The alarm bells of the COVID epidemic have become a prelude to Christmas 2020. Sydney has once again quieted down while restriction measures tightened. Over the past year, it has become normal for us to adjust our lifestyles and attitudes as we face a myriad of sudden changes and challenges. As Christians, we know that God is in control, yet when reality strikes, we may still succumb to feelings of confusion, being disgruntled, discouraged and disappointed. The future appears blurry and uncertain… what can we do?
Fortunately, God knows the weakness of human hearts, therefore He commands us to pray. Apart from praise and thanksgiving, we can pour our hearts out to the Lord and share with Him our innermost thoughts. Being our loving Father, He readily listens to us and through our dialogue with Him, we experience His reality.
Prayer is a privilege given by God to His children; a sweet time to experience God’s love and presence; and a weapon for spiritual warfare. When we pray to God, we experience His abundant blessings and mercy. It is certainly not the case that God is stingy and will bless us only when we pray. Rather, it is His desire to have a close relationship with His children, and the best way to have a more intimate relationship with our Lord is through prayer.
As we approach the end of an extraordinary year, may I invite you to pray – be it a prayer of gratitude, sorrow, hope or disappointment. Let us be still and come before the Lord with an open heart and pray, not only for ourselves but for our brothers and sisters and for our church. Sometimes, the ministry of prayer is the best means to serve God and His people. Our spiritual insights and power have to be built upon prayers, which cannot be replaced by any other form of training. However, very often, we neglect the practice of prayer, as prayer requires us to rely on God, which is in stark contrast to the ways of this world. If we are willing to seek to do what pleases God, let our new year begin with prayer.