When I was a little boy, I remember saying my prayers with my parents every night. I still remember it and taught it to my son:
Now I lay me down to sleep;
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
It was a simple prayer that I repeated for years. I trusted that God would watch over me and my family for as long as I prayed it. As I grew older, I began adding to the prayer. I added the “Our Father,” and twenty-third Psalm to the prayer, as they were committed to memory.
When I was eleven, my parents enrolled me in a Lutheran School. This was my first exposure the Christianity outside of the Catholic Church, and the experience was a spiritual awakening. I am forever indebted to Pastor Nordeen and the staff at St. Mark’s Lutheran School in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC, for giving me my first exposure to actual Bible instruction. They taught me to pray like I was speaking to God, beyond memorized prayers. I began to pray about actual concerns, trusting that God would listen and answer. I continued to recite the prayers memorized over the years, but I added concerns to them, giving them a personal meaning. And continued to trust that God would hear my prayers and watch over my family.
Looking back, I wonder where and when I lost my trust in God. When did I forget that I not only could, but should trust God? Paul wrote in is letter to the Hebrews in chapter11, verse 6:
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
How can we say we believe in God if we don’t believe that He is the creator of all things? He created the entire universe: the stars, the planets, the solar systems, etc. Breaking this down further, if we believe that He created it all, why do we believe that our problems and/or concerns are beyond His ability?
The entire Christian faith is built on just that, FAITH. We believe in things we have never seen. None of us were around when Christ, the Word of God who took on human form (John 1:14) walked the earth. Going back even further, a young virgin had to believe that she would give birth to that Word made flesh. In turn, we believe that this event took place over two millennia later.
My family, along with most, has felt the oppressing effects of seemingly insurmountable obstacles over the last few years, but I will no longer allow unbelief to corner me. I will trust the Lord at all times, believing, as I did years ago, that He hears my prayers and can do anything.