Tag Archive: Prayer


…By Lee

“And we know that in all things we are more than conquerors, through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

Once in a while people confide in me, pouring out their hearts on their many problems, and desperately hoping for God to provide a solution. Although I encourage them to have faith and stand strong in the Lord, I know that is far from easy to take that message to heart especially during times of turmoil.

I know for a fact that problems are created in the attempt to divert our attention from accepting God’s presence in our lives. God wants our focus to always be on Him, simply because, when we lose sight of God’s perspective, we blindly tumble towards our own destruction.

God knows how the ways of this world try to lure us into turning away from Him. When problems come our way, and we focus on them, they continue dragging us further and further away, until we are fully parted from our Godly mindset. The more we separate ourselves from focusing on God, the more we forget His word and the more vulnerable we are to adopting the earthly way of thinking; where we allow problems to drown us in a pool of worries, confusion and panic.

Through the apostle Paul, God assures us that we are more than conquerors in all we do. So in times of trouble, if those words can echo in our minds, and if we choose to have firm faith in them, knowing that God has declared us more than conquerors, more than champions, then we will be transformed in how we handle challenges. It’s like going to play a football match against a mediocre team. If you are intimidated by the team, you might end up losing, but if you face the team with the confidence of a winner, then you will play like a winner and triumph like a winner. It is all in the mindset. Therefore, when challenged with difficulties, recognise that you stand in God’s word and you have already been declared the victor in all you do.

So how can one be able to adopt a Godly mind set? The only way to adopt God’s way of thinking is to get deeper into His word. Develop your relationship with Him through prayer and daily devotion. Like any relationship, the one you have with God requires time, attention and commitment. As your relationship with God grows, He will gradually reveal Himself to you. The more you know God, the more you trust in Him. As your trust in Him grows, the stronger your faith will be.

In the book of Romans chapter 12, Paul also tells us that our minds should no longer be conformed to the motifs of this world, but instead be transformed in our way of thinking. We decide what manifests in our minds. If we allow our minds to be filled with fear and worries, it will reflect in the way we live. If we allow God’s words to take root in our minds, it will manifest in our lifestyle. We will begin to reflect His nature and being. The word says God made man in His image, so there is no reason for us to think that we can never reflect His nature.

So I urge you to fasten your minds on God and take hold of His word. Do not allow thoughts of fear and discomfort to dwell in your psyche, but allow the truth of God’s word to shape your mind. We

When facing problems, you should always remember that the God who breathed life into you has made you a conqueror of anything you will ever face. God will always provide a new perspective on your situation and he will empower you with the strength you require to get through it.

…By Mwandi

1 Samuel 1:10-13a “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD……Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard.”

Today a person I care very deeply for wrote to me and said God does answer prayers.  Only that morning had she prayed earnestly for help…not knowing how, or where or whom; only knowing and believing that God would be able to deliver her out of her strife. 

I read her email and saw her pain, her anguish and her joy at salvation.  In her email I read all the emotions I had experienced when I was in desperate need for an answered prayer.  I knew how it felt to be praying for something so earnestly and deeply it brings you to your knees; you sob endlessly being unable to form the words in your mouth but your heart screaming out to be heard.  Not knowing how long you would have to endure turmoil until you were alleviated from your situation.  

And in those prayers I always remember wishing that God would send someone…anyone to help me.  That He would release an angel who would cradle me in their arms and let me know that everything would be ok.  And not only say it, but mean it and help me.  And then I wished I could be that person who was called upon to help another.  That without my knowing God would use me to answer another’s prayer.  And I prayed for the same.  Believing that God would deliver me, I believed in turn that I should be used to help another…even if I were in pain, I should help.     

Today a person I care very deeply for wrote to me and said God does answer prayers.  And I believe her.  God answered my prayers in a way I’ve not been able to stop thanking him for His intervention.  And simultaneously used me to answer somebody else’s prayer.  He knew that on Monday morning she would be praying to Him for help…so on Saturday delivered me from my pain, and on Sunday evening he placed it in my heart to be of that help and write to her what she needed the most.    

Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear”.

 

…By Mwandi 

Before I got baptized, I had always been a critic of the frequent church-goer; who on Sunday, in their Sunday best would praise the Lord with all their heart, and all their soul and all their might…then on Monday don the ski mask and rob you blind.  And it was unfortunate for me that I knew so many of them.  There were few people I met who I could say were truly spiritually in-tune and showed that both in and out of the office. 

I remember countless sermons in church that taught one thing and I ended up doing the other the very next day; a sermon on taming the tongue…and the next day insulted my manager in all the international languages I had acquired.

 Then I made the glorious change in my life and was baptized.  I was a new person.  I had a new outlook for life, I had new joy and peace within me and for the first time I had an overwhelming amount of hope.  But I was still working in the same office that drove me up the wall.  It didn’t take long, and it wasn’t too hard for me to quickly become a Sunday angel and the next day be a Monday Devil. 

