The Ministry so far: Testimony is to faith what salt is to food.(2)

The Ministry so far: Testimony is to faith what salt is to food.(2)

A woman sadly came to me with various problems (naming withheld for personal reasons). She had actually suffered in them for a long time. In fact, she needed prayers and she sought for my spiritual assistance.

However, I didn’t just dabble into the problem; we discussed the problem together, and I counseled her but she was vehement with requesting for my spiritual assistance. I obliged.

We started days of prayer, with the prayers I gave her to say.

After a while, I didn’t hear from her again while I continued the prayers for her. Meanwhile, on my desk are many prayer requests which are arranged chronologically according to petitions.

Then one day, after some months and days, I met the woman, joyfully chatting with her friend while walking down our rough terrain. I applied the car brake and used the car horn to call her attention. As she came close to the car, she said, “Is Father OOO.”

After the exchange of pleasantries, I asked her about the problems for which she asked for prayers, and she said, “Ah Fr. Ị dị ike,” literally meaning “you are great.” Though I quickly retorted that God is and not me and she insisted on what she said, I was not really happy. Why?

I have been praying for her since then without knowing that God has answered her prayers and I would have faced other petitions. If she had given me feedback, I would have added a prayer of thanksgiving for favors received and continued with other petitions; it’s ingratitude to ask continuously without thanksgiving.

This kind of situation has been recurrent in my almost one year as a priest, and having been ordained a priest on July 10th, 2021. Christians in general don’t give feedback and thanksgiving to God on favors received, but they are always eager to ask continuously.

Moreover, it’s a big encouragement to God’s ministers when you give them feedback on prayers answered because humanly speaking, it boasts one’s faith in God and one’s faithfulness towards God; one now prays with more certitude. Feedback also helps one to pray better and shows practically God’s love and power amongst His people in action, for testimony is to faith what salt is to food. How then can we be carelessly denying that?

That means, it’s spiritually unhealthy to ignore God’s grace and favors whenever they are granted, and many of us are like this: always asking without a single act of thanksgiving to God.

Meanwhile, “Thankfulness or Thanksgiving” comes up 71 times in the New Testament.

How is it proper that you will be eager to ask favor from God but you will not be eager to acknowledge God’s favor when granted, and you behave as if you are the owner of “grace.” This is carelessness and unchristian for even Jesus Christ gave thanksgiving always.

St. Paul would say, “Always be joyful; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks; this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (1 These 5:16-18). If you must thank God “for all things,” and yet you can’t thank God for favors received, what’s that for you as a Christian?

Don’t always forget thanksgiving in your prayers; it’s a very important part of prayer after adoration and contrition. Supplication should come after thanksgiving: A.C.T.S.

And don’t forget to give feedback to those whom you have asked to pray for you because they too should give thanks when they are on their knees.

When you are ready to pray and ask, be ready also to acknowledge and give thanks.

To you God’s ministers, don’t be discouraged but always give thanks even if they don’t give you feedback knowing full well that God is faithful. Just submit all petitions to God after your thanksgiving for humans are always humans, just like some only remember God when they’re in need, so also they will forget their request to you when their prayers are answered.

You serve God and not men.

Fr. Henrycharles Umelechi

Truth Series.

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