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Pray to God: A Ten-Year-Old Christian’s Experience of Learning to Pray
I am ten years old now. Since I was a child, I believed inwith my grandma. Later, she began to believe in and I, together with her, read God’s words and sang the hymns. I love singing very much, and by 2013 when I was seven, I had been able to sing several hymns of life experience. Every time I think of the fact that I am a little Christian in the Church of Almighty God, I feel very happy in my heart. But I had a bad habit: I didn’t like praying. I feared that if I didn’t pray well, God would dislike me. Moreover, I thought I was so young and it was all right that my grandma prayed for me. However, she always asked me to pray by myself. I couldn’t figure out why I had to pray by myself. Therefore, every time when my grandma urged me to pray, I kneeled down and said a few words carelessly to avoid her preaching.
Soon it was 2015, and I was 9 years old. I still prayed little to God and did it carelessly. Therefore my grandma always urged me to pray. One day, she preached at me again about my careless prayer. I replied casually, “It’s enough that you pray for me. Why must I pray by myself?” Hearing these words, my grandma realized that I didn’t understand the truth of prayer. Then she found some God’s words related to it and asked me to read. I took up the word of God and read: “Prayer is one of the ways in which man cooperates with God, it is a means by which man calls upon God, and it is the process by which man is touched by God’s Spirit. It can be said that those who are without prayer are dead ones without spirit, proof that they lack the faculties to be touched by God. Without prayer, they are unable to attain a normal spiritual life, much less are they able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit; without prayer, they sever their relationship with God, and are incapable of receiving God’s approval. Being someone who believes in God, the more you pray, the more you are touched by God. Such people have greater resolution and are more able to receive the latest enlightenment from God” (“Concerning the Practice of Prayer”). After I finished reading, my grandma communicated with me, “Prayer is the communication between us and God. The more we and speak the words within our hearts to Him, the more He will like us. Then He will lead and guide us all the time by our side. In our daily life we should always whisper to God in our hearts. In the future when we encounter some problems or difficulties, as long as we call out to God, He will lead and guide us. It’s for the good of us that God asks us to pray. As a believer in God, if we do not pray or speak the words within our hearts to God, and if we do not rely on Him in everything we do, we are no different from the unbelievers. God is different from man. He is almighty and wise; He has authority and power. He observes everything in secret and controls all things. No matter how many people pray to Him, He can hear their prayers. You only need to pray to Him carefully and speak your heartfelt words to Him.” God’s words and my grandma’s fellowship made me suddenly understand: Prayer is so important! No wonder she always urged me to pray. I should learn to pray quickly, so that God will guide me constantly. From then on, I asked God in my prayers to help me pray to Him. However, it didn’t last long. Because I was busy with my study, I gradually forgot to pray.
One day in September, 2016, a student in my class caught a cold. Soon afterward, all the other classmates and even my teachers were infected with the cold. My nose was congested and I felt terrible. Though I took some medicine, it didn’t work. Then I thought of God and prayed to Him, “O Almighty God! I’ve known that prayer is very important, but I prayed for several days and then forgot it. O God! I was wrong! I put my illness in Your hands. May You help me continue practicing prayers and be free from Satan’s harm. Amen!” However, after praying like this for a couple of days, I didn’t get better, so I told my grandma about it. She asked me with a smile, “How did you pray? Did you pray with your heart?” Hearing this, I felt a little guilty. I didn’t pray to God with my heart, but only spoke a few words casually to ask Him to cure me quickly and free me from the suffering caused by the cold. Then, my grandma found a passage of God’s words and read: “You pay no attention to prayer in your daily life. People have always overlooked prayer. In their prayers before they were simply going through the motions and playing around, and no one has ever fully given their heart before God and truly prayed to God. People only pray to God when something happens to them. … If you do not ordinarily draw near to God or reflect upon the words of God, then you will have nothing to say when it is time to pray—and even if you do pray, your lips will just be moving, you won’t be truly praying” (“Concerning the Practice of Prayer”). After I heard these words of God, I understood that though I had known the importance of prayer and was willing to do my best to train myself to pray, it was not so easy to put into practice. Then I prayed with my heart, “O Almighty God! I was wrong! I knew prayer is very important but I did not want to put it into practice. Now when I encountered difficulties, I remembered to pray to You and ask You to cure my illness. O God! From now on I’m definitely going to pray carefully. No matter what happens to me, I will pray to You and speak the words in my heart to You. O God! I’m willing to look to You and rely on You sincerely, and put my illness in Your hands. Whether I will be better or not, I’m willing to obey Your orchestration and arrangement. Thank Almighty God. Amen!” After my prayer, I felt quite at ease. Unexpectedly, when I woke up the next day, my cold cleared up. The experience made me see God’s wondrousness, and I was very joyful as if I had scored 100 in an exam. I thought: To cure the cold, my teachers and classmates all spent much money on injections and medicine. Yet I got well just through reading God’s words, praying to Him, and relying on Him. Prayer is really very important. I will pray to God carefully and continue whispering my heartfelt words to Him in my heart.
