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Trusting in God My Savior and the Need for Prayer November 15, 2008

Posted by Justin Farr in The Journey.
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“Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.” – Mother Teresa

I am not really sure, again, where I will be going with this. I just need to write, really… Genocide, Prayer, the so-called Enlightenment, Sickness, Sinning… I don’t really know. I suppose I shall start chronologically (going from the previous post to now) and see where that leads me. I also really like the above quote, and need to keep it in mind. Due to experiences I had last night, and the consequences this morning, I find that it is something I need to remember far more often.

Last week in my Contemporary American Issues class, we watched Hotel Rwanda. I distinctly remember in the movie a new reporter saying that even if the Americans saw horrible genocide footage, it wouldn’t matter. He said (going from memory here):

“They will be eating their dinners and see this footage on the TV. They will say, “Oh! That’s horrible!” Then they will go back to eating their dinner.”

How disgustingly true that is. I instantly recalled the plentiful times that I have done that exact thing. Furthermore, I (and most of the class) agreed that the US should have stepped in to stop the genocide. But, my teacher asked, which of us would have volunteered to go over there and kill and possibly die for it? Not I. Would I go with the Red Cross to directly aid? Probably not, though this one is a bit more likely. The movie caused my heart to ache and grieve, and I realized also the blackness of my own soul. I am so accustomed to violence and murder that I don’t think twice about it. It is casually mentioned, and it seems so far off.

I just didn’t know what to do.

Then I remembered something Ron Moore had said during his visit at OCF a few weeks back. He was talking about missions, and the OCMC (Orthodox Christian Mission Center) and such. He had said that even though we are not directly out there, we can contribute greatly by praying for the missions and those involved. How true this is for war, genocide, famine, hurricanes… all the evil in the world. I need to pray for what I see on the news. Really pray. Not just a quick “Lord, have mercy” and go about my day. I need to really pray for those people and those involved. And that’s the best thing I, or anyone, can do, and wait with great anticipation for the Second Glorious Coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I’ve also not prayed. Which is frustrating, because I had been doing decently well. Recently, when I picked up the habit of prayer again (well, evening prayer… I’m not so great about the morning rule…), I had realized how I had gone for many, many weeks without praying other than at church. This had all originated from a single night when I told myself, “I am tired. God will understand.” I did the same this time. Same exact words. God help me.

I also had a wreck. That’s about all the detail I shall go into, but I felt (feel) awful about it. I find that entire night to be more than coincidental. I was driving to Tiffany’s to watch Ostrov (The Island) – an amazing film. Then I wrecked. As I continued to her house, I was cussing and freaking out. A large theme in the movie was trusting God, and there were many examples in the film: the mother who was worried about her work after God healed her son, the woman who was worried about her farm, etc. I’m trying to view this all as a lesson about trusting God… which I fail miserably at. Even that night I did not trust God. 1/10th of a second is the difference between the small wreck I had as opposed to a full on t-boning… Yet I did not, in any way, glorify God or thank Him other than a quick “Thank you, God” while in the car. That’s it. Nothing more. No praise for my safekeeping. Nothing. By the time I made it to bed that night, it was about 1AM. I laid in bed, distinctly remembering the lesson on trusting God and not being worried, yet I still used the excuse that it was late and that I needed sleep for school, so I would not pray. I did not trust in the Lord, and I curled into bed and fell asleep, and still awoke in the morning feeling as if I had far too little rest.

God help me. Truly, I cry out to Thee, “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!”

I have also been making attempts to read more of the Gospel. I hardly ever crack the Holy Bible open. It’s sad. So this week I have decided to begin by reading Luke, my favorite Gospel. It really has made a difference, and I have been more at peace since the reading. A few times I have turned to the Psalms or to the Song of Songs in times of despair, and that has been a great aid as well.

I have also decided to trust God financially. That sounds ridiculous, I am aware, but olive oil is expensive! I have taken to only burning my vigil lamp during prayer… this is a practice that needs to stop. Today I have lit my lampada, my vigil lamp, and am going to once again maintain it 24/7. Though this means I will be using a lot of olive oil, I will, God helping me, trust in the Lord on the matter.

I’ve been thinking about trusting God a lot lately, and about how much I don’t trust God. I worry about so many little details. It’s horrible. Christ our God has even told us in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 12:22-30:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

I need to make a much greater effort to truly trust in God, and to stop fretting over insignificant things. Even my English teacher Mr. Ross frequently says that the things we worry over are, indeed, inconsquential. How true this is.

So it turns out this blog post has been one centered around my absolute need to start trusting in God. It is a necessity. In fact, I had not realized this until now. Thank God for this blog. And also, apparently, about prayer. It is the most effective thing anyone can do in any situation. Too often I see prayer as something to do in church, and in the morning and evening. This is not true. I need to live in Christ. I need to live prayer. When I drive, when I leave the apartment, when I begin studying, when I eat, when I finish eating, when I hear of tragedies on the news… I need to breathe prayer, as if it is my very life… and it is. God alone sustains me and keeps me from falling into the abyss. Furthermore, I cannot fall out of prayer, for if I do, it is so very difficult to get back into it. God helping me, however, I shall pray more and draw closer to Him and all of His incomprehensible sweetness, love, and joy.

As a bit of an addition and not related to the theme, I’m working on my term paper in my AP Enlighs 12 class. It’s a 2 part paper. One is about the so-called Enlightenment, the problems with it, and how it has shaped our thought process and affected the entire world. It is proving very interesting. The second part is a satirical piece. I shall post both of them Monday night.

This quote is relevant to my paper and to be incredibly true:

“Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society’s own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender.” – A. W. Tozer

So, so true. Thank God that I have found Orthodoxy, a strong pillar, Christ’s Holy Church. I need to continually try to persevere against the lies of the world and to let go of my delusions. I need to dispel the dream of despondency and embrace the Truth that is Christ. I have felt a significant tug to Mary, my Mother, and the Mother of my God, the Queen of Heaven, the Unwed Bride of God…

O God, by the loving intercessions of Mary and by the prayers of all the saints and bodiless powers, save me, a sinner.

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Comments»

1. Troy - December 7, 2008

Hey Justin,

I can definately relate to the struggle to pray more. I sometimes think, “God’s given 24 hours and I struggle to giv him justone hour of that day.” I find that integrating prayer into your activities help to keep your mind stayed on God. For example giving praise to God for all the little blessings throughout the day, asking God’s help in completing a taks, giving God the glory for completed tasks, etc. There are many little ways, which don’t involve standing before your icon corner with your head in a prayer book. The wonderful thing about Orthodoxy is the understanding that God works with us. He is not out to send us to hell. The closer you draw to God in prayer the closer he will draw to you. Don’t fret! I have also noticed that when I have skipped prayers or abbreviated my rule, that when I come back to it I realize how much I missed it and needed it.

Your Bruh in Christ,

Troy

2. Osemekhian - May 25, 2009

I want God to forgive me for the sins that i have conmeted.


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