could live without the pain. That it really is useless. That the less I care, the more I’ll be happy. 

But it feels incomplete. Unanswered. Like a cliff hanger in a movie ending. Do I really need answers when I know they’d hurt? Maybe yes. I guess. I think. I know. Maybe. I want answers to questions that are hard to verbalize. But they need to be asked in exchange of my silence. My peace. 

Perhaps behind the door of answers is a room of peace. And the key to this room of pain that I’m locked in, is You. 

7 Ways to Practice Peace

I didn’t write this but I have this burning desire to share it. Joyce Meyer authored it. It’s a devotional.

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Living in God’s peace is vital to enjoying life. I believe that one of the keys to living with peace in your life is taking small steps toward peace every day. Here are a few tips you can use to develop a more peaceful lifestyle.

1. Be selective with how you spend your time. You may be trying to do too many things and end up doing none of them well. Hurrying is the flesh trying to do more than the Holy Spirit is leading you to do. Be led by the Spirit.
2. Be prepared to say “no” nicely. Sometimes we take on things we shouldn’t because we’re uncomfortable saying no. Ask God to give you the words to say no when you need to.
3. Resist the spirit of procrastination. God’s Word tells us to exercise self-discipline. Do what you know you need to do now so you can fully enjoy your times of rest.
4. Eliminate key distractions. If you know you are prone to certain distractions, such as watching TV, set some guidelines for yourself.
5. Set appropriate boundaries for interruptions. Life is full of interruptions, but you can learn to set boundaries that help you manage them in healthy ways, such as scheduling times when you are “off limits.” Schedule time to give yourself a break.
6. Modify your life. Ask God to show you out-of-the-box ways to save time and trouble. For instance, when I don’t have time to do the dishes, I use paper plates!
7. Pray and listen. If you can see that your plan is not producing peace, go back to God, pray for peace in the now, and for the wisdom to make changes that will benefit your life.

The bottom line is to make peace a priority, take practical steps toward it, and let God lead you every day into His perfect peace that passes all understanding.

Prayer Starter: God, lead me into Your peace that passes all understanding. Show me the daily steps I can take to walk in Your peace for me.
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I hope this helps you the way it’s helping me now. Jehan

I Don’t Find a Happy Place — I Make One.

I’ve been having one of THE busiest weeks of my year and it turns out that tonight is not your common sleepless night. I’m having an isolated nocturnal episode of too-excited-for-nothing sleepless kind of night! Can you believe it?

It’s half past three and I’m as energetic and awake like I just finished a marathon along the pathways of Ayala Triangle, sans the dripping, smelly sweat or the catching-up-breathlessly-for-air after effects of running for the line. And I’m not out on a walk like a zombie dancing in the night. I’m in bed. Typing furiously about how awake my body is while I frustratingly exhaust all possible efforts to bring my being to oh-so-sweet slumber.

I. Am. Wide. Awake!

Surely most of you have had the taste of an all-nighter; of tossing and turing around with seemingly endless thought bubbles popping up around your bed. And every time you try to burst one, two new thought bubbles with more disturbing contents and shouting comic effects pop up!

Anxiety attacks!

You’d think reading a book would help me sleep? Hahaha! Think again. Opening an ebook is like switching on the TV with the my favorite actors playing lead and cameo roles–my eyes are glued to my app!

I plug my ipod into my ears and leave my most relaxing Mozart collection playlist on shuffle. Now, this, usually lull me to heavenly unconsciousness but tonight, it’s backfired! His Violin Concierto sounds too appealing and has activated my brain cells to think, do something–anything, and work!

Can’t. Breathe.

When all else fail, I paused. Closed my eyes and said “good night” to Sarayu, Bro and Papa. Focused on my ultra sloooooooow exhange of inhale-exhale and prompt myself to envision my most relaxing zero-work-zero-stress place:

A golden yellow and golden brown grass-covered summer meadow; breeze blowing my white maxi summer dress. I stroll lazily to the highest point where a sole tree stands and carefully spread out my grandma’s straw mat. I expand my lungs and let in the sweet scent of grass and something old from the cool breeze in one deep breath of air and smile with satisfaction as I slowly sit on the mat. I have brought with me three novels, grab the one with the bookmark and place the rest of them nearest the deep rooted tree trunk. I lie on my back with my stack of books carefully cradling my head, legs crossed at a comfortable angle. As I begin to enter another world and flip my book to where I left the mark, I draw in another–but this time, longer–breath of fresh air..

And I’m lost in it…night daydreaming right in the comfort of my own five year old cushion, enveloped by the darkness in my humid room. It puts a smile on my lips, thinking that meadow is my backyard.

Hahaha! And now I’m wide awake again, reminded that I read that scene in a book and now laughing sheepishly through my two of my pillows. But then, I’ve not failed. My nerves have greatly relaxed and are ready to doze off with another dream, all disturbing and screaming thought bubbles locked out.

Only happy thoughts and a vision of the meadow right in my own backyard. (B

Finding Joy Beyond Doubt

I’ve been posting a question on twitter for the past few days since I saw The Bucket List in its entirety. It’s been sitting on my Facebook timeline for about four days now. And in the middle of the night when my nocturnity is awakened, I get answers. Well, the truth is, I’ve had answers to the subject for a couple of days but tonight, I could no longer contain them so I would have words spread onto electronic paper like mayonnaise on a sandwich.

