Monday, September 19, 2011

Hindu Orthodox Brahmin Priest - Aravindaksha Menon converts - becomes a Catholic

Testimony of Br. Aravindaksha Menon as given to Divine Retreat Center - Potta, Kerala, India


My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,

Introduction - Early Life

My name is Aravindaksha Menon. As the very name suggests, I am hailing from a very orthodox semi Brahmin Hindu family. 

As my family was of a Brahmin culture, I was bound to study the Hindu scriptures, Ramayana, 
Mahabharatha, 
Bhagavat Gita 
from very early childhood. 

I was brought up in my family in a most religious way studying all these scriptures, chanting hymns and attending the pooja ceremonies in the temple every day. At the age of 18, after completing my normal education, I entered into central government service in an office under the ministry of commerce. Since then for a period of over 20 years I led a very happy and cheerful life. Having the effect of this spiritual training in abundance in my mind, I could love others, I could always think for others, I could always work for others and I could lead a life without any selfish motives. Thus everybody around me, my colleagues, became my friends. Through them I could become the leader of the service organisation of the establishment in which I was working. Through this politically motivated organization I could into contact with Indian Communist party. Within no time I became a staunch worker of the communist party. I could become a leader of the Communist party in my locality. Through this political work, being loved and respected by my natives, through this organizational work, being loved and respected by my colleagues and friends, I could lead a very happy and cheerful life for over 20 years.

Losing my Job 
After this very happy period of twenty years, one day most unexpectedly, I lost my job. Citing ever so many political reasons; my relationship with the Communist party, my work for the Communist party, an agitation, a big strike that occurred in my office, the leadership given by me to this strike; citing ever so much political reasons, my authorities dismissed me from the service. Always being engaged in these political and organizational work, financially I was not at all sound ever in my life. I need not explain what will happen to such a family, which is already financially unsound, when its income itself is unexpectedly stopped. Within a few days, the total life of my family and myself was put into so much financial hardships.

More Difficulties
When financial hardships come to us, we begin to think about God. It was easy for me to think about God, because my family is of such a great spiritual background. My family owns three temples. Three big temples in the family compound itself. The Gods incarnated in these temples are called Bharadevatas. I went to the temple of these Bharadevatas and began to pray with all my heart. Giving all sort of offerings to these temples, I spent days, weeks and months in the temple in fasting and prayers. But nothing happened to my life; nothing changed my life; nothing lessened the hardships in my life. Normally and naturally when God’s blessings are denied to us, we the Hindus go to an astrologer and consult him; to find out what is the trouble with our lives. I also went to a very famous astrologer in our state. Four times I went to him. All the four times he found out different reasons for my hardships. Curses of a God, curses of Goddesses, curses of birth stars and so on. All the four times he suggested very expensive avoidance’s (penance’s). I did not have any money with me. I borrowed every money I could get and attended to all these avoidance most promptly. Still nothing happened to my life. 


Lost total faith in GOD
 
Nothing lessened the distress in my life. I lost my faith in God; I became an atheist. I was so convinced, there is no such God. God is only a myth created by man, for the welfare of the priests, astrologers and temples. As you know, there is very eminent atheist in our state. They have got their own association, their own movement. The Rationalists Association of India. I happened to meet some of the leaders of the association at this time. After hearing my story they told me “You are a man of experience, nothing is to be taught to you now. It’s your social duty to go around and tell others that there is no God.” Most happily I took up this assignment and for the next three years I went around the state of Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh; I went to almost all cities of India and preached ‘There is no God. God is only a myth created by man for the exploitation of man by man.’
Even though I was preaching against God for all these three years, this period of three years turned out to be a blessing in disguise as far as I am concerned. Because I could read a lot of books during this period; I could come into contact with so many intellectual giants, big writers during this period. And one of the friendships cultivated by me on those days, while I was preaching against God, changed my life totally.

