I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God. It changes me.
If you ever need to be reminded of the extraordinary power of prayer, watch a Korean pray. There is nothing like it! Our friend Rachel Gwak told us that the Korean people believe they received prayer as gift from God. They are true prayer warriors and intercessors who get up at the crack of dawn to pray. They will then return at sun down to pray again. But don’t be fooled, they are not limited to praying twice a day. As we have learned during our time at the Joyful church, prayer is an all-day affair with many rooms as well as an entire section of the church building dedicated to prayer (individually or in groups).
Our Friend Minje Kwon shared her story of how she turned to prayer in her most desperate time of loneliness and hurt as a result of her parents’ separation and family division. She began a journey of prayer that put her on a path of discovery during her church’s dawn prayer services; interceding before God with a broken heart, while hopping for some kind of resolution for her situation. God did not take long to respond. In just a year, her family situation was resolved and now the entire family attends dawn prayer service together. What a beautiful and inspiring sacred story of redemption!
Like Minje, there are many other Koreans who see their prayer time as something precious and valuable. The Abante team has attended some of these dawn prayer services while serving in South Korea. We have been impressed by how many people show up at just before 5:00am to pray fervently before God.
“South Korean’s have something special when it comes to praying, it is something that you really cannot explain. The pastor says one word and it is an immediate eruption in the entire room; they just begin to cry out to God in their own beautiful and sincere way, and you can sense the connection, almost immediately. Prayer is what connects us to God and these people have a very special connection through their unique way of crying out to him. It is something that I aspire to attain, and I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to observe and learn from them.” -Colleague Sydney Kahle
The ability to talk with God about anything and everything at any moment of our day is by far one of the greatest gifts we have been given. Much has been written about prayer; how to pray, when to pray, where to pray, and why we should pray. We have convinced ourselves that there is a specific formula for reaching the heart of God and that having simple conversations with Him is not enough. And so, we strategize, plan, and research; all the while, God simply calls us to be with him, to simply be rather than do. When you find yourself before your heavenly Father, and the words escape you from the brokenness you feel inside, just remember, He sees you. He loves you. He wants to spend time with you. Rest in His presence and you will be changed!