Indeed, today is a good Friday for everyone. People may have different reasons to say this as not all of us believe in the risen Christ or can’t really be bothered to think about the main reason behind the public holiday. I am not a preachy person, but I do believe in God. I’m most thankful for the days off and I try to use this time to pray a little bit more (not every minute, but a little bit more).
My definition of prayer
I used to berate myself when I didn’t pray ‘properly’. I grew up reciting all the standard prayers, but never really dissected each sentence. Before I reached the third line, my thoughts had already floated away, thinking of so many more interesting things other than the words that were coming out of my mouth.
As I gingerly approach my 40s, I have changed my definition of prayer. I still read prayer books and leaflets and recite prayers (and my mind still deviates), but I’ve stopped berating myself. I don’t celebrate myself for my lack of inattentiveness, but I’ve learnt to rectify the situation by, yes, trying harder, and my talking to God a bit more. There have been nights when I didn’t feel like reading my prayer books, so I just talked to him until I fell asleep.
We see people in church who sit there for hours. How do they do that?!? It’s easy. Just talk to him about your day, your job, your dreams and desires, funny situations, the food you had, your bus ride, whatever. Just tell him anything and everything, even if you know he already knows. It’s comforting, relaxing and addictive. I know it’s so much easier to talk to him when you have problems, when you’ve hit rock bottom. But make sure to tell him about your good news as well. He wants to hear it all from you.
Try to balance out what you tell him — don’t just keep asking. Imagine yourself talking to a friend only when you need help. How would that person feel? Jesus is a friend. Treat him as such.
Asking questions vs. Questioning his will
I remember being told that we should never question God’s will. I, however, continue to ask questions. I don’t question his will. There are so many things in this world that I don’t and will never understand, and I’m comfortable with that. That doesn’t stop me from asking why as I want to understand the situation a little bit better. I never think and tell him he’s wrong (mainly because I don’t think he is and will never be), but I do ask questions with the innocence of a child. “Why, Papa God? Why Kuya Jesus?” Sometimes, I get answers whilst I’m talking to him. There are times when I get his response days, weeks or months after. However, I still have heaps of questions that are unanswered and I look forward to getting the answers.
The language of prayer
I must admit I pray more in English now. I don’t have to because there isn’t a standard language of prayer. I probably just do so because I’ve lived in Australia since 2009. However, more than the language used in praying, the conventions of a good conversation is by far more important. I talk, and Jesus listens. Then, Jesus talks, I listen. You won’t hear a thunderous voice from above responding to your queries, but somehow you’ll just know. Try it.
My Good Friday
As I watch episodes of The Flying House and write this blog, I know I’m having a good Friday myself. By 3 o’clock, I’ll be in church with other believers to commemorate the death of Jesus. I’m walking to and from church today and listening to Christian songs or simply talking to him. It’s cloudy in Melbourne today, with an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. It’s going to be a noice walk!!!
See you in church, fellow believers. 🙂 For now, watch some episodes of The Flying House on YouTube. Here are some of the links:
The Crown of Thorns
The Crucifixion of Christ