By Osa Mbonu-Amadi, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
Many years ago, I learned something from Norman Vincent Peale, the great author of The Power of Positive Thinking. It has to do with something like shooting prayers at people. That seems a little bit strange in our world today where people are more inclined to shoot at others with guns, bad deeds or hurtful words.
Anywhere, anytime, try to silently whisper words of goodwill prayer to people you meet, even strangers, without them being aware that you are praying for them. You need not be a Christian or Moslem to be able to do this. You can do it, even if you do not believe in God. We all have the ability to wish people good or bad things. That’s what prayer means – wishing ourselves or others good or bad things.
For instance, you are sitting somewhere and watching people passing or engaging in some activities and you gaze at one particular person and whisper: “I pray for you and your family now; that God will bless you, continue to provide for you; lift you out of any challenge you may be passing through now. Your labors and struggles shall not be in vain in this life; you and your husband or wife shall reap the fruits of your labors; your children shall succeed in life, live long and turn out to be blessings to you, your community, state, country and humanity generally. The good things you and your family are aspiring to get everyday shall come to you in the name of Jesus.”
The prayer, however, does not necessarily have to be that long or made of the words of a good writer or good speaker. It could be something as brief as: “May God bless you and your family today and always in Jesus’ name”. What matters is the goodwill embedded in the prayer and sent to the other person.
Try this every day for two weeks or more and see how your own life will begin to blossom. The reason is simple: Whatever you give out in this life comes back to you. When you send out good thoughts to people, because thoughts are actually things, good things return to you. Similarly, when you see people and wish them evils for whatever reason, evils have a way of returning to you. It’s a simple law of the universe.
One who has practiced this shooting of positive prayers at people so much that it became a habit for him or her is a dangerous ‘object’ in the universe. Just imagine what would happen to you if you are trying to harm someone who had been praying for the well-being of you and your family without you know about it? You are simply committing suicide, whether God exists or not.
Third, try this thing and see how your relationships with people will dramatically improve. The reason for this is also simple: When you secretly pray good prayers for people (not the kind of public prayers, PR prayers or commercial prayers many so-called pastors offer to people nowadays), it modifies your attitude towards other people for good. You cannot be praying for the well-being of one and at the same time hating that person, can you? If you have continued to hate the person you are praying for, one thing is certain; that prayer is not an honest prayer. It is not from the bottom of your heart, as we would normally say.
In essence, this is the real meaning of love as taught and practiced by our Lord Jesus. What you are sending out when you pray thus for others is love – the very most powerful weapon which Christ used to conquer the evil world.
Fourth, you may also like to take it further by trying to combine this shooting of prayers with giving random gifts to people who may not necessarily be in the position to pay you back. For instance, you meet a gate man at your work place where nobody is watching and you squeeze N200 or N500 or N1000 (according to your ability) into his hand. Or a commercial motorcyclist drops you at your destination and you pay him the N100 you have agreed, but goes further and adds another N50 to the agreed N100. Just watch these people’s faces and reactions as you do these random good deeds to them, and you will see in that split moment, God smiling at you and saying, “thank you my son. Thank you, my daughter.”
Generally, we all have the capacities to go out of our ways to be good to others. Whenever we are really good others, our own problems have ways of receding and resolving themselves.
Being good to people is being good to ourselves, because all humans in the universe (and in fact, all living things) are invariably connected spiritually. A simple good or bad thought or deed sends a long wave of ripple across the complex web of human spiritual network and connectivity. And like a football thrown against the wall, good or bad thoughts or deeds always bounce back to us, the sender, hence the saying, “back to sender”.
The secret to a happy and successful life, therefore, is being good to others: in prayers, thoughts and deeds. That’s why Jesus said in John 13: 34-35:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This world and the human beings God created are deeper and much more complex than we realize. Sometimes when I silently shoot a prayer at someone, for no apparent reason the person would turn round and look at me. In that instance, our eyes would meet and I see a strange warmth, the warmth of love in the person’s eyes. Sometimes some of them will flash a smile at me when I never showed any physical sign that I was praying for them. These shows we are spiritual beings and we often communicate spiritually in ways we ourselves do not even understand.
Now, let me pray for you who has taken the pains to read this: May God bless you, my friend; bless your family; bless whatever honest work your hands have found to do. May you live long in good health and greater prosperity to see and eat the good of the land and of your labors in Jesus’ name.
Whatever may be your problems (there is no one in this world without a problem), your struggles, your needs and aspirations, may our kind and gracious God see you through in them all in Jesus’ name.
NOTE: While I was searching for a picture to illustrate this article, I was surprised to run into this related article titled “Shooting Prayers” by Joy Cottage (see https://joycottage.blog/2019/06/06/shooting-prayers/ ). It is a huge corroboration (or what we Christians call confirmation of a revelation) to this article I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write. Try and read it too. It will bless you immensely!