How should Christians have effective prayers? Four keys help you have effective prayers.
Spiritual Awakening: Everything Getting Better With Another Mentality
Xiaojuan is a waitress in a restaurant. Since the restaurant does a brisk trade and is full of guests, she is busy every day and she is often so tired that she has a sore back. Nevertheless, because she grew up in a peasant family, she is not afraid of hardship or fatigue. The only thing that makes her worried is the landlady’s attitude toward the employees. As long as the landlady stays at the restaurant, she will push them to do something. In fact, much work has been finished, but she always can’t stand them staying idle, letting them sweep the floor and wash the tableware once again. The more unacceptable thing is that she checks everyone’s backpack at the door and sees if someone secretly takes something from the restaurant. The reason is that a former waiter once stole flavoring. From then onward, the landlady began to guard against all the employees. She explains that a thief from outside is easy to be attacked, while the one from within is hard to guard against. Though the employees are unhappy about her conduct, they have to swallow it because she pays good salaries. Xiaojuan always thought to herself: “How can I meet such a work condition? The landlady cares only for her own gain and doesn’t respect the employees at all. She also watches us and bewares of us stealing something. I am a believer in God. God requires us to live out the normal humanity and possess a conscience and sense. How can I do such things of seeking nothing but profit?” However, she knew she could only have these words in her heart, and none could understand her if she spoke them out.
On account of the lively business of the restaurant, the landlady hired another waitress. However, this waitress was fond of doing work just for effect. She was especially good at licking the landlady’s boots and saying good words before her, and they often talked and laughed. When the landlady wasn’t at the restaurant, she acted another way. She often punched out before finishing her work. Each time when taking her turn on duty, Xiaojuan would see her unfinished work. Xiaojuan was very dissatisfied. She thought that even if she did the work, the landlady would not give her one more cent and her colleagues would think she was easy to be taken advantage of and wouldn’t appreciate it. However, if she didn’t do the work, the landlady would criticize her for neglecting her duty. Thereupon, she always did the work reluctantly. She couldn’t understand why she got the same salary as others but had to work more and suffer more.
One time, she could hardly stand this environment; she wanted to vent her grievance on her landlady. However, as soon as she thought that she believed in God and that everything is ruled over and arranged by God, she came before God and unceasingly prayed to Him, “Oh, God! In this unfavorable situation, I feel as if people around me all go at and bully me. I really feel sad. God, how should I experience such an environment? I don’t understand Your will; I am always complaining in my heart. I know that’s not good, but I cannot find the root of the problem. God, may You lead and enlighten me to know Your will and find the way to practice.” After prayer, her heart settled considerably. One day, when she practiced spiritual cultivation at home, she saw God’s words, “Because man has accepted the evil, arrogant, and malicious nature of Satan, inevitably in man’s interpersonal relationships there is often conflict, often arguments and incompatibility, which is created as a result of Satan’s arrogant nature. If Satan had given mankind positive things—for example, if the Confucianism and Daoism of traditional culture that man accepted were considered good things—similar types of people should be able to get along with one another after accepting those things, right? So why is there such a great divide between people who have accepted the same things? Why is that? It’s because these things come from Satan and Satan creates division among people. The things Satan provides, no matter how dignified or great they appear on the surface, bring to man and bring out in man’s life only arrogance, and nothing more than the craftiness of Satan’s evil nature. Isn’t that right?”.
After reading, she realized: “I have finished the work, but why do I feel unwillingness? It is just because I live by satanic poisons, such as ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ ‘A man needs self-respect.’ ‘Don’t rise early if there is no benefit.’ If I work more and get more salary, will I get angry? If I receive the landlady’s praise and gain my colleagues’ approval, will I complain every day? Yet the actual situation is that I spare no pains but get no gains, so I am depressed and sad the whole day. Originally, I thought I was honest and even a believer in God. Thus in any case, I wouldn’t vie with others or care too much about personal gains and losses just for a little profit or an approval from others. In the past, I didn’t recognize the satanic poison ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ existing within me, but only fixated my eyes on others, thinking that the landlady sought nothing but profits, that the colleagues tried to skate through, and that I was absolutely not such a person like them. Unexpectedly, when my own benefit was compromised repeatedly, I could no longer bear it, but instead began to reason with and dispute them out of emotion. Now I understand this situation that has befallen me holds God’s good intention, and that it is to reveal my corrupt disposition. For we have been corrupted by Satan, we are full of these satanic poisons, like ‘seeking nothing but profits’ ‘being arrogant and conceited’ ‘pursuing others’ high regard and praise,’ and the poisons within us are not less than those within anyone else. Merely because our environments and backgrounds are different, what we reveal are different.” After realizing that, Xiaojuan understood God’s will and was no longer angry with others. She realized, “Since I’m a believer in God, I should, in this environment, pay attention to experiencing God’s work, practice the truth and betray myself. If I continue living by satanic philosophy of ‘a man needs self-respect’, reasoning and competing with others for selfish interests, then is there any difference between me and unbelievers? If so, I’m even not better than them. They don’t believe in God or understand the truth, while I’ve believed in God and understand these truths. If I don’t practice, won’t I be sneered at by Satan?”
At that time, Xiaojuan understood more clearly: The reason that she always felt sad and painful in this environment was because she didn’t know her corrupt disposition and satanic poisons, and because she thought she was a good person and others were selfish and mean. Therefore, she couldn’t treat this environment correctly and never wanted to change herself, living in complaints and sadness all day long. Now, through pondering God’s words and reflecting on herself, she had the way to practice and was determined to practice the truth. She didn’t ask others to change themselves, but made demands of herself first.
From then on, Xiaojuan was even-tempered in her work. She no longer treated the restaurant as a work place where she got salary on time, but as a place where she could experience God’s work, practice the truth and pursue a change in disposition. At work, she would be perfectly happy to do all that was in her power. In terms of the shortcomings of her colleagues, she no longer made complaints within like before. Sometimes, she would remind them calmly when seeing they didn’t do the work well. If her colleagues didn’t accept, she would not impose her opinions on them but do the work on her own initiative. Sometimes, she would even seek the opinions of the landlady and other colleagues and ask them to give her advice on her work. Sometimes, she would actively take the responsibility and admit her mistake when she did something wrong. … All the people in the restaurant noticed the changes within her and admired her in their hearts. Gradually, many colleagues began to come close to and have contact with her actively, as well as help her with some work. The landlady said to her, “I have employed many people, but I’ve never seen so good a person as you. I misunderstood you before. From now on, you are my most trusted person in the restaurant. You can be relieved to work here. If you have any difficulty or demand, just speak up.” Later, when the landlady took a stroll or exercised, she gave Xiaojuan the keys to the restaurant and let her take charge of making collections and locking the doors. Seeing the changes of those around her, Xiaojuan felt warm in the heart. She was very grateful to God. She clearly understood that it was God’s words that changed her, and it was because of practicing the truth that she won the trust and respect of others.
Xiaojuan experienced the satisfaction and happiness of practicing the truth. Moreover, she saw God’s loveliness. Without God’s salvation, she would still make complaints all day and feel depressed. Now, under the leadership of God, she keeps pursuing and practicing the truth. She has firmer confidence in pursuit of a change in disposition and lives with increasing human likeness and dignity.
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