You should know what the question is, especially if you’ve seen the movie that inspired me to ask myself the questions it very well so implied. The movie did give me overflowing ideas about life and living and things I would do to make sure I do not regret living this one life before I draw my last breath of life. The film posted two (really worthy) questions that everyone alive should ask themselves. I dare you to move. Preferably before reading my answers, you should figure out your own answers. I do not fear if you copy mine because you only cheat yourself. Not finding honest answers for yourself could threaten your life’s very value.

I assure you that no life is wasted—or so I choose to believe. God has given all of us a purpose to our breath and we are given ample time to venture into life’s both endearing and endangering endeavors. None, I repeat. None of us go through life absent challenges. We may have taken different paths, yet all these paths hold battles; battles that could provide us enough arms or steal to fight bigger wars.

Have you found joy in your life?
Looking back, in the 26 years that I have been living and breathing on this earth, I can humbly say with that I have found joy. Not happiness. Happiness is a decision. Anyone can have happiness. Joy is different. It is deeper and can only be achieved by spirit. It is an elated emotion, far beyond mere selfish acts of giving so that one could get more in return.

Perhaps, you can ask yourself: Have I done something selfless?
If you have felt love—true love, in a hopeless place filled with patience, goodness and faithfulness. It’s like the eye inside the storm—peaceful, kind, gentle, and controlled. If you’ve tried smiling genuinely while or just after crying out of deep hurt, you can say that you have lived with indisputable joy in your heart. Can you still close your eyes and continue dancing, even if the music has stopped? So, have you?

It is difficult to find peace when your circumstances are so chaotic and problematic but the only way you can have joy beyond doubt, absent thought of the current events, is FAITH.
Has your life brought joy to others?
You could say, “How in the world would I know?” Well, you would know. Have you ever acted selflessly to make another person’s life better in the midst of misery and anguish? Selfless an act that it caused him to find beaming joy beyond doubt beneath the chaotic nimbus clouds?

A simple smile to a stranger on the street who might be having the worst day of his life could definitely make a difference. Maybe, you could share a shoulder or an ear to a depressed friend. Help them turn their life around if you’ve been there. Give a bag of groceries to someone who has kids and is in between jobs could be called heroic but would be deeply appreciated by a single mother who is trying to make ends meet.

Make your parents proud, or at least, tell them you love them. Appreciate them more. Appreciate everyone more! Live with gratitude. Make sure you do not lose breath without living a life filled with joy and one that gives joy to people around you.

Spread Love. If you have no time to watch the two-hour film, I urge you to spare three minutes to check that youtube video of One Day by Mitsuyahi.

The Call You Should Never Miss

Have u ever thought you are better than most people? Has it ever occurred to you that you deserve more in life? It must have. It should have. You should have at least a pinch of self-love that you want to have enough money, enjoy life, and be adored by family and friends.
We love ourselves. As humans, we tend to attend to our own well-being first before that of others. We tend to rescue our own first before we attempt to help other people that might also be in danger. We want to benefit from our own efforts before others do. We love ourselves.
I�ve recently realized that I am not better than most people. I am good, only because I should be good. Considering the facts that I have a degree, my parents made every effort to give all my needs and wants, and the very overwhelming fact that I am blessed. With all these, I should be good. The world deserves a good me. I am not better than most people.
There are people who are better than me. Perhaps, I am better than a few people in some areas. We live in a world that advertises competition. Human beings have been subject to continuous urge to belong and be accepted, even admired. Some people even thirst for power to gain more acceptance from people and more admiration. Still, they are not better than most people.
And because most people think that they are beyond the bar of goodness or in better, more appropriately technical term, righteous, they think they deserve more goodness, as well. I admit, that has also crossed my mind. I know in my heart that I am good so in return, I shall only get good things from the world.
I consider myself a good and very loving daughter, an acceptable sister, a law-abiding citizen, a remarkably loyal girlfriend, an unfailing friend, and an outstandingly diligent worker. I know I am a good person. I do things well. I think well. I don�t intentionally do something that would cause harm to people around me without probable cause. I am a good person, thus I deserved to get good things in this world. I deserved to enjoy life better than others. I thought I didn�t deserve to get bad experiences, heartaches, problems, trials, pain.
What I realized is that I didn�t deserve to get anything. I am nothing. The money I am working for is not my money. It is God�s money. I do not deserve to be privileged. Everything that I have now is out of God�s grace and mercy. Everything, including the fresh air that I breathe that keeps me alive and the roof under my head is more than what I deserve. Everything that I enjoy in this life is more than a miracle.
If only I could take the memory stick out of my brain and copy the imagination, belief and emotion that I have stored in mine, I would. God, in His awesome magnificence and powerful wisdom, knows you by name. If you�re reading this right now, He�s calling you by name. Are you going to let yourself miss the call even when all you need to do is respond?
The question that bothers everyone is, �What would you do if you have 24 hours left to live?� but here comes one that may, and I sincerely hope it does, keep you awake all night:
What would you do if you knew that Jesus Christ is coming soon�really soon?
You don�t have to answer me. Ask yourself and make sure you don�t leave yourself hanging. You could probably start by admitting that you�re not better than anyone, because at one point of another, we all have shortcomings. Next step would be to find the courage to admit that you don�t deserve all the good in the world. We all live simply by the grace and mercy of God.