Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Night My Car Broke Down

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.
-- 1 John 5:14, 15

It was around 7PM of April 5, 2010. I was about to leave the office to pick up my wife in Mandaue City Hall; we had an appointment with a family friend by 7:30PM. When I got to Lexmark's parking area, my car, Herbie, stood silently like a faithful dog waiting for its master to arrive. Everything looked fine so I went through the usual motion of checking in my bag and book, opening the baggage compartment for security checking, and settling myself on the driver’s seat. Then I started the engine – Tick! I tried again – Tick! I tried over and over again, but I got the same result; the car won’t start.

I am an engineer by profession so I knew, supposedly, a lot of technical stuffs including how a car works. Wrong! I am the type of driver who likes to drive my car but seldom bother to open the hood. But that night, I had to make an exception, so I opened it and look for obvious signs of problem – wires OK, battery cables and cable connections OK, coolant OK, break fluid OK, etc. It was like trying to find a needle in the middle of a haystack with my eyes closed. Since I didn’t have an inkling of what the problem was, and how to find it, I pulled down the hood, went back inside my car, and with a tinge of desperation, started the engine again – Tick! Tick! Tick! Tick!

On the verge of calling off our appointment, I pulled out my cellphone and started keying in a text message to my wife when God spoke to my heart: “Pray.” With the cellphone still in my hand, I closed my eyes, bowed my head and prayed to God: “Lord, You are almighty; nothing is impossible with You. Please start my car so that we can push through with our important appointment.” Then I started the car – ta-ta-ta-tat-tat-tat-broommm! Herbie came roaring back to life! “Praise God,” I shouted in delight.

I read of stories like this in the Kerygma, but I never thought that God would let me experience it in my own life. But before you will petition the Pope to beatify me, please hear me. I am not a holy man; I sinned yesterday and I will most likely sin tomorrow. But despite my sinfulness, my Father in Heaven answered my prayer. And He will answer your prayers too. The key is to pray the right way. How?

Pray with an expectant heart. When I prayed for my car, in my heart I believe that God will grant my request; much like when I was asking a bread from my Tatay Tonio.

Use the power of your words. Every word that I prayed that night, I made sure that I hear it, and then affirm it in my heart to be true. I have no power to boss God around, but with my words I can tap to the vast reservoir of God’s love and blessing. If you pray without hearing your prayers, like your mind is somewhere else, then your prayer losts its power.

Your prayer should be in accordance to God’s will. This is the reason why some prayers are not granted or why God delayed answering prayers. Even if you pray for something good like prosperity, God may still not answer your prayer if you are still not ready for it – you’re heart is still greedy and you’re financially illiterate – because it will only drive you farther away from Him or make you more miserable; ask those who win the lotto and lost all their money within a few years to understand this point.

Finally, pray in Jesus name for He is the only way to the Father.

God adored us His children even if we sin from time to time. He will easily forgive and forget our mischief if we apologize sincerely, because that’s what every loving parent do. And He gives us a cellphone to send text messages to Him – our prayer – because He cares about our every need. Whether God will answer or not answer your prayer rest assured that the root of it all is LOVE.

PS: The battery of my car was defective; no high current was observed by the Suzuki technicians. And the not-so-popular battery was replaced with Motolite for free. God is great!

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