 I remember countless sermons in church that taught one thing and I ended up doing the other the very next day; a sermon on taming the tongue…and the next day insulted my manager in all the international languages I had acquired.  A sermon on patience, and the next day wanting to chop off the head of a matatu tout for short changing me.  One on being a Samaritan to those around me; helping them up…yet the next day tearing them down.  There was a problem.  There was a missing link. 

 Not only was I not applying everything I’d learned the day before where it mattered the most; I was breaking one of my most sacred vows…putting God first and having Him guide me wherever I go.  I could be wrong (though I highly doubt it) but I don’t think God intended me to be a razor-sharp clawed, fire breathing vixen in the office.

 But many people claim and say that God does not belong in the office (unless your office is some form of ministry).  That religion and politics do not and should not mix; and that “me” as the politician is totally different from “me” as the religious person.   But where else can one practice the principals learned on that religious Sunday?   

 Finally, I did what every struggling Christian thinks last to do…I prayed.  I asked how do I bring God into the office?  How can I show, that something within me has changed…that God is fully with me and that I am a changed person?”

 The answer did not come easily and the application of the same is harder still.  It required of me to hold back when I wanted to go forward.  Or stand firm when I wanted to flee.  It meant me persevering when I wanted to quit; and letting go when I wanted to hold on.  It took more of me than I thought it would but I gained all the more back.  The peace that resonated within me from my decision was now spilling into the one place people said it should not go. 

And that is when I knew…it’s not the preaching in the office; neither the countless bible verses exhibited your work space; nor the continuous exclamation that “I am a Christian woman” that makes the difference.  It is God, living within you, guiding, transforming and emancipating you, that makes the difference wherever you go.

Swept away by the world

…By Wambui

Being a good Christian, following the commandments, praying and reading the Bible regularly is a very safe way to live. It is almost like standing on the bank of the River Nile, watching the millions of gallons of water flowing past, carrying away with its force items as small as ants and as big as trees.

At some point, watching from a distance gets boring; the urge to be a part of the action overcomes you. Almost as if they can hear your thoughts, a group of old friends happen to pass by in a raft, so without a second thought, you grab an oar and head straight into the water. After all, you can swim, so what’s the big deal? For a Christian, that’s the point at which all the do’s and don’ts become stifling, and you feel like you need to shake things up a bit.

For the first 10 minutes, the ride is smooth and uneventful. The scenery is breathtaking and it’s all laughs in the raft. Then the water begins to get rough; there’s a whirlpool coming up ahead. The guy whose idea the ride was shouts, “To the left.” So you all paddle frantically and somehow manage to avoid spinning endlessly at one point in the river. To a Christian, this might be your first hangover. The friend who took you clubbing gave you some bitter soup and voilà!

The sun is still shining and the water is calm again, so all’s good, right? Wait a minute. The water seems to be flowing faster, and there’s a bend ahead. “Is that a rapid?” The girl next to you says, “Yeah, hold on tight, it’ll be rough.” True to her word, all of a sudden, all you can see is water. It’s everywhere. Its force is so much that it yanks your oar right out of your hand, slapping you in the process. You’re holding on so tight that your fingers are paining, and you can feel your shoe coming off, but you can’t let go. A Christian comes to this point when s/he realises that being in the thick of things is not easy. There are lies to keep up with, lifestyles to maintain, appearances to make, and all for what? Just to avoid looking ‘uncool’.

You feel yourself tilting over slowly, slowly, slowly, then you realise that you’re only still breathing because of the air pocket formed by the hollow of the raft. “Am I looking up at my seat?” you ask yourself. Your fingers are numb; you’re holding your breath; the raft is moving away, but you can do nothing – you’re at the water’s mercy. For a Christian, a drowning experience can be a chance for revival. When you realise that you’re helpless, you’re more likely to be open to God’s word. This drowning experience may come in form of drug/alcohol addiction, financial ruin, or a deep sense of loss or emptiness.

As the current sucks you deeper and deeper, and you can’t hold your breath any longer, you give up on the idea of dying peacefully in your sleep, and accept this unexpected, watery death.  Suddenly, the water is calmer, you feel the sun on your head and something soft grazes your knee. Mud? It seems this was not your day to die, so the current pushed you to the river bank. As Christians, do we have people around us who push, pull and prod us to live a good life? Do we do the same to others? Are we accountable to anyone who can keep us from getting into such “watery” situations?

