I remember about 10 years ago, in my 30’s, twenty of my relatives gathered together for lunch and I was asked to pray. I prayed, “Thank you Lord for this food. Amen”. Everybody was shocked.
“Abbey, why is your prayer short?”
“Can you please pray again?”
“My 7 year old child can pray better than this.”
I was adamant that I have done nothing wrong and refused to pray again. One of my uncles was annoyed and offered a more fragrant and well constructed prayer using words fit for the echelons that we were. I know I have not done anything wrong and stood my ground.
“Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come. Just as you are to worship.
Come just as you are before your God. Come. “
(written by Brian Robert Doerksen)
“When the music fades.
All is stripped away.
And I simply come.”
(written by Matthew James Redman)
These two familiar songs are my anchor and compass when I pray. I need to come just as I am. I don't need a mask to come clean. I can just approach Him without any fear. I stopped pretending long ago. Some may agree or disagree with me..
Sometimes we lack the fervency more than the finesse of our prayers. I do appreciate the poetic words and prayers in the bible. I also know that Jeremiah and Isaiah cried out to the Lord. David was dancing in praise and tore his robes in public when he was in tears. Their prayers represented their current state of mind. Daniel and Mordecai prayed to the extent that the ministers who opposed them wanted to kill them and tarnish their reputation.
I am recovering from a tooth extraction. It was the most traumatic time. I visited a private dental institution. The first doctor took a plier and was rocking my teeth for 30 minutes. After chipping off half the tooth, he then made me wait for another 30 minutes; the painkiller was wearing off. I was then led to another doctor who took the plier and twisted my tooth and it came off. Initially I was very angry and wanted to file for negligence and malpractice. The first doctor was a practitioner and I had to pay RM 150 if he had extracted the tooth. The second doctor was a specialist who was also a lecturer. I was then made as a guinea pig as his students were watching while he removed my tooth. Finally, I only had to pay RM 25 for the whole ordeal. In the midst of my suffering, I could see how God moved and reduced my bill to about 80%.
There was another time I ran out of money. My car was due for servicing and the lawn needed to be cut. While thinking about all this. I found a RM 150 angpow given to me on my birthday. It was hidden in the car. I had forgotten about it. There were also countless times while helping friends to get to the airport, I have been rewarded generously. There were also countless times where CG members or friends helped pay for a meal while I least expected anything.
While sending a drunk passenger back home, he vomited in the car. He paid me RM 180, gave me his number and told me he will pay for the rest of the expenses as well. Cleaning the car came to RM 250. I sent him the receipt and I told him that he need not pay and that I was being accountable by updating him about the situation. He then sent me an additional RM 350. He said that he wanted to compensate for the loss of time incurred. In addition to this, GRAB refunded me RM 150. The passenger refused the refund. I was speechless. I received almost RM 750 for RM 250 worth of repairs. God’s economics and mathematics certainly left me speechless. I didn’t even pray for these things. God knows what I need. I surrender to Him and let Him be in charge.
This pandemic has certainly put me in a situation where I am stripped of everything I was once upon a time proud of. I was pursuing stability and building wealth to a certain extent. I wasn’t in a great job but I felt secure in my profession and the perks that came with it. After 15 years in engineering, I was asked to leave. Since then, everything I have saved has evaporated and is still evaporating now. At least November is a time of recovery. Many things are improving and I am able to stand slowly but surely.
To God be all Glory.