Levels of Prayer that Please God

LEVELS OF PRAYER THAT PLEASE GOD
By: Bobby Quitain

Level One: Pray to be blessed.
Level Two: Pray to be blessed in order to be a blessing to others.
Level Three: Pray to be a blessing even if not blessed.

Because being a blessing to others is a blessing in itself!

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Steady

To stand firm amidst the shaking
To stay on course amidst the turns
To remain focused amidst the distractions
To continue to be resolute amidst the doubts

The Bible says:

“As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5)

Steady.

Yes, Lord, we shall be.

Lost in the Moment

Different questions. Same thought.

“What are you doing here, Eli’jah?” (1 Kings 19:13)

This was the same Elijah who just witnessed fire come down from heaven. Same bold Elijah who mocked the hundred or so prophets of Baal. Same victorious Elijah who defeated them in that classic duel on Mt. Carmel.

Lost in the moment, Elijah forgot God’s past glory and succumbed to his fears.

Generations later, another bold servant of the Lord was questioned, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)

This was the same Peter who spent three years with Jesus on the road. Same Peter who saw the large catch of fish. Same Peter whose mother-in-law was miraculously healed. Same Peter who saw miracle upon miracle happen before his very eyes.

Lost in the moment, Peter took his eyes off Jesus and sank beneath the raging tempest of the sea.

Aren’t we the same?

Quick to forget.
Easily dissuaded.
Hastily panics.

We are often lost in our moments of trial and difficulty that we forget our “Mt. Carmels”. We are often lost in our fears and worries that we forget our “great catch of fish”.

When God healed you from that illness.
When God provided for you in that need.
When God protected you from that calamity.
When God rescued you from that predicament.

Yes, for an instant, we would often bask in his glory. Until the next trial comes. Then we are lost in the moment again and forget.

Are you in a bind now, my friend?

Remember Elijah.
Remember Peter.

God sent his angel to minister to Elijah under the broom tree. Jesus yanked Peter out of the storm.

What makes you think He won’t do it for you?

Hitting the Mark

This morning, I was showing Marco, my 2 year old, the basics of my favorite sport.

“Your right arm’s form should be on right angle” I began as I steadied Marco’s stance. “Your left hand should support the ball. Bend your knees. Eyes on the basket. Now, shoot!”

Marco, with all his 2 feet frame, heaved the basketball towards the basket. He missed it by a mile. Nowhere near. Far, far away.

“Great Marco! Great effort! Gumagaling ka na anak! (You’re becoming better!)” I said as I took him in my arms and lifted him up in the air.

Then it dawned on me.

The effort of my son to hit the mark pleased me already. Could it be the same thing with God?

The definition of sin is “missing the mark”.

Don’t we always do — “miss the mark”? We try our best to be good but we always end up sinning.

We try to avoid gossip but end up contributing a careless remark or two.
We try to keep our eyes pure but end up glancing at that scantily clad model on the billboard.
We try not to get angry at that reckless driver on the road but end up beating him up in our thoughts.

Sometimes, I wonder if God ever gets fed up with me when I sin. Does he ever raise his hands in exasperation when I fall? Does he ever throw in the towel and say “I give up!”?

Perhaps my experience with Marco this morning could enlighten us a bit on the incredible fatherly love of God.

In the same way that I tried to teach Marco to hit the mark, God also tries to teach us His ways everyday to live a good life.

In the same way that I encouraged Marco to make the shot, God also tries to encourage us to live righteously.

In the same way that Marco missed the shot, we also miss our shots often.

But my love for Marco is always on the mark even if his shots are not.

In the same way, God’s love for us is always on the mark even if our lives are often off the mark. All he asks of us is to try our best to live a good life. Because the effort in itself already pleases Him.

So the next time you miss the mark, don’t hesitate to look up. Someone whose love is greater than your misses is about to take you in HIs arms and raise you up!

Have a blessed week, my friend!

When God Backs You Up

As a regular client of Grabcar, I was quite surprised to find myself unable to book a car at early dawn yesterday going to the airport for my plane trip to Legaspi City for a speaking engagement. After several tries, I decided to try Grabtaxi, although not pinning much hope on it knowing that it is harder to book a taxi than a car. To my surprise, though, a taxi driver responded to my request and in a few minutes, I found myself in the taxi maneuvering our way through the “world’s largest parking lot” — EDSA.

