Praying for Dad (A Story)

praying for Dad

Father’s Day na. Iyon ang realisasyong pumasok sa isip ni Cristine ng idilat niya ang kanyang mga mata. Pinatay niya ang alarm clock na kanina pa kumikiriring, at tumayo at binuksan ang switch ng ilaw sa kanyang kwarto.

5:30 na. Pinlano nila ng kanyang kapatid na si Calvin na gumising nang ganito kaaga. May mahalaga silang dapat gawin.

May narinig siyang katok mula sa labas. Walang-duda, si Calvin ang kumakatok. Pinagbuksan niya ito. “Pasok.”

Nakangiti itong pumasok at umupo sa sahig kagaya niya. Sa loob ng sampung minuto ay nagtitigan sila. Unang nagsalita si Cristine. “Kuya, ano’ng pagpe-pray natin for Daddy?”

“Iniisip ko pa nga rin eh,” sagot ni Calvin, halatang balisa na sa pag-iisip.

“Kuya, isipin natin kung ano ang mga ginagawa niya,” suwestiyon niya kay Calvin.

“Oo, nga,” sagot nito, at kumuha ng papel at ball pen mula sa kanyang study table. “Sa pamamagitan nito, malalaman natin kung ano’ng pagpe-pray.”

“Pumapasok si Dad sa trabaho,” una niyang banat.

“Pag-pray natin na bigyan siya lakas at kalusugan sa pagtatrabaho, pati wag siyang matanggal.”

“Nagde-date sila ni Mommy,” dagdag pa ni Cristine.

“Pag-pray natin na lalo pang maging close sina Daddy at Mommy at wag laging mag-away,” tugon naman ni Calvin.

“Hinahatid niya tayo sa school,” sabi pa ni Cristine.

“Sana magkaroon siya lagi ng oras para gawin iyon, at tsaka sana laging may pang-gas.” Bigla siyang may naisip. “Yung church!”

“Oo nga, pag-pray din na lagi tayong makapag-church kasama si Daddy at Mommy, at matuto siya at tayo sa mga preaching ni pastor at sa turo sa Sunday School.” Kumikislap na ang mga mata ni Cristine sa mga ideyang pumapasok sa kanilang isip.

“Devotion,” nasabi ni Calvin.

“Sana lagi tayong mag-devotion,” naikomento ni Cristine.

“Tinuturuan at pinapalo niya tayo.”

“Sana lagi siyang bigyan ng katalinuhan sa pagtuturo sa atin—teka—ano’ng pagpe-pray natin sa pagpapalo ni Daddy sa atin?” Hindi niya alam. Siguro ang ipapag-pray niya ay huwag na silang paluin.

“Kaya tayo pinapalo ni Daddy dahil may ginawa tayong mali,” sagot ni Calvin. “Mahal niya tayo kaya ganon. Yon ang sabi niya sa atin.”

“So?”

“Sana paluin o disiplinahin niya tayo kapag nagkakamali tayo—” nakita niya ang pagkurba paibaba ng bibig ni Cristine. “At bigyan ng reward kapag gumagawa tayo ng tama.”

Umaliwalas uli ang mukha ni Cristine. “Tama ka nga, Kuya. Kaya tayo pinapalo dahil sa kasalanan natin. Mahal tayo ni Daddy. Sige, yun ang ipag-pray natin.”

“So tapos na ang listahan.”

“Pray na tayo. Sino ang una?”

“Ikaw. Mas bata ka.”

Sa sagot ng kanyang kapatid ay ipinikit na niya ang kanyang mga mata at pinagsama ang dalawang palad. Magsisimula na siyang mag-pray.

Pagpe-pray nilang dalawa ang kanilang Daddy—ang ever-loving nilang Daddy. Pagpe-pray nilang manatiling may takot sa Dios ang kanilang ama.

Ito ang pinakamagandang regalong maibibigay nila sa kanilang Daddy—ang panalangin na maririnig at sasagutin ng Dios sa langit.

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God Answered My Prayer!

By Pastor Felizardo Abanto

The event showing this great truth happened about a week after Diane’s experience. It was a very tragic event to the family. I don’t want to deepen the hurt nor freshen the memories of those involved. So I will just dwell on the prayer and God’s answer. The young man who was the object of our prayer, left their house because of the tragic event and was already gone for two weeks. The family can’t expect him to return due to what he did and his different condition.