Encounter with a Brahmin
One day, in a South Indian city, I was giving a lecture on atheism. After hearing my preaching a man came to meet me. He was a Hindu Brahmin by birth. Born to a very poor family. With his own efforts he studied and became an advocate. Then he became a Judge. A judge of the High Court. Finally he became the Chief Justice, then retired. He was a great scholar in English and Sanskrit. Such a great man, he was. 


Two Questions
 
After attending to my talk, he came to me and told me “My dear son, you have gone wrong twice. Once when your life was put into so much hardships, thinking that you are turning to God, you did not turn to the real God. But you did turn to idols and temples, it was wrong.” I was rather astonished because these comments came from a Brahmin. He is from such a race which makes a livelihood out of their worship of the idols in the temples and he tells me when I went to the temple and worshipped the idols, it was a mistake. 
“And secondly when you did not get benefited out of your worship of the idols in the temples, you turned to become an atheist; that is also wrong. You are a born Hindu. And should be proud of being a Hindu. To be proud of being a Hindu you have to go through the scriptures of Hinduism.”

Very proudly I told him 
“ I have not only gone through the scriptures, I have studied them by heart. Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagavath Gita, I have studied by heart. Nothing is to be done in that respect.” 

Then he laughed at me. 

He called me a fool and told me 

“These books, Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Bhagavath Gita are not the religious scriptures. 

Those are only storybooks. 

  • Ramayana is the story of Sri Rama, the king of Ayodhya, historical man
  • Mahabharatha is the story of Sri Krishna, the prince of Madhura, another historical figure
  • Bhagavath Gita is compiled of eighteen chapters just selected from Mahabharatha

These are not the religious scriptures. 

The official religious books of Hinduism are the Vedas. 

The written four Vedas; 

the Rigveda, 
Yajurveda, 
Samaveda, 
and the Adharva Veda

You have to go through these Vedas. Then you will get light, you will find the truth, you can see the real God and the God will give you peace.” 

He advises me. Out of his advice, I did not get any faith in God. But there may be some point in this advice. To know that point, I went to a library, got a copy of the Rigveda, the first and foremost one of the four Vedas and began to read from the Veda.
After going through some passages, I got convinced of one thing. One thing he told was correct. I started getting the light. The very first light I could get from Rigveda, the religious book of Hinduism was that, to whomsoever Gods I went in the days of my hardships, gave offerings and prayed to, are not Gods. There are no such Gods. In the official religious book of Hinduism, the Rigveda, there is the mention about only one God. He is the creator of all creations in this universe. He is the creator of all creations in this universe. He is the creator of all mankind the world over; he is the heavenly father, the only God. This only God is omnipresent; He fills this universe. As the Lord almighty is Omnipresent and as he fills this universe, nobody can see him in a particular body or form. As the Lord Almighty is formless and bodiless, nobody can make an idol of God and worship an idol; it is worthless and it is useless. 

A fool who is worshipping an idol gains nothing but pain and he never attains salvation. I was convinced. As there are 73 books for the Holy Bible, there are 10 books for the Rigveda. Ten mandalams. From first to nine mandalams, in several places it is clearly said who is the real God, who is man and why should man worship the God and how should he worship him. In the tenth mandalam, besides this Lord Almighty, there is the mention about a man. 


Son of God

The first born and only born son of the God. His name is ‘Prajapathy’. Prajapathy, the son of the God comes to this world at the appropriate time. After coming to this world he travels around advising mankind, what is sin and what is not sin; what is to be done and what is not to be done; what is wrong and what is right. To those human beings, which accept his advises and obey his orders, he offers prosperity and peace in this worldly life and salvation at the time of their death. And being the completion of his venture to redeem mankind from sin, he gets sacrificed at the end his specified period on earth. 

In verse 7 chapter 90 of the 10th book of the Rigveda, the sacrifice of Prajapathy the Son of God, is well explained. ‘At the time of sacrifice, the son of God will be tightly tied to a wooden sacrificial post using iron nails by hands and legs, he will bleed to death and on the third day he will regain his life in a resurrection. Praise the Lord!
I was totally confused. Who is this Prajapathy, who is the Son of God? As per Hindu mythology, there are 10 incarnations of God. Ten times God comes to this world.
“Matsya, Koorma, Varahascha
Narasimhascha Vamana,
Ramo Ramascha Ramascha,
Krishna, Kalki.
These are ten incarnations. 

