MARCH 12, 2021: Our personal relationship with God is personal. How we talk, pray, spend time and serve Him is as different as we are from one another. Here are some of people who openly shared how their relationship with God is. We hope through this sharing you will see how personal and intimate our God can be.
Nicholas Choong who is in his 70s says this:
“I believe in Him and my faith and hope in Him, I want to build the close relationship with Him. The purpose of my life is to be with Him at the end of my earthly time. Jesus in his earthy life already shows how I should live to attain the salvation to be with Him.
Prayer is my sure way to communicate to Him. Having the very close relationship with God through prayers is part of my daily commitment to Him either alone or in prayer with others. My prayer life has an added dimension of contemplation, in addition to my other devotional forms and Eucharistic sacraments of prayers. I do Christian meditation twice a day and that silence and being still help me to be with Him. There is also Scripture reading and this is my way of understanding what God is revealing to me.
God responds to me or “speaks to me” through the events when I pray for discernment whenever there is a need for decision or seeking assistance for my self, my family and my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ and others who may or may not know Christ. Many times it is through other fellow members and even our parish pastors directing me to carry out events or leading me to people who need His intervention.
God is with me all the time. Whenever I fail to acknowledge His presence, things don’t turn out the way it is supposed to. I am still learning in the journey “to see God in all things” as said by St Ignatius of Loyola. At times it is my pride and when I am not living in humility that human weakness takes over and I am “ blinded” to His presence. I must learn to be childlike at all times in the state of “poverty in spirit and purity of heart” and totally dependent on God.
I want to be in an ever closer relationship with God. As St John said “He must increase; I must decrease ( 3:30). Constant praying and spending time with Him daily will help me to be in close contact with Him. And not forgetting His will that I am to fulfill the faith and action and to be available and ready to serve and help others in need.”
This is what Joan Lee who is in her late 50s says:
“God first spoke to me way back when I was in secondary school in the 70’s. It was through a school mate whom I had not met before, who approached me in the school library and started talking to me about Jesus. My initial reaction was of utter confusion as Christianity was foreign to me. I had grown up a Taoist! So I completely ignored the pamphlet she had given me to read. It did not occur to me then that God was calling me. When I look back on it I realise it could not have been something coincidental or random.
Then I met and married a Catholic and converted to Catholicism two years after that, as I took the vow of raising my kids as Catholics seriously for some reason. And He continued to speak to me throughout the years, especially during the challenges I faced in my marriage. My husband and I had terrible fights – he was sensitive and short tempered. Progressively I fought back.
I believe that God spoke to me every time we had a fight and I continued to give my marriage a chance. He gave me hope, to hang in there for my children. I think if I was not God-fearing and prayed to God for strength and to intervene I would have gone bonkers and given up sooner.
God is my hope because my perseverance and hope that things would turn out better was what kept me going. Reflecting on this, I believe God speaks to me in the thoughts I have, what I say, decisions I make and my actions. I’ve always believed He is my conscience. He also speaks to me through the opportunities He gives me in life. God has not left me alone.
Apart from when praying, I talk to Him when I hear of people doing wrong things, when there’s injustice and evil happening and of people suffering. I talk to Him because I can’t fathom why some of these things happen and put it down to God’s greater plan for human kind. Also to ask Him for mercy for these people and also that by talking to Him I obtain some solace and be ever more grateful for His blessings.
He has immense love for His children despite our failings. He is humble, wise, forgiving, patient and understanding. Because of this I think He takes full accountability for what He has created by always being there, showing His mercy and forgiveness when we fall.
I would like my relationship with God to be a lot closer. He is my go-to ‘person’. A good friend who doesn’t judge but keeps me in line. One who allows me to learn from my mistakes and above all to be kind and humble.”
Agnes who is in her 50s says:
“I normally talk to God during prayers and sometimes adhoc-ly in my room. I believe in His existence and I know He is listening. I find God to be faithful and trustworthy. He has spoken to me through many answered prayers. Only once I experience a very significant presence of Him. It was five years ago, when the priest lifted up the host, I felt heat in my throat. I was claiming healing during that time for a persistent cough although the church air-con was switched on and it was cold. Until today, no cough came back. Each time I had slight cough, I reminded Him that He has healed me five years ago and the cough would stop.
Sometimes, especially when my prayers are not answered, I would asked Him why is He so silent towards me. What I want is an intimate and lasting one as I journey through in this life. I told Him to continue to guide me and hold my hands so that I may never lose sight of Him.”
Pauline who is in her 40s says:
“I talk to God like a talk to a friend/older mentor. Sometimes, when I’m driving home from work and reflect on what happened during the day, I will tell God how I felt – my gratitude, my sadness, my anger/annoyance. But more importantly, rather than talking, I try to listen to Him. What is He saying through my day? Through the people I meet and interact with? How is God talking to me through my feelings? This is something that I learned through Ignatian Spirituality – to find God in all things.
