Answers to Prayers

Happy New Year! 🙂

 

I hope you’ve had a good fill of the previous year, and that you are quite looking forward to new and exciting things this 2018. As for me, I have updated my so called “faith goals,” in time for Victory Makati and Every Nation’s annual prayer and fasting during the first week of January.  I have started participating in our prayer and fasting about 12 years ago, when I was a sophomore in college, and just a new convert from Roman Catholic to Born-Again Christian. Ever since then, I make sure to set-aside time not only to lessen the food I’ve accumulated the previous year (wink), but most especially to humble myself before God at the start of each year.

 

So now, about my faith goals. These are actually prayer requests I have, but I’m in faith that God will answer them within the year. Some are small and petty, some are life-changing. Over the years, I’ve come to realize how immature and self-centered I am when I was younger, and how God has shaped my character (and my prayers) to what He wanted me to become. When I look back, I’m thankful that I’ve received YES from certain prayers, and a consistent NO from other ones. I thought to myself, if I have instead received YES from those prayers, I might not be where I am supposed to be right now, plus I maybe miserable right now. 

 

Before anything else, I’d like to give you an idea about what I believe are God’s answers to our prayers. There are three I can think of:

 

YES – these are always according to what God wants to happen in our life, at the moment. He gives a resounding YES if our prayers are according to His will — that is, it is not opposite to what the bible says, and according to His perfect timing that will either help us, or use us to help other people. 

NO – these answers will be hurtful to us at times. There will also be times when we get confused to receive a resounding NO from God, but He knows everything. So He definitely knows the best for us and it’s only a matter of trusting Him for a better one. 

NOT YET – it means, WAIT my child. Our prayers may be according to God’s will, but not yet in His perfect timing. God wants you to grow in your character while waiting for an answered prayer. That could be more patience, more faith, and more contentment where God has put you where you are right now. 

 

With these answers to prayers, let me share to you some personal answers from prayers I’ve had over the years, in hopes that it may encourage you to remain hopeful for a better 2018:

 

FAMILY – if you’ve followed this blog over the years, you’ll know I came from a broken family and my father has left us in the dark years ago. When I was assigned in General Santos City for work, I had the opportunity to see my father again, and tell him I’ve forgiven him for what happened, as I’ve written in this post . This answered prayer is  my most memorable answered prayer, yet cross fingers.

 

RELATIONSHIPS – for some time, I’ve been asking God to meet people whom I can consider as real friends, who will be there for me through ups, down, and all the sideways of my journey in life. God has given me a support group (as you can read here) to whom I can share my life with, and while waiting for a romantic partner, they have made my life joyful, colorful and contented with what I have at the moment.

 

CAREER – for this one, after I graduated in college, I’ve always asked God to give me a career and put me in a workplace where I would grow professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. This one is tricky — because there are so many times I want to resign from work, or look for another place to go to for financial reasons, but all throughout, I’ve realized that God has been teaching me and allowing me to grow professionally, emotionally and spiritually through my workplace. In this post, this one, and another one, God has been faithful all throughout. Have I mentioned last year about an answered prayer? God gave me a promotion to the next level in my current role — where I am not that stressed, but instead enjoying the projects I’m doing right now to improve one aspect of PH education. What’s more, I have a supportive manager and colleagues that I’m truly thankful for.

 

MINISTRY – since I started my walk with God when I joined Victory, it has been my desire to share the unconditional love I’ve received to anyone who is willing to listen. So in the past three years, thankfully, God has used me as an instrument to become an encouragement to a group of women, and lead them to a more fruitful spiritual walk with God with my motivation as written here.

 

So there. Those are the answers to my prayers. How about you? Are you in faith for new things this year? Let me encourage you with this verse:

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

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I have Questions and God Answered 

Every year, my spiritual family in Victory (globally known as Every Nation) gathers to participate in a week-long prayer and fasting (P&F). It is the time where instead of choosing our desires, we choose God. 

This year’s P&F is special for me. Our topic is “Knowing God” intimately. This is the year I’m also believing God, more than all the answered prayers for the upcoming months, that I’ll be able to hear God’s whisper during my quiet times. 

My most memorable times are the ones I’ve believed and claimed in faith to happen, and indeed, God fulfilled those faith goals. As what Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and being certain of what you do not see (CEV).”

During this year’s P&F, here are some of my decision questions I’m praying for and indeed, God answered them one by one after only three weeks into 2017. 

1) Career: Will I have another opportunity with another employer or will I stay at my current company? God knows I’m vying for career advancement. 

2) Emotion: For one year, I’ve been attracted to this guy friend that I have, yet he does not know my feelings and I have no idea if these feelings I have for him will be reciprocated. 