First I thought, the reference about Prajapathy, the son of God, will be about one among those incarnations. But it was not. Because each incarnation has got its own attributes. None of these attributes suit those attributes of Prajapathy as given in the Rigveda and as given in Sathapadha Brahmana, a supplement to Yajurveda. Then I went to some scholars in my neighbourhood and asked them, who is this Prajapathy, who is the son of God? 


Concept of Praja (Man) Pathy (Saviour)
 
One of them told me “Yes, there is a concept of Prajapathy. Praja means man. Pathy means saviour. 
There will be a man coming from God being the saviour of mankind; he has not yet come; we are still expecting him.” 

All this time Jesus was in my mind. But I being a staunch Hindu, I could not even think like that. But again I am not only a Hindu, I am an atheist, I am a rationalist. 

I asked him “Can this reference be about Jesus Christ?. That scholar asked me “No. It can’t be. Because it happened in some Western countries, in Jerusalem or so, not here. Again I told him “It need not be here. The mention is only earth, man and the God, so it can be anywhere.” Now this scholar scolded me. “You fool, don’t make such foolish arguments with me; this is a religious matter, a godly affair, get out!’ 

With all these confusions in my mind I went to that noble Brahmin who advised me to go through the Vedas and asked him “Who is this Prajapathy, who is this Son of God?” Then he asked me “It’s written in Malayalam, why don’t you understand? I told him “I could understand, but I have my own doubts.” 

My dear brothers and sisters, even though a scholar, a born Brahmin, even though a scholar, a born Hindu, he told me 
“My dear son, there is nothing to be doubted, the only one sent by God, came to this world, tried to redeem mankind form sin and got sacrificed at the end is nobody else, but Jesus Christ!” Praise the Lord!


Reading the Holy Bible - THE Word of God

Then he asked me “Now its time you go through the Bible. You’ll get further truth.” I came back to my house. I borrowed a Bible from the nearby Christian house and I began to read the Bible. When I read some passage from the very first book of Genesis itself, stronger wonders than I could find Jesus Christ in the Holy Scriptures of Hinduism began to appear before me in the Holy Bible. The same verses or the verses with the same meanings or verses being the answers to the questions, doubts and prayers in the Vedas, Upanishads and even in Bhagavath Gita. All connected verses.
I cannot go in detail about such verses now, but only give a few examples, just for your conviction and faith. The very first book in the Holy Bible, is the book of Genesis. 

Genesis is the history of creation. It’s said that the heavenly father created this universe in six days. 

The first day, Genesis 1:3 “ The God said let there be light and there was light.” In 16:1 God creates the sun, the moon and the stars, which were created on the fourth day only. Then which was the light, which emanated from God on the first day? 

Answer to this question we get from verses 1 to 14 of St. John chapter 1. In the beginning was the word. This word from God came to this world in the form of light. The word that came to this world as light became flesh and made his dwelling among us and that’s our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Now verse 1 of chapter 121 of the 10th book of Rigveda says: -
“Hiranyagarbha: samavarthaagre
Bhuuthasya jaatha: pathireka aaseeth
Sadaadhaara Prudhwivim dyaamuthemam
Kasmai devaaya havisha vidhemam.”
In the beginning, God and his supreme spirit alone existed. From the supreme Spirit of the God proceeded Hiranya Garbha, alias Prajapathy, the first born of the God in the form of light. As soon as born, he became the saviour of all the worlds.