I think God is like a wise counsellor and a loving God. He knows everything, sees everything. He is someone I turn to whenever I find that I am at a loss and don’t know what to do. I have learned to surrender to Him rather than to rely on my own will.
I believe God speaks to me through life events as well as gut feelings that cannot be explained. Ever since I started learning and praying using Ignatian Spirituality, I have been more attuned to the workings of the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my daily life. The Consciousness Examen is a wonderful form of prayer to connect our daily lives with God and His plans.
I remember some time back when I was seconded to teach in a campus outside Klang Valley and had to travel every Thursday and Friday. It was really tiring as the journey is 3 hours there and then 3 hours back. But there was one day when suddenly I felt that I was at the right place and at the right time doing the right thing. I felt the room sparkle with a dazzling light for a brief second, and a surge of joy within. That’s when I knew that God was affirming the choices I made in my life and my career which were aligned to what He wanted for me.
I believe God also speaks to me through events that happen in my life, through the opportunities that He brings in my way. Whenever I go for retreats, I will talk to Him or sometimes, I will just sit in silence. And later, after the retreat, things happen beyond what I expected, so I know that He listened to the voice of my heart and answered it.
I would like my relationship with God to be closer. My main problem is that I lack discipline in prayer i.e. I tend to get distracted with work and other activities and forget to set aside proper time to pray. So this will be my fervent hope in 2021 – that I will finally learn to discipline myself in prayer.”
This is what Noel who is in his 20s says:
“I don’t think my relationship with God has been all spiritual. I will not attempt to hide any sort of imperfections. There’s a lot of ups and downs. A lot of times when I questioned myself and what am I doing in this world. Of all of good times ending and mostly blaming. Most of the times when I do talk to Him would be me complaining and blaming. However, throughout all the bad times, there were plenty of small things that I was grateful for. I did a lot of thanking, praising and accepting. As everyone says, God has His ways. In that sense, I think God has His own qualities. None of them anything we could quantify through our earthly methods because there is a lot of overlaps. At least in the human sense. Because when we start thinking of God in terms of us, it’s not applicable.
He has revealed Himself to me through circumstance, opportunities, people, moments, and fragments of times in my life where I ignored, chose to have ignored or noticed. Mostly, I think He wants us to speak to Him and for Him to speak to us. But I do not believe in seeking Him only when we want something or when times are hard. I do however believe that it is in the subconscious moments when He is most present. He is most present in His silence. If anything I would like to be able to trust Him when I am at my lowest. That is my hope. God willing.”
Chris who is in his 50s says:
“I talk to God usually via praying at specific times of the day, for instance in the morning after I wake up or after my breakfast. And at night, after my evening shower and my evening meal. I usually start off in an impromptu manner of prayer. And sometimes I would use prayers I download from the Internet or from prayer books, that I find expresses my prayer thoughts in the most appropriate wordings.
I talk to Him in the morning, to give God thanks for another day of life. To thank Him for the things we have that others may not have. Like a roof over my head, food to eat, being in good health. And at night to thank Him for the events of the day, all the blessings I received. All the difficult moments as well that will teach me new life lessons, and help me grow in maturity. Also, at difficult moments, to ask and plead for His mercy and compassion to take away pain and discomfort especially at moments of mental anguish. I talk to Him when I need to seek His counsel for important decision making moments.
He is an understanding God, a very forgiving God, full of mercy, compassion and abundant grace, a God who loves me more than I can ever imagine, and an unpredictable God, from a human perspective, when seeking His counsel and asking for His blessings. God speaks to me through conversations with friends, through happy moments and happy outcomes, through difficult life experiences, through imagery, movies (fiction & non-fiction) and writings (fiction and non-fiction).
I would like to be able to truly feel His presence and to be mindful of His presence, and to feel the joy of His presence all the time. Much in the same way I think and feel the closeness of my family and my close friends. To be able to always think of God first and to always lean on Him when faced with difficult moments, and to let God guide and control instead of me relying on my own wisdom or the wisdom of men. And to always want to return to God quickly and seek forgiveness after failing Him, rather than to feel unworthy of His mercy and forgiveness for having failed Him.”
And finally, this is what Maria who is in her 50s says:
“I feel that when I speak out loud my conversation with Him it is lengthier. Most of the time, I converse with God in my thoughts. But despite my shortcomings, God is so merciful and kind towards me and I am so very grateful for that and even though at times I did not agree with God’s decision but I always remind myself that God has a plan and it is a good plan. I will continue to have dialogue with God.”
We earlier ran a story on how to get close to God.