When I talked to his sister I just advised her to receive the Lord Jesus as her Savior. After she followed my advice I told her we could ask God to make him come back wherever he is. And God will surely do it. She agreed and I prayed God to take care of him while he was away and to make him return. That was Friday afternoon. The following Saturday evening, my son Israel was riding a bicycle going home inside our subdivision when he noticed a young man walking towards our house. He looked familiar so he came near him and recognized him as the young man we were praying for. Israel led him to our house and told him to stay while he gets his family and me. That night we praise and thank the Lord for answering our prayers.

I told his sister, “You see, God is really alive and powerful. He made your brother come back.” His mother said, “Pastor, God’s really good. He answered your prayer immediately.” Because of this experience his sister is now attending and will be baptized one Sunday.

He is the True God!

by Pastor Felizardo Abanto

1 Kings 17

During the time of the prophet Elijah, God manifested His power when He brought down fire from Heaven which consumed all of Elijah’s sacrifice, the stone altar, and even the water on the trench around the altar. God did it in answer to Elijah’s prayer proving that his God is the true God, that he is God’s prophet and that God wants Israel to return unto Him.

That is the spirit of my prayer when I told two women that we can pray for their loved ones and God, the true and living God, will grant our requests. One of those women is now our member. Mrs. Aquino’s daughter Diane did not come home that Friday from school because she was afraid she would be punished if she would come home without her cell phone. Although she told her friends that she won’t be punished, she still didn’t show up. We visited Mrs. Aquino the following day, Saturday, and beginning from her problem I shared to her salvation in Jesus Christ. She accepted the Lord. Then I told her we could now ask the Lord to make her daughter come home and God would surely do it. She agreed and we prayed. They still looked for her that day and we even went to the barangay captain to ask for their help. Still, no sign of her. But that Sunday evening, God surprised Mrs. Aquino when her daughter appeared outside their gate, telling her she’s coming home. The following Sunday, Mrs. Diane Aquino, her daughter Diane, and Irene attended our church as he promised Jeremiah and followed the Lord in baptism. Amen! I told her, “You see sister, God is alive and powerful. He answered our prayers!” Actually, what I want to tell her was this: “You see sister? My God is the true God and I am His servant and she wants you to return to Him and serve Him!” Praise the Lord!

Andrew sa Labas ng Anino

by Allen Harris

Subukan mong pagnilay-nilayan ang kasabihang, “Nabubuhay sa anino ng iba.” Siguro ay alam mo na kung ano ang pakiramdam nang ganito. Ang best friend mo ang sikat, successful lagi sa anuman at bawat bagay na kanyang ginagawa. O, siguro nararamdaman mo ito sa iyong tahanan—siguro lagi kang nalalamangan ng iyong kapatid. Maraming mga bata ang lumalalaki nang may ganitong alaala sa kanilang mga isip: Bakit hindi ka maging tulad NIYA? o Bakit hindi ka katulad NIYA?

Kung mayroon man sa Kasulatan na malamang ay nakaranas ng “anino syndrome,” si Apostle Andrew iyon. Pag-isipan mo kahit sandali—hindi mo siguro maalala kung kailan ang huling pag-aaral mo sa Bible tungkol kay Andrew. Paul? Siyempre. John? Malamang. Mayroon pa ngang mga churches na may taon-taong pag-aaral tungkol kay Judas Iscariot tuwing Biyernes Santo, for goodness sakes. Pero si Andrew? Pati nga manunulat ng mga Ebanghelyo ay hindi siya pinag-usapan nang ganoong kadalas!

ANG SIKAT NA KAPATID

Si Andrew ay lumaki sa anino ng kanyang sikat na kapatid, si Simon Peter. Kilala mo naman si Peter—siya yung naglakad sa tubig. Siya ang tao na unang tunay na nakilala si Jesus bilang Anak ng Diyos. Siya rin yung nangaral sa Pentecost. Siya ay matigas, masigla, at passionate. Ang kanyang mga taas-baba sa mga gospels ay hanep! Pero tungkol kay Andrew? Nasaan na siya kapag nakay Peter ang camera?

Ang Kasulatan ay tahimik na nagpapatunay na tama si Andrew kung saan siya kailangan—nasa paningin ni Jesus, ngunit isang hakbang sa likod ni Peter. Yun ang kanyang stage, isang lugar kung saan malaya niyang magagawa ang gawain na iniatang sa kanya. At ano ang partikular na ministeryo kung saan nag-excel si Andrew? Simple lang—ito ay ang pagdadala ng kaluluwa kay Jesus.

