Growing up, prayer was just something I learnt to do through my great aunts, great grand-parents and grand-parents. You recited prayers for meal time, and mornings and evening time in the form of Psalm 23 or the model prayer – The Lord’s Prayer ( Matthew 5:13).
Reciting prayers did not include a personal knowing of who God was or His desire to be known, but rather it became a habit. A ‘prayer 101’ beginning with “Father” and ending with “Amen”.
Life and living would deliver a different definition of prayer and as the years have progressed for me, it’s become a needful encounter to be in communion with all of heaven at any given time. Anywhere at any time.
My second trip to South Africa in ’95 found me in Sandton Clinic in an emergency health state. I was in need of surgery for an intestinal blockage or at the very least, it is what the X-rays revealed. After a 7 hour surgery which left me missing 8 inches of my intestinal track and tubes coming out of every single hole in my body, I woke up in recovery angry… disappointed… scared. And prayer was not on my lips – not the thanksgiving kind.
I was angry. I had not wanted to come to South Africa to begin with when the invite came, so I felt very much cheated that this had happened to me.
Back in the ward in my personal room and in the dark, I looked out to see the African sky decorated with lights as if God was giving me His own personal ‘sky show’. This child of His wanted to be reassured, and with this particular show I felt that He heard my frustration and understood my prayer. It might have been the first time I could identify that God does speak if we will pay attention. I was His captive audience and as I looked into the night sky some of the pain both physical and emotional started to subside.
“The desire is wanting to know this God we speak about so freely, and His desire is equally strong: that He would be known personally and intimately.” – Gail Masondo
God was not asleep nor distant. I was being offered a challenge to get to’ know Him’. He had taken the first step in this new relationship by using the circumstance to invite me to come closer… to try Him… to see if reciting words of men were enough. God wanted to hear my voice… my words – angry or otherwise. That started the journey that I have been on.
I believe with all my heart that we have misunderstood the very definition of this precious gift. Not as an ATM or a wish list of items to be delivered but a non-expiring gift for relationship. Apostle Paul describes this opportunity best – “that I might KNOW him!”.
I have been on this journey for the last 21 years. The desire is wanting to know this God we speak about so freely, and His desire is equally strong: that He would be known personally and intimately.
Prayer can be a custom, a habit. But it was designed for so much more. Parent and child coming together. Creator and creature going together. Lover and the beloved going together for a time of enrichment, wisdom, correction and direction. Emanuel. God with US through the precious gift we call prayer.
Aunt Gail (as she is known to me and many others), is an author, international speaker and life in recovery coach. She is a spiritual mother to many young women and is consistent in walking others to a place of healing in Christ. She is married to Uncle Victor Masondo and is Mum to two adults.
Thank you Aunt Gail for painting that honest picture of prayer for us, and your experience with prayer. We often wonder whether we are the only ones who struggle to understand what prayer is all about.
Leave a comment with your thoughts or questions on this post ladies. Prayer is a journey and one where we meet and learn from each other.
Before you go sis! We have a hike and breakfast coming up to celebrate Women’s Month. If you’re in the Joburg area, make sure you grab your girlfriends and come through to join us by clicking here! It’s going to be life-changing because we’ll be meeting our Saviour in nature as sisters.