You look around and see one of your friends who is so shaken that she refuses to get into the rescue boat (the drug addict who has refused rehab).  The girl who sat next to you in the raft is now on a stretcher, heavily bandaged on her knee and elbow (a baby and HIV from a “complicated”  relationship).  You look at yourself, see how muddy you are, one shoe missing, and wonder if you’ll ever be able to wear those expensive jeans again (guilt, sense of loss, doubt and anger).  As you pull yourself slowly to your feet, you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I just stay on the river bank in the first place?”

…By Neemo

I wanted to share this beautiful traditional prayer to Ngai, The Kikuyu God of the Mountain. It has been translated to English from Kikuyu. The first time I read this I pondered the question: Did salvation come with the missionaries who brought us the Word of God, or were we, in our own way, already saved? I will leave it to the readers to decide after reading the prayer:

O my Father, Great Elder

I have no words to thank you

And with deep wisdom

I am sure that you can see how I value your glorious gifts

O my father, when I look upon your greatness

I am confounded with awe

O great elder

                                                                        Ruler of all things earthly  and  heavenly

                                                                                            I am your warrior

                                                                                  Ready to act according to your will.

…By Mwandi

“You are the person who has to decide,

Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside.

You are the person who makes up your mind

Whether you’ll lead or linger behind.

Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar…

Or just be content to stay where you are”

(Author: anonymous and time: unknown)

 Ecclesiastes 9:11

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

 There is a time for everything under the sun. Time comes with opportunities and decisions you need to make on which direction you will take.

Time comes with opportunities and decisions you need to make on which direction you will take.

 There is the time to change; the time to stop complaining.  The time has come for that old attitude, mentality and habits to change. You’ve complained all your life and has that made a difference?  You’ve looked in the mirror and despised the person you see there. Has that helped to make you a better person?

 The time has come for you to say and believe with your heart that God can do all things.  John left his home and went out preaching and baptizing people that the Messiah was coming.  He believed with all his heart and carried out his role in life with a vengeance like no other.  It is also time for you to have faith.   Sometimes things are so rough, you ask yourself “Where is God in this?”.  Remember, Jesus went through the same thing, when he was dragged, and beaten, and mistreated and insulted and a whole load of other things.  God was there.  Jesus needed to go through those things for us.  And now He is exalted and in Heaven, for suffering. 

(Read Ezekiel 37:1-14, the story of the dry bones).

 And then there’ll be a time for you to deliver;

 (Mark 1:14).  When John was put in prison, Jesus set out to pick his first disciples and begin preaching the new message.  He knew the stage had been set and went about performing what he needed to without hesitation. Fast forward a few years (or chapters), when Jesus was arrested, he was calm because he knew it was his time.  And before he was arrested, he went up on the hill and prayed.  It is important to remember the prayer as that is where he drew his strength from. 

 The time to be strong; by having a strong foundation and being a true woman (or man) of God.  Look for the Rock, look only to the Rock and build your house upon that rock.  When the elements come (the rain, the snow, the sleet, the storm, the sea), and after the storm, if you are on the rock, then you remain.  The elements, of course, refer to the challenges you are experiencing in your life.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

 The time has come to choose to live for something, or you will die for nothing.  And you will not be content with your life if it was only focused on you and what you can take out of it.  There are souls you need to touch, people you need to speak to, and an impact you need to make in the name of Jesus. 

 Be blessed.  Feel loved.

…By Wambui

I like to lie on the grass and watch the clouds floating lazily in the sky.  Big, small, light, thick – all shapes and sizes.  In these moments, the matrix of random thoughts that make up my thought process comes alive.  The matrix stretches, bounces up and down, and the countless compartments somehow fuse together to produce that occasional “Aha!” moment.  This is the moment when I understand something I have never before understood, or I understand it in a completely new way.

I had been hearing the term “gentle warrior” used to describe a man who is a leader, protector, defender, and yet a lover, comforter and friend.  I understood that the term was coined to bring out the soft side of a man.  I had never really thought about how the term could apply to a woman.

My “Aha!” moment came when a particular cloud that was floating right above me seemed to stay in place for unusually long, yet the others floated by quite fast.  It reminded me of a friend who has completely refused to let me apply anything less than a Godly standard to my life.

When I was whining about my frustrations at work, she gently reminded me that God had put me there for a reason, and that those frustrations had a lesson attached to them.  She gently bullied me into changing my whining from, “What am I still doing here?” to “God, I’m lost; show me the way.”

When two of our mutual friends fell out, she completely refused to let me take sides. She adamantly rubbished my opinion on who was the cause of the disagreement.  I had no choice but to remain neutral and encourage them both to make up.

There is a time I wanted to give up praying for something I really wanted, but which eluded me for years on end.  She jokingly told me that God is not an ATM that I should go to only when I need money, and that prayer is not an ATM card that allows me to have instant access to cash when I’m broke.

Now, if that is not a gentle warrior, then I guess I have many more hours of cloud watching to do before I understand the term.