ANG TAGAPATOTOO

Ngunit bago muna siya makapagdala ng iba sa Panginoon, dapat muna niyang makilala si Jesus nang personal. Ang pagtatagpo ito ay inilarawan sa Juan 1:35-42, kung saan siya ay ipinakita bilang siyang unang alagad na tinawag ni Kristo. Isang tagasunod ni John the Baptist, madaling nakilala ang hiwaga sa paglalarawan ng deskripsyon ni Jesus bilang “Kordero ng Diyos” (Juan 1:36). Nang walang pagdadalawang-isip, diretsong lumakad si Andrew papunta kay Jesus at pagkatapos ay nag-spend ng buong araw kasama Siya.

Fresh mula sa kanyang oras kasama si Kristo, ano ang unang bagay na kanyang ginawa? Ipinahayag ng Juan 1:41-42 na “natagpuan muna niya ang kanyang sariling kapatid na si Simon” at “dinala siya kay Jesus.” Ang kanyang chief concern ay hindi lang basta mai-share ang Magandang Balita, kundi ang mismong pagdadala ng kanyang kapatid sa presensya ng Panginoon. Mukhang naintindihan agad ni Andrew na hindi sapat ang basta lang na pagsasabi sa isang tao tungkol sa Panginoon; kinailangan ipakilala ang taong ito kay Kristo. Dito nagsimula ang makulay niyang missionary career.

Paglaon, sa Juan 6:8-9, si Andrew ang siyang nagdadala kay Jesus ng isang batang lalaki na may mahinhing alay: limang piraso ng tinapay at dalawang maliliit na isda. Habang kumakamot ang lahat ng ibang mga alagad sa kakulangan ng pagkain, nakita ni Andrew ang isang tao sa gitna ng 5,000 na pinaka-kinakailangang makilala si Jesus one-on-one. Ang resulta ay isang mayamang pag-ani ng pananampalataya at isang at himalang bilang ng mga tira-tira—lahat dahil ang mapagbantay na mananampalatayang ito ay ipinakilala ang isang hindi kilalang bata kay Kristo.

Nagbibigay ng isa pang nagliliwanag na halimbawa ang Juan 12:20-22 ng pagkatawag ni Andrew na iugnay ang mga tao kay Jesus. dito, sinasabi ng Kasulatan na may ilang Griyego, na pwede nating ipalagay na mga Gentil (hindi Judio), na gusting makilala si Jesus. Nakilala nila si Philip bilang isa sa 12 alagad, kaya siya ang napagtanungan. Hindi ba interesante kung ano ang sunod na nangyari? Sa halip na dalhin direkta kay Jesus, dinala niya ito kay Andrew. Bakit? Mayroong bang pagdadalawang-isip sa bahagi ni Philip sa paglapit kay Jesus? Ito ba ay isang halimbawa ng lebel ng pamumuno sa loob ng Labindalawa?

Hindi man natin maunawaan ang ginawa ni Philip, ngunit, hindi natin basta-basta maiiwasan ang motivation ni Andrew, ayon kay John Mac Arthur. Sabi niya, “Hindi nalito si Andrew nang mayroong gusting makita si Jesus. Basta niya lamang itong dinala sa Kanya. Naintindihan niya na gusto ni Jesus na makilala ang sinumang gusto makita Siya. … sa Juan 1 dinali ni Andrew si Peter kay Kristo, na ginawa siyang kauna-unahang misyonero sa tahanan. Ngayon dinala naman niya ang Griyego kay Kristo, na ginawa naman siyang kauna-unahang foreign missionary.” Hindi niya kaya—o hini magagawa—na i-ignore ang tsansa na ipakilala ang sinuman kay Jesus.

PANG-ARAW-ARAW NA EVANGELISM

Ang sanlibutang ito ay nangangailangan ng mas maraming lalaki at babae na tulad ni Andrew. Walang-hirap na na nagdadala ng iba sa Panginoon, tumatayo si Andrew bilang modelo ng “pang-araw-araw na evangelism.” Ipinamuhay niya ang pagwi-win ng kaluluwa sa pang-araw-araw na basis; para sa kanya, ang paglilingkod ay hindi isang okasyon, kundi isang lifestyle.

Paano mo ia-apply ang ugali ni Andrew sa iyong buhay?

  1. Mag-abang lagi para sa mga spiritual seekers.
  2. Makipagkilala sa mga tao sa paligid mo.
  3. Huwag pahirapin ang mga bagay-bagay.
  4. Alalahanin: Ang kaligtasan ay hindi mo responsibilidad.

