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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

0 comments | Saturday, September 22, 2007

I love reminiscing the long line of “firsts” I’ve had – the first time I had my ear twisted from watching cartoon movies all day long, my first good spank for teasing my younger sister, getting zero for a daily spelling quiz and the most terrifying of all, having a nightmare for an unsaid evening prayer.

I was taught to say short but sweet and humble prayers, like any other little boy: “Jesus watch over me when I sleep”. “Thank you for the wonderful day”. “Bless me and my family always”. These were my prayers, though I had little thought for their meanings, sometimes even neglected the power within them. It was like harping on the same thing. Saying them on bended knees in front of our altar before jumping off to bed and after rising in the following morning became part of my daily undertaking.

I prayed for a very simple reason: for God to listen to and answer all my petitions with a big “yes”. I had this belief of Him as a kind of Santa who by prayer could give me what I wanted.

Seems like it was just yesterday. I remember asking my mother for an expensive wristwatch for my birthday and adding nightly prayers for it. Knowing that God was just within earshot, I tried to describe to him my dream watch, dotting all the I’s and crossing the T’s. Unfortunately, I never got what I wanted, but I later began to get close to something far more precious.

When my mother finally said, “You’ve got to know, I can’t give you that kind of wristwatch”.

I did not understand. In my mind was the belief that there was no unanswered prayer.

One Sunday during the homily of an afternoon mass, enlightenment came for my troubled mind when the priest said, “True, God does answer prayers, but not always with a yes. He has the best plan prepared for each one of us. He sometimes works indirectly in a remarkable, yet smooth and calm manner. He also sees what is inside the heart.”

I used to pray only when in a crisis – when laden with worry, when struck by disaster and disease, when racked by pain or stymied by despair, or when hounded by great fear. In those moments, I had to call on all the angels and saints, say my prayers wholeheartedly and stand ready to execute my last recourse if everything fails...cry like a baby.

I had countless victorious moments in prayer. I was once beset by problems concerning my low grades in high school. My parents didn’t know about them. Aside from praying hard during Sunday masses, I made quite a big deal of writing a short prayer and putting it inside the offertory basket. The prayer read: “ I am troubled by my grades, Lord. Please do not let my parents inquire about them. And if they find out, kindly lessen their fury.”

After a month of hiding it, mother finally learned of my standing from my own class adviser. What followed next, to my amazement, was a peaceful one-on-one mother-son discussion. Pop! Prayers worked.

Some people say prayers daily, such as morning and evening prayers, grace before and after meals and the Liturgy of the Hour. On Sundays, families from different classes in the society pack the churches for the Eucharistic celebration.

When we celebrate our birthdays and anniversaries, we make sure we attend a thanksgiving mass that day, so that at the same time, we could ask God for more successful and fruitful years ahead.

A certain author once quoted, “Prayer is the best arbitrator of all differences, the best promoter of true friendships and the best cure for envy and jealousy.” Prayer is not measured words that are forcefully said and dramatized, offered with pomp and arrogant pride. It is sometimes just words unspoken, whispered in tears by a contrite heart. It energizes the will, troubles the conscience and kindles affection in the heart. It opens the sluice gates for the divine grace to pour out. And more than that, it enables us to know and do the will of God. Our souls actually hunger for prayer, but few of us find our miracles because we do not know what we really desire or what we ought to pray for.

Once, I hated this individual who interfered in all my tasks. I prayed for him and little by little, I was made more patient and charitable. No quack remedies, my hatred slowly disappeared. I became a happier person in a world that is friendlier than I was accustomed to finding it.

Now I learned how to pray without talking big or allowing flood of words to pour out from my mouth. Honestly. In fact, I let God talk also and do His part, for that is what He wants. Oftentimes, I pray for others – family, community, country and all the people I love and care about. I hope and pray that all broken relationships be healed; that there might be peace in every home and in our land; that terrorism, child exploitation, rapes, massacres and other related crimes would stop.

When anything goes wrong, I often seek sanctuary in order to find the power to face life again. There I could soar high with wings as an eagle, run and not be weary, walk and not faint. Prayer is an access to this power. Anyone weak inside can always lay down his burden to Someone stronger.

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