Yet again, God spoke to me in a way my simple mind could understand.

…By Lee

Jesus said and says he is always with us. No matter where you are or what you do and regardless of whether you are a Christian or not, Jesus is always with you. Now, my question is, do you believe in the depths of your heart that Jesus is with you at all times?

Before you quickly jump to an answer, I invite you to let the thought ponder in your mind for awhile. Reflect upon it! In times of trouble and despair, do you focus on the strength of the Almighty Father and remember that he is our true deliverer or do you allow your tribulations get the best of you, leaving behind a restless heart and troubled mind? In times of joy, do you express gratitude to the Lord for his never-ending grace or do you recline and enjoy the moment while it lasts?

God is always with us, watching over us...

This leads me back to my first question; do you believe deep in your heart that at all times that Jesus is with you? I realized it is easy to proclaim that you believe, while in reality, you may be saying the words without genuinely having faith in them. Thus a different picture is painted, as these words do not translate into practice.

If one believes that Jesus is with him/her at all times, it will reflect in their actions, it will reflect in their spoken words. But i must sadly admit, in my spiritual journey, somehow when the going gets tough, I tend to focus my magnifying glass on my collection of problems and over look the power my savior has over everything. I dive deep into strategic planing on how I can maintain everything under my control, instead of surrendering it all to my faithful Jesus. Just a side note: the kind of problems I am referring to are those we do not have control over, or rather the problems that demand us to display our faith in God. I do NOT mean that we should resolve to being lazy or laid-back and leaving it all to God. We must always be aware that God is there to bridge the gap between impossible and possible. God is always going to present us with situations where our faith as Christians will be tested.

Let’s look at one of my favourite scriptures, Jesus tells us in John 14.6:

I am the way, the truth and the life.

Jesus assures us that he is literally the way, and this way is the truth and life! No matter where we fear our problems might lead us, as long as we acknowledge and believe that Jesus is the way, our hearts will dwell in peace. Despite the challenges we face, our Lord is faithful and ready to deliver us from our persecutions. Therefore, professing and trusting that Jesus is with you and is leading you down his path, will change your entire perspective of life. It will transform how you react during times or trials, it will instill confidence and courage in you, while relinquish any traces of fear planted in you. Moreover, it will lead you closer to the Lord.

The closer you get to Jesus, the more you adopt his character. When reading the book of Acts, I am amazed by how the disciples walked in Jesus’s authority, they believed and knew that they were invincible. They knew that Jesus was present with them at all times, so they had no reason compelling them to surrender to fear. They knew the path God had set for them; they had their perspectives tuned to Jesus. Hence fear was none issue to them. I truly believe the disciples portray the traits, we, the children of God should reflect in our lives.

Jesus constantly reminds us that we should walk in his authority, without fear, without doubts but with faith, following in his light. Honestly, that is a fact I often forget. I am currently a university student, sometimes the fear of failing shakes me deep in my core, but at the same time God reminds me of how far he has brought me. He also reminds me that Jesus is with me, and whatever challenge I may face, Jesus stands beside me, and he can overcome any obstacle that can dare face me. So I challenge anyone who reads this article, to walk each day, aware and believing that Jesus is with you.

…By Mandii

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

–Marianne Williamson

A.U.R.A. has an interlinked dual meaning, firstly, as the acronym of ‘Are U Really Awake?’ which challenges us to ask ourselves whether we are in truth, conscious beings, sentient of our identity and potential; or living our lives in a state of oblivion, unwittingly, almost mechanically, going through the motions. Are we aware of the brilliance that lies within each of us? Do we slumber as our astounding promise lies dormant?

With time I have learned the most significant lesson in my life- there is greatness inside of every one of us. In the words of Juan Arias: the extraordinary is not the birthright of a chosen and privileged few, but of all people, even the humblest. That is my one certainty: we are all the manifestation of the divinity of God.

This ties in with the second meaning of A.U.R.A. – an aura being the subtly pervasive quality emanating from a person; in this context, emanating from their core, their spirit, their true aura of greatness. People make a lot of effort not to acknowledge this, not to accept their colossal magical potential. The world may have told us in one way or another that we are weak, ugly and incapable. Many have been led to believe this is true. We need to forget what we think we are, so that we can really become what we are. This journey of actualizing one’s potential, of awakening one’s magnificence and unearthing one’s true aura is one that requires strength, bravery and faith. Along this journey we sometimes experience disappointment, defeat, and despair. But we must realise that God uses these trials to show us the way and to encourage us to have the courage to make mistakes, to risk failure and disillusion, prompting us to keep searching, keep looking for our aura.

This journey of unearthing one’s true aura is one that requires strength, bravery and faith.

Through this blog we hope to gently shake some awake and help others who are already on their voyage of discovery, by sharing our experiences and insights.