(Rigveda X:90:2)
“Purusha evedam sarvam
Yadbhutham yachabhavyam
Uthaamruthathwasya esaana
Ya daannenathirohathi”
This man, the first born of the God is all that was, all that is and all that has to be. And he comes to this world to give recompense to everybody as per his deeds.
Revelation 1:8
Says the Lord God “Who is, who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 22:12
“Behold, I am coming soon, I bring with me the recompence I will give to each according to his deeds.”
Rigveda X:90:7
“Tham yajnam barhishi proukshan
Purusham jaathamagratha
Thena deva ayajantha
Sadhya rushayaschaye”

This man, the first born of the God, was tied to a wooden sacrificial post and the gods and the Kings along the seers performed the sacrifice.

All the four Gospels say-

Jesus was crucified on a wooden cross by the Rulers (Jerod and Pilate) and the seers (Annas and Caiphas)
Yajurveda XXXI:18, Rigveda X:90:16.
“Thamevam Vidwanamrutha
iha bhavathy
Nanya pandha ayanaya vidyathe”

This (sacrifice) is the only way for redemption and liberation of mankind. Those meditate and attain this man, believe in heart and chant with the lips, get liberated in this world itself and there is no other way for salvation too.
Romans 10:9
“If you confess with your lips that Jesus is the Lord and believe in heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.”
When I could come across all these verses, I got confused once again. I went to that Brahmin Guru again and told him “It’s wonderful.” Again he told me “There’s nothing to be wonderstruck. Every ancient scripture was one and the same. Hindus, Christians and Islam were all categorized later, all man made. The word of God was one, because God is only one. He asked me “Do you believe that God is only one?” I told him “ Yes, I do believe God is only one” Again he asked me “If God only one how can the Son God be several? It is also one.”


27th June 1992
 
I came back to my house. That day became an unforgettable day in my life. 27th June, 1992. All the day time I was restless. There was a strong fight going on in my mind. The fight between the culture I was born and brought up in and the truth I found out now from the ancient scriptures of the very same culture. I became totally restless. In the night, on my bed, I thought about Jesus Christ. Of course I knew I knew him before; there was a picture of Jesus Christ in my mind too. Jesus the son of Joseph and Mariam, born in Bethlehem, brought up in Nazareth, studied the scriptures of Jew religion till the age of twenty nine and a half, who tried to hold a riot against the King and the priests with the help of poor fishermen, caught the soldiers of the King, faced trial and killed on the cross. This was the image of Jesus Christ in my mind. This was the communist line of thinking about him. 


Jesus - the Son of Living God

But on that night, for the first time in my life, I thought about Jesus in a different way; Jesus, the Son of God, who got sacrificed for the sins of the world. The result was wonderful. There were hymns in the Rigveda, the meanings of which I could not understand in spite of repeated readings. But when I could ascribe Jesus as the sacrificial victim and his crucifixion as the sacrifice, the meanings of those verses came so clear to me. Then I could understand what my Guru told me was correct. Jesus is the only Son of God.


Praying the Lord's Prayer 
I sat up on my bed. For the first time in my life, I, a staunch Hindu, prayed to Jesus Christ. I didn’t know how to pray. I didn’t know the narration of prayers as given in the Bible. “Oh! Our father thou art in Heaven!” I didn’t know any such prayers. I just prayed oh! Jesus, come to me. I am in distress. Come to me, save me.

From Vedas to Christ

When I prayed to Jesus, of course I don’t hesitate to confess before you now I kept my prayers to myself. So secretly and silently I prayed so that no one should hear. Especially my wife, who is lying beside me, sleeping, should not hear. It was rather shameful for me to pray to Jesus Christ. But one thing is there. I have come to the faith of Jesus Christ studying the Hindu scriptures. Not inspired by the Bible, not inspired by any Christian priest or friend. So what if my wife knows, she should know. But I could not think so at that time. Not because my wife also belonged to a Hindu family. No, that was not the reason. 


