Faith: Hey Tom! You don’t look happy what’s wrong?
Tom: My brother; A lot is going through my mind. It’s like my head is going to burst any moment from now.
Faith: That’s serious; why would your head burst?
Tom: You won't understand; I have this problem that has evaded every solution. I have tried friends, family and everything you can think of but there’s no answer.
Faith: Have you tried God?
Tom: What do you mean?
Faith: I mean pray; tell God the problem and He will answer you.
Tom: Does God answer prayers?
Faith: You are just fulfilling the meaning of your name.
Faith: You people that answer Thomas (Tom) will always doubt. Well, what do I say to a little mind like yours if Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, also doubts God.
Tom: Why would the head of Anglican Church doubt God? You are too controversial and abstruse, that’s why I hate listening to you.
Faith: It doesn't matter whether you listen to me or not. But you'll certainly miss the truth if you only listen to those who tell you what you want to hear because the truth lies in those words you don’t want to hear.
Tom: Okay; why did you say the Archbishop also doubts God?
Faith: The man told BBC "there are moments, sure, when you think, 'Is there a God?' Where is God?” That; “if you look at Psalm 88 that's full of doubt”. He crowned it by saying; "The other day I was praying over something as I was running, and I ended up saying to God look this is all very well, but isn't it about time you did something, if you're there?”
Tom: The man is right. I have prayed countless times over this my problem but no answer from God.
Faith: How did you ask from God?
Tom: Well, I go to church every Sunday and pray the way Jesus taught us to pray.
Faith: Do you mean ‘our Lord’s prayer’ according to Matt. 6?
Tom: Yes!!! Vs.9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Vs. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Vs. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Faith: Stop there for a moment; have you eaten today?
Tom: Of course I have eaten.
Faith: Then God has answered your prayer because you asked for your daily bread and He has given it to you.
Tom: My friend; if food is my problem then I won't be complaining.
Faith: Anything beyond our daily bread requires fulfilling certain conditions.
Tom: Like what?
Faith: Continue reciting ‘our Lord’s prayer’.
Tom: Vs. 12 and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Faith: This is where the problem lies. As you are asking for a favour from God, you are also lying to Him.
Tom: How dare you say that?
Faith: You said to God, forgive me my sin because I have forgiven those that sinned against me. But it’s untrue; you have not forgiven your neighbour’s son who broke your car’s windscreen. In fact you are insisting that your car must be repaired to the extent that your neighbour has travelled to the village to sell his inheritance in order to repair your car. How would God forgive you if you haven't forgiven your neighbour.
Tom: But the boy intentionally broke the car’s windscreen.
Faith: And you have intentionally sinned against God, which He overlooked to grant your daily bread.
Faith: Before you receive from God you must have given to Him. Let me explain. ‘Our Lord’s prayer’ has two parts. From Matt. 6: Vs. 9&10 (Our Father which art in heaven…) means that you have recognised God as your father and given Him the required praises and adoration. The reward for that is Vs 11 and that your daily bread is guaranteed.
But if you need more than your daily bread, such as building your mansions and buying your Range Rovers, you'll need to satisfy another obligation. That obligation is Vs. 12: forgive those that trespassed against you and only then will God forgive you and grant your luxuries. Once He forgives you, your reward will be Vs.13, there won't be temptation that will block or take away your riches like Job. He will prevent all evils from harming you. But if you don’t satisfy this obligation be assured that God may not grant your prayers and this is why it seems as if God doesn't answer prayers. Thus, the next time you pray and realise you have not forgiven those that sinned against you; stop there and enjoy your daily bread than continue and lie to God. Furthermore, the prayer ends with reaffirming that heaven, earth and all powers belong to God just like what you said from the beginning of your prayer.
Finally, your prayers must be said according to Jesus’ teachings: you must not pray like the hypocrites who pray standing in their churches and in the corners of the streets so that people will see them. And if I may add, do not run and pray at the same time like the Archbishop of Canterbury because God needs that devotion. But go into your closet, shut your door and ask God in secret and He will reward you openly. Most of all, avoid repetition because God knows your needs before you ask them. Just imagine how short the prayer Jesus taught us. And for those who speak in ‘tongues’ – sherimama, etc. be careful what you say.
If you pray according to Jesus’ teachings, you won't have to doubt whether or not God answers prayers.
Tom: Thanks man!!!
Faith: You are welcome!!!
...liberate your mind