What is the meaning of the apostle Paul’s words “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? This article will tell you the answer and how to pray without ceasing.
How Did She Keep Faith in God in the Face of Sickness?
I’m 26, a post-90s. My mother accepted God’s work of the last days when I was little. She often said to me, “God has power and authority, so no matter what you encounter, as long as you cry out to Him sincerely, He will care and protect you.” I only half understandingly nodded. However, influenced by my father, who graduated from a good university, I pursued studying hard to enter a good university and then to have a good job and a promising future. Thus, I didn’t take belief in God seriously. I didn’t determine to follow God with all my might until I saw His wonderful deeds, felt His almightiness and His love for me through a special experience.
In the winter when I was 20, I was on my work vacation. Since I was usually busy with work, having no time for entertainment or hanging around, I spent all my holiday watching TV and playing video games at home as well as going shopping with my friends. During those days, my mother often read God’s words to me and advised me to read God’s words more instead of hanging out with friends. But I thought only about entertainment, so I did nothing more than pay lip service to her advice. I didn’t read God’s words at all.
One night, I was going to sleep after playing video games. Before long I slept, my ears heard a buzz, as if there were some buzzing insects in them. At first, I didn’t care, and just kept sleeping with my ears covered by my hands. But the tinnitus was getting serious. I was feeling dizzy and nauseous. At that time, I got up immediately and called out for my mother. My shout woke my parents up. Scared, they worried much about my physical condition because I underwent two surgeries for brain cyst when I was young. As a doctor, my father knew it was very dangerous once the brain tumor relapsed. So he was worried about my condition. My mother was praying to God in her heart, and told me not to be scared because God was beside us, and we should rely on Him.
My father asked me to stand up and walk around. He walked with me in the yard for a few rounds and asked me to drink a lot of water, but it still didn’t work. My head ached as if it was going to burst open. It hurt so bad I cried. At that moment, I truly realized that when disease came, doctors like my father were helpless, as well as the knowledge I had learned. I was so tiny and weak before disease. Looking at me suffering from the unbearable pain, my father was anxious but unable to do anything. He hurriedly drove me to the hospital. I had a cerebral CT scan after arriving at the hospital. The doctor watched the scan result for a while, and said, “I’m not sure whether there’s something wrong.” Then my father took me to a bigger local hospital in a hurry.
On our way to the hospital, my head was aching seriously that I even wanted to bash my head against a wall to stop the pain. I had no choice but to cry out to God in my heart, asking Him to help me. At that time, I thought of God’s words that my mother once read to me, “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature?” I pondered over those words. To my surprise, I felt at ease all of a sudden, and my head didn’t ache that much. So wondrous it was! I couldn’t help but recalling that my mother always asked me to read God’s words and to actively live the church life, but I only pursued knowledge by which I wanted to change my fate. I seldom read God’s words, and just reluctantly attend the meetings under my mother’s urging. Facing the disease, I realized that knowledge was so useless. It couldn’t release my headache even a little bit, let alone control my fate.