Glancing at my watch every now and then, my thoughts turned to the prospect of missing my flight due to the horrendous traffic. I can imagine my participants in Albay, the Mayors, Vice-Mayors and Councilors of the Municipality of Daraga, waiting for their guest speaker who never shows up. What an embarrassment that would be. I said a prayer, “Lord, if you really want me speak for you in Albay, you will make a way for me through this traffic.”

After a few minutes, I was pleasantly surprised to find ourselves moving a little faster. I looked up. We were on the service lane or the “bus” line as it is now designated by the MMDA.

“Di ba pang-bus lang po ito?”, I queried.
“Ay sir. Pwede po dito ang taxi.” the man replied. “Kotse po ang bawal dito.”

I looked at the private cars’ lane and yes, it was a massive parking lot. Traffic was really bad.

Then it dawned on me. God saw the traffic early on. And if he allowed me to book a car, then I will have to weave may way through the unreasonable traffic on the private lane. But because I was on a taxi, I had an express lane through the service road.

To cut the long story short, I made in time for my flight and in time for my talk in Albay. And it was a blast! I was blessed as much as they were. Books were sold out. I was treated to a sumptuous lunch. And I boarded my flight back to Manila with a full stomach as well as a full heart. God is truly good. And when He backs you up, He will surely find a way for you.

My friend, do you find yourself in an unexpected and perhaps disadvantageous situation despite trying to follow God’s will and God’s ways in your life? May I encourage you to trust Him still?

He won’t let you “book a car” when you need a “taxi” instead.
He won’t let you have that promotion yet when you need to grow in patience first.
He won’t let you have that person if He has someone better for you.
He won’t let you win now if losing is what you need to be stronger.
He wont’ let you succeed in this field if he wants you to devote yourself to a better field for you.

God sees the “traffics of life” before you do. And when He backs you up, just trust Him.

He will surely make a way for you!

COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP

Recently, I have been hooked to watching the highly-acclaimed television series, “Designated Survivor”. Judging the leadership style of lead character US President Kirkman, played by veteran actor Kiefer Sutherland, I’d say that his leadership style is one that can be characterized as “Compassionate Leadership”.

What is “Compassionate Leadership”?

Compassionate leadership is one that places emphasis on…

…people more than programs;

…relationships more than results;

…reason more than rules; and

…the spirit of the law more than the standard of the law.

 

His is one that doesn’t stifle creativity for the sake of conformity.

His is one that encourages diversity for the sake of synergy.

His is one that empowers not controls.

 

I too have my flaws as a leader. Daily, I struggle to love people more than use them.

Today, I pray for the grace to lead with compassion.

Just like a fictional leader like Kirkman.

Just like a real one like Jesus.

OUR OLDER BROTHER

Lately, we have been convincing our youngest son, four year old Marco, to give up drinking from his baby bottle. It is quite a struggle.

This morning, my son Franco came up to me and said, “Papang, can you allow Marco to keep using his baby bottle? I am sad for him. I hope you can allow him to use it maybe until he’s ten years old.”

My heart melted.

Here is the older brother interceding for his younger sibling. Hugging Franco tightly in my arms, I whispered, “Because you asked, I will.” (Perhaps one more month, I thought. Definitely not until he’s ten.)

Jesus, our older brother, does the same thing for all of us.

Before His Heavenly Father, he comes on our behalf.

“Father, Bobby blew it again today. He can never control his temper. Please forgive him.”

“Father, Bobby’s mind is filled with negative thoughts. Have mercy on him.”

“Father, Bobby can’t seem to hold his tongue. Mercy, Father.”

 

Jesus, the first-born of all creation, the elder brother, melts the heart of the Father in heaven.

In the Bible it says:

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

Today, I encourage you. Come to Jesus. Ask. Beg. Plead. Confidently.

He loves you and He will stand in the breach for you.

For your marriage.

For your health.

For your bills.

For your ministry.

He is your loving older brother. Aren’t you glad you have one?