ANG HAMON

Tulad ng isang magaling na matchmaker, ginugol ni Andrew ang kanyang buhay sa pagdadala ng mga kaibigan at estranghero nang mukhaan sa kanilang true love: ang Panginoong Jesu-Kristo. Hindi siya kinilala sa kanyang ministeryo sa mga gospels, pero hindi kaso iyon kay Andrew. Hindi niya hinahanap ang spotlight, papuri, o pagtataas ng tao. Ang kanyang sigaw ay hindi, “Tumingin kayo sa akin!” kundi, “Tumingin kayo sa Kanya!”

Sa henerasyong “ako muna,” ang panawagan palayo sa sarili at papunta sa anumang Mas Mataas ang talagang noteworthy. Ito ang hamon sa atin ni Andrew: na ang mga ligtas ay yakapin nang may dignidad ang kanilang posisyon sa anino ni Kristo, masigla at may kababaang magpakilala ng mga lalaki at babae kay Jesus.

Isinalin ni Elijah Abanto mula sa article na “Andrew Out of the Shadow,” In Touch® Magazine, June 2006.

Your Love is Strong by Jon Foreman

These lyrics has been a favorite of those listening to Jon Foreman in his aftershows. This piece shows the powerful love of God for us, displayed by what He’s done and is doing for us now, and what He’ll do for us. This is a combination of the Lord’s model prayer and the discourse on needs.

Heavenly Father,  You always amaze me
Let Your kingdom come in my world and in my life

Give me the food I need
To live through today

And forgive me as I forgive
The people that wrong me.
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one.

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place

I walk to the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day.

So why should I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need.

The Kingdom of the Heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town.

The Kingdom of the Heavens
Is buried treasure
Would you sell yourself
To buy the one you’ve found?

Two things You told me
That You are strong
And You love me
Yes, You love me

Your love is, Your love is
Your love is strong
Your love is, Your love is
Your love is strong!

Our God in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done

On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us weary sinners
Keep us far from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons!

“Your Love is Strong” (based on Matthew 6:9-13, 25-31) is from the Spring EP, released 2008. © Atlantic/Lowercase People Records.

Again by Jon Foreman

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There are times when we go so far away from the One who made us, and we are entangled with the affairs of this life. At those times we need to get on our knees and ask God for revival, to let Him shine through our lives. This is Jon’s prayer in these lyrics.

 

Oh Lord, God of our fathers
This day let it be known
That You Lord, are God of the present times.
Oh Lord, Father of history
This day, let it be known
That You Lord, are present in our human events.

Answer me, oh Lord
Let Your people know
That You’re turning our hearts back to You
Again.

Holy, Holy
You alone are true
Holy, Holy
You alone are true
Turn us back towards You

Answer me, oh God
Let your people know
That you’re turning our hearts back to you
Again.

 

From Again, written by Jon Foreman, published 2008.

Year-End Thoughts: Second Chances

God_of_second_chances

This Sunday, we had a whole day service dedicated to prayer and fasting. The first prayer time was individual, so I had the time of coming to God alone. And I laid down myself before Him, one thing dawned on me. After that time of prayer, there was the sentences recitation, congregational singing, offering, choir, message, then rest, then singing, and giving of praise testimonies. After that another time for prayer, and this time it was by group. I led the Young Men’s group and as we prayed, one thing dawned on me.

Second chances.

I am thinking of that even as of this moment. I have done a terrible thing in God’s sight and have done terrible things in His sight in the past, and every time I could only cry and beat my chest and bow my head in shame before Him. I remember my sins, my shortcomings, and all I could do is ask forgiveness and mercy, because I think I couldn’t continue on.

But then there was this moment. This moment that after prayer, you’re still existing. I’m still existing. Despite the “death-worthy” deed done (Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death”), I’m still here, typing these words. Living. Continuing on.

Second chances.

I’ve done good things this year. I’ve done terrible things this year, also. And however I wanted to, I couldn’t erase those. But as I think that God is still giving me the coming year 2015 to continue on, I realize that He is giving me a second chance. I don’t believe the quote that “man deserves a second chance.” No. We don’t deserve it, sinful and rebellious and skeptical creatures that we are. But I believe we need it.

And thank God He gives us a second chance. And a third. And a fourth.

Lord, help me not to abuse the second chances you give me. By Your grace. By Your power.