Friday, April 8, 2011

Obediently Praying vs. Praying Obediently

In the midst of stress in doing my thesis. Along the journey, most of the lecturers will say just write something down, then you'll know where you are heading to. As I reflect back in the journey of doing my thesis, I read a lot, I research a lot; but I have not written anything yet.But I thank God that I'm now in my chapter 3 just because I wrote something. I was very ambitious last year to finish at least a chapter, but I failed because I kept on reading and researching but did not put anything down on paper.

Well, that is the introduction to what I want to share in this post. Sometimes our prayer life is liken to my thesis journey. Sometimes we keep on praying and keep on waiting for an answer. We do not realize that if we obediently follow, we will find the answer. Take answering the fulltime call for example. It is always a struggle to answer the call because it is really a cost to follow Jesus. Most of us including myself will have this reaction to pray but scare to make decision to answer call. If we keep on praying and do not answer the call we will not know whether we are call or not. Sometimes we just need to obediently follow and take the courage to answer the call.

Imagine if Joshua has no courage to lead the Israelites into the promise land, and did not obey the call that God asked Moses to pass down the leadership to him. I do not think that the Israelites will win all the battles that they have gone through. Of course one will say that if Joshua is not obey, God will call others to do his will, perhaps Caleb.

This reflection was inspired by the Bishop message in one of his sermons in FCC. He said one thing that captured me and it disturbs my mind. He said that sometimes we have to 'stop' praying and start to obey with action. By saying this, he did not mean to ask us stop praying.

This caused me to think further that OBEDIENT IS AN ACT OF PRAYING as well. It is an act of praying with faith that we might see the results that God has intended for us to see with this step of obedience.

Praying is just the most simplest answer a person could give when they are challenged. We won't move to another higher calling if we do not obey!

That is the difference between obediently praying and praying obediently. Where an adjectives is put can make such a huge difference to an action. Obediently praying is act of praying and obediently answer the call with faith. Praying obediently is just praying (hopefully with faith) without obediently act on it.

An example I can think of now is Abraham. When God commanded him to go to Canaan, he obediently praying. He packed up all his stuff and starts his journey. He does not know what is going to happen, but with faith he knows he will reach his destination as God has promised. Each of his steps to Canaan is a prayer of faith; each of his steps to Canaan is an act obedient in faith.

May the Lord bless us and guide us as we obediently praying in our lives. AMEN

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