Soon we arrived at the bigger hospital. My father registered to see a specialist in haste. Unexpectedly, after watching the CT result and thinking for a long time, the first specialist said, “Take it easy. Your disease hasn’t relapsed.” Then my father registered to see another specialist. He looked at the result and said, “The disease has relapsed. You should be hospitalized as soon as possible.” My father was so anxious that he was sweating, and he registered several specialists one after another. When we came to the fifth expert, he said to my father, “Your daughter’s disease has relapsed and the condition is very serious. If not properly treated, she will have slanting eyes and nose, and paraplegia.” Hearing the doctor’s words, I just sat there, with tears rolling down my face, not knowing what to do. I thought: “I’m so young. If I’m really paralyzed, and my mouth becomes lopsided and my eyes become skewed, what’s the point of living?” I glanced at my father, who was pale and stupefied. We didn’t speak for a while. The air seemed frozen. I was too nervous to breathe. My heart fluttered with fear. Helpless, I prayed to God, “O God! Hearing the doctor’s words, I can’t see any hope. I am really scared that I will be paralyzed. God, I don’t know what I should do. Please protect my heart and guide me.” After my prayer, I calmed down a little and remembered God’s words that I had read in the past, “Who of the whole of mankind is not cared for in the eyes of the Almighty? Who does not live in the midst of the Almighty’s predestination? Whose birth and death come from their own choices? Does man control his own fate?” (“The Eleventh Utterance”). “Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God. Satan devises every way possible to send us its thoughts, we should always pray that the light of God will shine on us…” (“The Sixth Utterance”). Like a spring, God’s words flowed into my heart, which immediately gave me courage to face the disease, and increased my. Yes, our birth and death are in God’s hands. No one can control his own fate. In the past, putting God to the back of my mind, I thought my fate was controlled by myself. Today, God arranged such situation to make me experience His work, know His sovereignty and then increase my faith in Him. But when I wanted to draw near to God and rely on Him, the devil Satan who is specialized in corrupting man didn’t resign itself to its defeat. It scared me with the doctor’s words, and sent me timidness and fear to disturb my thoughts. Actually, when I prayed to God just now, my head didn’t ache that seriously. Satan saw that I had had a little faith in God, so it disturbed me and attacked me. Had it not been for God’s timely enlightenment and guidance, I would have fallen into Satan’s scheme again. Now I am sure that only when standing on God’s side firmly and relying on God, can I see through Satan’s scheme. Thinking of that, I was determined to submit to God’s orchestration even if I have to give up my life. And my heart felt a lot lighter. Thus, I comforted my father, “Dad, don’t worry. I caught a cold a few days ago and maybe it caused my headache.” Hearing my words, my father looked at me, not knowing what to say. He realized that it was useless to stay in the hospital, so he took me home.
The next day, my father was still worried and so he took me to another big hospital to be examined, but the doctor still couldn’t find the reason. I saw more clearly that science and knowledge were so tiny before diseases. After arriving at home, though my head still ached and I could only lie in the bed, I had more opportunity to read God’s words and. As I read more and more of God’s words, my faith in God increased. At the same time, I understood when I was faced with this issue, God’s will was that I could come before Him more often and drew near to Him. I should learn how to obey Him and submit to His orchestration. No matter what God did, His intention was to save me. God expected that I could view things according to His words and see through Satan’s scheme, thus I would have true faith in Him, long for the light, and thirst for the truth. So I prayed to God, “O God, my life and death are in Your hands. I would like to submit to Your arrangements.” Meanwhile, I also made up my mind that I would definitely not believe in God or gather with brothers and sisters with the slipshod attitude like before.
Afterward, I no longer focused on my disease. Although I was still in pain, I took part in the meetings actively and gradually I saw more God’s wonderful deeds. In every meeting, when I threw myself into God’s words, my headaches were getting much better unknowingly. Because I often sang and danced with brothers and sisters to praise God, I tasted the relief and joy of living before God and had a smile on my face. After some time, my headaches disappeared. My father was surprised that I didn’t see the doctor, but I was looking better and better. I knew it was God’s protection. My heart was full of gratitude to God.
From this experience, I had more faith in God, and I also truly felt God’s love for me. When I was leaving God and falling into Satan’s trap, God didn’t give me up, but was protecting me by my side. He caused the disease to make me self-reflect and know the wrong path I was walking, and led me by His words to see through Satan’s evil purpose of corrupting and swallowing people. Under God’s guidance, I knew that if we don’t come before God or live by God’s words, we are living under Satan’s domain. In that case, we can enjoy temporary pleasure of the flesh, but the cost is our life. And what we lose is the chance of seeking truth and being saved by God.
Now, five or six years have passed. I don’t have any sequela. Instead, I am living a healthy life. I sincerely thank God each time when I heard of the news that many people who had a brain tumor like me were permanently disabled after surgery, and some even died during the surgery. Because my disease could recover without treatment, it is really God’s wonderful deed. Now I’m healthy and receiving the personal supply of God. I understand more and more truth in God’s words and live under His care and protection. Thank God! It is God who gives me an entirely new life.
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