My 2016 word found me around mid-November, during our SFC cluster’s Christian Character Weekend retreat. It found me, unsurprisingly, after the talk aboutÂ courage (hello there, old friend). I remember talking to a friend about this that weekend after I was done with Confession, and I told her that I had several variations of this in my head, but it seemed like the word demanded that it be a verb, not a noun or an adjective. And I figured that it might as well be, because action words require, well, action.Â
It wasn’t until two weeks later, at our Sector Assembly, that one of the speakers said this:
Be specific with your prayers. Ask boldly. #GRACEfull
â€” Tina M (@tinamats) Nobyembre 29, 2015
And I was all:Â Well, thanks for the affirmation.
So my 2016 word isÂ PRAY.Â
The first time I picked a word in 2012, I admit that it didn’t feel as heavy and it didn’t really make me feel as committed to it. 2013 changed all that, obviously, as well as 2014. 2015 brought me to a slightly different and quieter ground. Having the wordÂ FAITH felt more like a display of God’s faithfulness in my life, as if He was saying,Â Look at what I am doing in your life, look at how much I love you.
So it seemed just right that my 2015 word would lead me to pray.
“What’s your next word?” This has become a usual question to me from other friends, and when I told them aboutÂ PRAY, they asked, “What more can you learn about praying? Don’t you already pray everyday?”
I do, I pray. But what do I pray for? What do I really know about praying?Â You grow in your relationship with God when you pray, but is my relationship with Him growing with every prayer I say? With every mass I attend, with every time I open my journal to write my prayers down? Or am I going through the actions?
Do I really understand what it means when I promise my prayers for people? Do I really know how it is to intercede, to knock on heaven’s doors for this world that sorely needs prayers? Do I really know what it means to ask for prayers from the saints, from Mama Mary?
When I pray, do I expect God’s answers? Do I approach His throne with humility? Am I confident that God will answer me, or do I shy away from praying for some things because I’m afraid of letting God know (which is kind of useless because He knows, anyway), and I’m afraid that He will not answer. Why am I so afraid to give God what’s inside my heart by asking for it?
So see,Â no, I don’t know much about praying.Â Even if I pray everyday.
So,Â PRAY. I’m not going to call this easy because the days leading to the New Year already showed me a struggle with my prayer time. Heh.Â But by God’s grace, I am looking forward to where this wordÂ – and all the prayers – will bring me in 2016. :)
Here’s to bold and brave prayers for 2016. :)
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. – Philippians 4:6 (The Message)