My Wife Loved Jesus

On the day of our marriage, my wife had made a peculiar request tome. She also belonged to a Hindu family like mine. But all her neighbors were Christians. Very orthodox Roman Catholics. In each and every family there is one priest and two or three nuns. So many of her classmates and friends are now studying for priesthood or to become sisters. Due to her close acquaintance with these families, from early childhood, she believed in Jesus Christ. Every day she prayed to Jesus. Every Sunday she goes to the church and attends the mass. I, being a staunch Hindu, should not object her practice; that was her request to me. I told her “ I am a communist, an atheist. I don’t have such faith. I don’t go either to the church or to the temple. But in my practice, I never object or question the faith of others. So you can have your own faith. I don’t mind.” She continued to be in that faith. 


She brought up our children also in the very same faith. She was telling me also to have faith in Lord Jesus. But I didn’t care. When i lost my job and when my family was put in to so much of distress, then again my wife told me “Believe in Jesus Christ, our family will be saved.” I didn’t pay any attention to her words; instead I went to the temples and worshipped the idols. When I come back from these idols, most disappointed, then again my wife would tell me “Believe in Jesus Christ, our family will be saved.” Again I didn’t care; I went on being an atheist and I began to preach against God. Now on my own, studying the authoritative Hindu scriptures, I have come to the faith of Jesus Christ. What my wife has been telling me for the last eighteen years has become true, yes, but how can I admit it before her, because I am the husband and she is my wife. 


First Family Prayer to Jesus Christ

So I kept my prayers to Jesus to myself and secretly prayed to him. After praying for some time I retired to sleep. When I lay down to sleep, my wife who was supposed to be sleeping beside me stood me. She was not sleeping she was watching me. Silently she stood up and to the nearby room. There she had kept a small wooden cross for her prayers. She lit the candles, knelt down on the floor and tears running down her face she began to praise Jesus Christ. I got the meaning of that praise immediately. For the last 18 years this poor woman was praying for me and at the fulfillment of her prayers, why she is praising her Lord now, I need not go to any astrologer to find out. I could not lie don any more. I also went to my wife, knelt down beside her, and joining hands, we began to pray to Jesus. That happened to be the first family prayer in my house. Praise the Lord!

The result of this prayer, answer to this prayer was instantaneous. In the same night I received the answer to my prayers. You believe it or not, I am a man who spent sleepless nights for over six years. Since I lost my job, since my family was put into so much of hardships, I cold not sleep for even a single night. Whenever I close my eyes for sleeping, the images of my two daughters come to my eyes. Then I could not sleep. Like some psychological problem this phenomenon haunted me every night, and I could not sleep even a single night. But on that night, when I prayed to Jesus for the first time in my life, I could get a long deep uninterrupted sleep for over 14 hours. Praise the Lord! What is the big thing about it? To get sleep for a night. Is it a big boon or blessing? No. But that sleep I got that night has some relevance and importance in my life. Before that I went to ever so many temples, I went to ever so many gods, I gave thousands and thousands of rupee as offering to them and I prayed to them. But none of these gods heard any of my prayers and gave me an answer. But on that night, when I prayed to Jesus for the first time in my life, Jesus immediately answered; “Relax, I am going to bless you.” I relaxed I slept. That’s the special relevance and importance of that sleep I got in that night.
Since then, till now, what all blessings Jesus showered on me, I cannot explain everything in detail now. On 27th June,’92, in the last week of June I prayed to Jesus for the first time in my life. In the first week of July, next week, without my appeal, without any sort of follow up from me, even without my knowledge, the Govt. of India took a policy decision. All those who were dismissed from services by the former Govt. on political reasons, should be reinstated in service. I was reinstated in my old service, which I lost six years ago. My income was restored. The days of starvation in my life are over. Praise the Lord!