Then I read another passage of God’s words with my grandma: “Whilst praying, your heart must be at peace before God, and it must be sincere. You are truly communing and praying with God; you must not deceive God using nice-sounding words. Prayer is centered around that which God wishes to complete today. Ask God to bring you greater enlightenment and illumination, and bring your actual state and troubles before God to pray, and make resolution before God. Prayer is not the following of procedure, but the seeking of God using your true heart. Ask that God protect your heart, making it able to often be at peace before God, making you able to know yourself, and despise yourself, and forsake yourself in the environment that God has set for you, thus allowing you to have a normal relationship with God and making you someone who truly loves God” (“Concerning the Practice of Prayer”). Combining God’s words, my grandma fellowshiped with me, “While praying, we must have a heart of reverence for God. We should pray to Him with a sincere and earnest heart, and completely quiet our hearts before Him to speak our heartfelt and honest words. We should say what we think in our hearts, entrust our actual difficulties to Him, and look unto Him, without falsity and deception. Besides, we should make a resolution to satisfy God. When we pray like this, God will listen to us.” After her fellowship, I prayed to God immediately, “O Almighty God! My prayers before were not from my heart. I used to think that I’m young and it’s enough that my grandma prays for me. Now I finally understand that my grandma’s praying to You only means that she speaks with You, but not I. From now on I will pray to You persistently and no longer tell lies to cheat You. You like a good child who speaks his heart to You, and I will speak the words in my heart to You. May You help me do it constantly. Amen!” From then on, I persisted in praying. And God heard my prayer.
I remember that in an exam, after I glanced at the paper, I found there was a question I didn’t know how to solve. I was alarmed at once, thinking: If I can’t get a good score, my teacher will single me out for criticism in the class. What shall I do? At that time, I remembered my grandma’s words, “God is our reliance, and our very present help. As long as we pray to Him and rely on Him, He will guide us to solve all problems.” So, I prayed to God silently. I whispered in my heart, “O Almighty God! In the paper there is a question I don’t know how to answer. May You give me intelligence and wisdom. Thank the unique Almighty God. Amen!” After my prayer, I was no longer alarmed and quieted myself to solve the other questions. After I finished them, I looked at that question again and found I could solve it. When the exam results came out, I was the first in my class, which made me almost jump for joy. I kept giving thanks to God in my heart. God really heard my prayer. How foolish I was before! I used to think that since I hadn’t seen God, He could not hear my prayer; that since there were too many people praying to Him, God could not hear all of their prayers. Yet through this practical experience, I saw God’s loveliness and understood that as long as we pray to God with our hearts in all things, we will see His wondrous deeds!
One day, a church leader communicated with us and told us to write essays about experiencing the work of God. I said gladly, “Great! I can perform my duty now.” However, my handwriting was poor, and I feared that I could not write well, so I meant to ask my grandma to help me. Just then, I remembered God’s words: “Let Me tell you: The greatest wisdom is to look to God and rely on God in all things” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). Man’s intelligence and wisdom are from God. I shall rely on Him sincerely and He will surely guide me, just as I experienced in the last exam—after I put the problem I couldn’t do in God’s hands, I unconsciously knew how to do it. So I prayed to God with my grandma, and put my actual difficulty of writing essays in His hands. After our prayers, I had faith to write. Soon after, I wrote an essay, from which I saw God is so almighty. I said gladly to my grandma, “From now on I will always whisper my heartfelt words to God.” She gave me a happy smile.
Now I have formally joined the church. I often communicate God’s words and sing hymns to praise God with my brothers and sisters. I feel very happy, released, and free. I also often pray to God, and ask Him to guide me to walk the path of belief in God well.
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