3) How can I be effective in sharing Jesus to other people?

4) Love: How will I know the man I’ll marry? I’m already at that marrying age and I’m still waiting. 

These are personal questions I have with Jesus and during my quiet times, he answered it one by one through the book of Ephesians:

1) Career: Stay and be excellent.

Ephesians 2:7 Now God had us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 6:5b-8 Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God (MSG)

2) Emotion: Love him like a brother. Love without expecting something in return.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (MSG)

3) Sharing the gospel: Though I’m not qualified, God will equip me. 

Ephesians 3:7 This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities (MSG).

4) Love: He will be a husband in qualities to you. That way, you’ll know He’s the one. 

Ephesians 5:22b-28a The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. 

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives (MSG). 

Indeed, it is just weeks into 2017 and God has already been answering my questions. He has given me peace with the decisions I’ve made and I just know He will never leave me nor forsake me. I know 2017 will be an amazing year for me.  

God is faithful. ^_^

Last January 5-12, I participated for the annual prayer and fasting of Victory churches, particularly here at Victory Gensan. Ever since I put my faith in Christ back in Victory Los Baños, I am always praying for the salvation of my family.

For those who don’t know, I came from a broken family. Six years ago, I was still in college and my sister was still in highschool, when my father went here to GenSan for work. After several months, all communication and support were lost.

It was very difficult for us and we have this anger and hatred against him for abandoning us. Being the only Christian in my family, it was very difficult. I have to deal with such emotion and help my family finance our studies.

Every year during prayer and fasting,  I am always praying for restoration of relationship with my father, and eventually with my sister and my mom’s relationship with him. Last 2009, I know in my heart that I have already forgiven him for all that happened but I am not yet ready to meet him, or even see him.

I have so many questions for him, why this, why that. What is his reason, what really happened and what is really the truth. When opportunity came to work here in GenSan as earlier stated here in my blog, one of my reasons is eventually to see him. Even before, I’ve been praying for this for so long.

Then, I got an answered prayer just this January 14.

My father and I met here in General Santos City. It was a cold evening and I was with my churchmate, Chelo talking about our personal lives at the plaza. Then, I received a text that he wanted to meet me. I was nervous, and I do not know how to react, even how to confront him, but this was my prayer ever since — to someday meet him and tell him I’ve already forgiven him for all that happened. I just asked Chelo to pray for me before our meeting.

At last, we met at around 10 in the evening. We ate with Chelo, talked about general stuff and went home. Then, it was the time. Time to talk to him, tell him everything I think about him, ask him questions, blame him for what happened. But then, I realized, as Christ has forgiven us of our sins, why will I blame him? All the while, what I really prayed was tell him I’ve forgiven him?

He spoke the first word when we were at the dining table. He said, “Anak, sorry. Sorry sa lahat ng ginawa ko. Alam ko, galit kayo pero nagsisisi ako.” If I am still my old self, I would tell him, “Iniwan mo kami. Alam mo ba kung gaano kahirap nung wala ka? Kelangan kong magtrabaho, kelangan kong i-give up ang mga gusto ko para makatulong. Sina Mama, nahirapan, pero nasan ka?” But then, I never actually thought about it. When he said the first words, all I want to say is, “Napatawad na kita. Basta ako, napatawad na kita.”

God is awesome and wonderful. Just do what God wants and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4, paraphrase)

We cried and hugged each other. Then, I asked him all my questions and he shared with me what really happened during those six years. He mentioned that he was actually given a second chance — he nearly died because of high blood pressure but still, he survived and was able to live another lifetime. As for me, one greatest breakthrough is that God allowed me and gave me the strength to forgive him despite what happened in the past.

Also, God answered another prayer for me — that is, I would be able to share the gospel to my father. I’m the shy type and I don’t usually tell others about Jesus. But this time, God gave me this boldness and He helped me say the right words so that I can share the gospel to him – that Jesus loved us so much that He willingly suffered and died to save us from our sins and that He rose again after three days. As what I’ve told him, “Papa, I’m telling you this because I just want to share God’s love in me. How God loves me, He loves you as well.”

I’ve shared about salvation and  we prayed the prayer together. I’m happy for him. My follow up prayer for now is for him to start One2one at Victory Davao, and that he may constantly attend the church services there.

This is my testimony and I know, I have lots of testimonies coming my way this 2012. I just wanted to encourage you guys – those who follow this blog or for those who just stumbled upon it. God is faithful, God is just. If you’re believing for something, just believe and work out your relationship with God.

Nothing is impossible with God. To God be the glory for this testimony.