I always enjoyed when Eunkyung leaves to take her exams for her school, she always tells me to pray for her. And I always do. I pray for her during the time she takes her exam, and I pray after she is done in hopes that she did her best.
I do believe in the power of prayer, but the prayer is not necessarily a means to meet our desires. Prayer is about preparations for the unknown. It is about asking God to provide the strength to overcome any situation that we may face.
In the Bible, two aspects about prayer come to my mind. It is in Ephesians, when the writer says, “this is why I kneel in prayer.” And also in 1 Thessalonians, where Paul says to “pray without ceasing.” When I think about prayer, I think about those two aspects of prayer.
Kneeling is about our submission to God. We let go of our ego, our wants, our self, and recognize that God is far more beyond than we can ever imagine. But the question is how often do we kneel in prayer? Well, if you come from a Catholic or Orthodox Christian faith than this may be more practiced. But for me, coming from a Protestant background, I can sadly count the number of times I have knelt in prayer on both of my hands. I must say, that’s not very much! But does that mean that I have to physically kneel every time I pray? Well, the Protestant in me, is saying, “no.” Only because I must always remember when I pray, I must let go of my ego before entering the communication with God. I must remember that I am the created, and He is the creator. I must repeat myself, the “memento mori,” that is “remember you are mortal.” Come to God not with my expectations but come before God empty; so that God can fill me up with strength and hope for the task at hand.
Prayer is about submission, so maybe it doesn’t hurt every once in a while, to kneel to remind yourself that you are not in control, it is God who is in control. Kneeling before God is our recognition of frailty and that we come to God in need of God’s love, God’s forgiveness, and God’s embrace.
“Pray without ceasing” is what Paul calls us to do. But how do we do this when our life is so complex and that our time always seems to be limited? It always feels as if we just do not have time for anything, even prayer. But prayer is not just about our quiet time, or our kneeling before God, it is about our life and how we live it. Make your life a prayer. Maybe like what Bon Jovi says, “
Woooaahh, we’re halfway there!
Woah-Oh! Living on a prayer!
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear!
Woah-Oh! Living on a prayer!
Live your life on a prayer. That is a life that is filled with hope, love, compassion, and grace. Never think that prayer is about asking for your desires but remember that prayer is about asking for strength to endure and persevere in every circumstance. It is about devotion to God, submission to God, and remembering that life will always have its ups and downs. Live your life in ceaseless prayer. That is life can be a rollercoaster, filled with fear, joy, exhilaration, and exhaustion, but through that ride, find fulfillment, hope, and freedom. Pray that God continues to encourage us to be a people of hope and compassion. And that through hope and compassion we can find meaning and understanding in every curveball life throws at us.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).