Family Saved by Jesus
Verse no. 31 chapter 16 of the Acts of Apostles tells us “You believe in Jesus Christ, you and your family will be saved.” I was convinced. I believed in Jesus Christ and I was saved, automatically my family will also be saved. Enough. God kept his promise, I was convinced. But within a few days, God convinced me one more thing. God keeps his promises letter by letter. If he has promised that you and your family will be saved , he means you and each member of your family will be saved. The second member of my family is my wife. As she was educationally much backward, she could not get a job. She was a simple housewife till the age of 36. As I lost my job, on somebody else’s advice and persuasion she took an agency of the L.I.C. Very well she knew she could not work because she was practically illiterate, and she expected me to work for her. But I did not attend to that work at all. It was against my prestige to go around and before others because everybody now knew I was jobless. My wife also could not work and we could not make any income out of it and we were living by selling out material possessions. Then everything was over, nothing was left behind for selling out. I told my wife “You start the work of L.I.C., I'll help you.” Jointly we began to work. But we began to work only after accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Jesus was with us in each and every step of ours. Every bit of business we attempted to, turned out to be a success.
My dear brothers and sisters, this is the wonderful experience, that Lord Jesus gave me on my prayers to him, which I had to share with you. I pray to Lord Almighty to give you also that wonderful touch of the blessed hand of Jesus Christ during this retreat itself.
Thank you. Praise the Lord! And the Attainment.. God is one and absolute. The omnipresent and the omnipotent. The creator, Sustainer and Guardian of this universe. Everyone has concurred to this eternal truth, And then differ in vain? Why is it ‘Your God’ and ‘My God’? This dilemma of the novice, the wavering, Just at the threshold of faith, Remains sadly unsolved. And those who have taken possession of God As their exclusive right, Would dismiss you for a dullhead, Immature and ignorant. 


All to Jesus

Think not, contemplate not! Take shelter under unconditional belief. And trust!
In whom? “In what I say. In the path I usher you unto.” Here, confusion becomes worst confounded. It is this predicament that has instigated me to set out And seek my God on my own. Here, let me submit myself, mind, body and soul, to my Lord Almighty, who had revealed me His magnanimity and graciousness in all its splendour whenever I invoke Him.

Let me acknowledge the God’s grace showered on me. To be born in an orthodox Hindu family which facilitated me to learn the Vedas And Mythologies, Which in turn have guided me like a beacon towards this accomplishment of comparison.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Are you driven by anger or rage? - Matthew 5:20-26

“ Every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment”


Are you driven by anger or rage?  

The first person to hate his brother was Cain.  God warned Cain: ‘Why are you angry? ..Sin in couching at the door; it’s desire is for you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:6-7). 

Sin doesn’t just happen; it first grows as a seed in one’s heart. Unless it is mastered, by God’s grace, it grows like a weed and chokes the fruitful vine.  Jesus addressed the issue of keeping the commandments with his disciples.  

The scribes and Pharisees equated righteousness with satisfying the demands of the law. Jesus showed them how short they had come.  Jesus points to the heart as the seat of desire and choice.  

Unless forbidden and evil desires are eradicated, the heart will be corrupted. Jesus points to forbidden anger with one's brother.  This is a selfish anger that broods and is long-lived, that nurses a grudge and keeps wrath warm, and that refuses to die.  

Anger in the heart as well as anger in speech or action are equally forbidden. What is the antidote to anger and rage?  
Mercy, kindness, and forbearance spring from a heart full of love and forgiveness. God has forgiven us and he calls us to extend mercy and forgiveness towards those who cause us harm and grief.  

In the cross of Jesus, we see the supreme example of love and the power for overcoming evil.  Only God’s love and grace can set our hearts and minds free from the tyranny of wounded pride and spiteful revenge.


Do you harbor any anger towards another person? 

And are you quick to be reconciled when a rupture has been caused in your relationships?  

Ask God to set you free and to fill your heart and mind with his love and truth. 




Scripture:  Matthew 5:20-26

20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 21 "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of  fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.  25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to  the guard, and you be put in prison;  26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.




Prayer

May I be no man’s enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides.  
May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly.  
May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good.  
May I wish for all men’s happiness and envy none.  
May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me.  
When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends.  
May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent.  
May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another.  
May I never fail a friend who is in danger.  
When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain.  
May I respect myself.  
May I always keep tame that which rages within me.  
May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances.  
May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps.

