The above statement was the theme for today’s worship in the Church today, and our Pastor, Revd. Sunil Ghazan went on to elaborate the same in his sermon for today’s service. In his message, he went on to remind all those in the congregation that as followers of the Good Shepherd, we must behave like sheep in our walk of faith whatever our faith might be!
The above words spoken by the Pastor set my mind on a train of thought, that we believe that our prayers have a magical quality and we believe that praying will solve our problems the way we want them to be solved. We pray continuously for months on end and when the desired results fail to appear instantly, then we tend to become depressed, disillusioned! We don’t realize that God might have already answered our prayer in his own mysterious ways, and who knows that He might have answered our prayers making us strong enough to face the problems we might already be facing!
We have today become so weak in our faith that we have started adopting the ‘Instant Coffee’ approach rather than the bread making approach towards life and its attendant problems, thinking of instant solutions rather than waiting patiently for one to present itself to us! The Book of Ephesians 6:10-13,16-18 reads: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand…above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”. The keywords in the above passage, “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, Praying always with prayer and supplication, with all perseverance and supplication” remind us to strengthen our faith. The above passage also reminds us that today, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. It becomes clear that today we are not just struggling against the more mundane problems in life, but rather adversaries who are formidable, against spiritual wickedness in high places! So it becomes imperative for us to build our faith in such a way that we are not disappointed by not receiving instant answers and instant solutions knowing well that our patience is being tested! Nothing is impossible for faith which is the result of, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”! Psalm 124 very clearly states, “ If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindles against us”. Our faith is strengthened by our conviction that the Lord is by our side, and He will not give us away!
In today's times of technological advancements, where we have been taught to expect instant solutions to problems, in time when we can sit and log in to the internet, make purchases overseas, chat to people thousands of miles away, we also begin to believe that prayers will bring us instantaneous results, but then this will not be! We cannot confuse ourselves with the machines that we have started using, and we cannot also deny our essential humanity. In times of instant gratification, instant communication, in an age where we have shrunk distances, we shouldn’t forget that without our Faith in God, without prayer and supplication, we cannot achieve peace. Machines are machines, and they cannot replace our souls, they cannot answer our prayers, and they cannot give us that essential peace of mind. In this rather technologically advanced but volatile age, we will continue to face persecution. We will continue to be cheated and fooled by spiritual wickedness in high places, people will continue to bully us, we will continue to have phases of bad luck, we will continue to be depressed, but then we can’t afford to despair if we have faith, faith which is built on the strong foundation of prayer, perseverance, and supplication.
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