(Prayer of Eusebius, 3rd century) 

Friday, September 2, 2011

HOW TO MAKE PERSONAL PRAYER

By Fr James Manjackal M.S.F.S

Select a best time for your personal prayer and include it in your schedule. Let it be the best time when drowsiness, tiredness or calls from outside do not disturb you. For most people early morning is the best time. Try to pray every day at the fixed time that it may become a habit in you. How wonderful it is if you can meet the Lord at the same time every day. 


What is Personal Prayer
Personal prayer is not reciting prayers from some pious books, it is not saying the rosary, or reading the Bible, it is not time to pray for others, it is not to pray before a picture or a statue. 
It is you and your God alone; it is closing the door of your eyes and ears and entering into the sanctuary of your heart where you meet the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.


Praise and Thank God continuously
It is good to praise and thank God for sometime to enter into personal prayer. Where there is praise there is God! Enter His presence with praise and thanksgiving. Have a lot of praises and thanksgiving during your prayer. Praises will keep you away from distractions and bondages that come from the evil one.


Once you are in His presence surrender yourself before Him with small songs like  Father I adore you, lay my life before You (Son and Spirit) . Anyone in the presence of the Lord will feel his unworthiness and unholiness to be in His all Holy and Almighty presence. Hence one must spend little time asking God pardon and mercy for the sins committed.  

You must experience the compassionate and merciful Heart of Jesus from where the Living Water flows into your heart washing you and cleansing you and giving you a new heart (Ez 36:26). After receiving His pardon and after having reconciled with God and having forgiven all, you must again thank and praise God for His goodness to you. Forgive everyone and be reconciled with all in your heart (Mk 11:25) 


Healing and Release of all Bondages
Spend sometime in asking the Lord to heal you from your past wounds of the heart and of the present. Bring all your wounded memories to the Lord and get yourself healed by the wounds of Christ. By His wounds you are healed (I Pet 2:24). 


Present your hurt feelings, your feelings of rejections, unlove, fear, anxiety, inferiority complex - all negative experiences to the Lord s wounds and claim your healing of the heart. Present the scars of your past sins, guilt, sadness, etc. to Him and claim a deep inner peace and joy within. In this precious moment of grace you must get yourself freed from all bad habits and the desires of the flesh so that on that day you will not be conquered by sin. 

You will hear Jesus telling in your heart,  My grace is sufficient for you  (II Cor 12:9). During this time can ask for your own physical healings too if you have any. 

After having obtained a new life in Jesus through repentance and inner healing surrender your entire self to the Lord, your heart, your mind, and every part of your body, your plans, your desires, your work, your money, your programs, your travel, your relationships, etc. (Rom 6: 12-19). 


Sing loudly in your heart
You can sing in your heart a good song of surrender like  All to  Jesus I surrender  Along with the surrender of your complete self you must ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with power and grace. You may sing a small song to the Holy Spirit. Open your heart to the Spirit and receive the Spirit with all fruits, gifts and charismas (Gal 5: 22-23; Is 11: 2; I Cor 12: 4-10). 

This must be the most beautiful time of your personal prayer. Here you will have various experiences of God, like the Living Water flowing through you with love, peace and joy. You may experience the Lord's presence in you with spiritual, emotional manifestations too. 

You may, here, have visions; perhaps you may hear the Lord speaking to you giving you guidance and direction. If you have presented a problem to Him, you will definitely get an answer. Through this insight, revelations, words of the Spirit within you, you will hear the Spirit telling you  do this, don't do this, go this way, don't go this way, etc. 


Personal and Intimate friendship with Jesus
During this most important part of your personal prayer you are entering into a personal friendship with Him. Here you can speak to Him whatever you want like a brother or a friend (Jn 15: 15). Make intimacy with the Lord in your heart. 


Commit your life to the Lord
During this time you may make decisions with the Lord for that day so that all you do will be according to His will and plan. If the Lord tells you not to do certain things or to alter your plans be obedient to Him. 


Feel and Accept God's Love
Fill yourself with as much as grace possible for you so that you may walk in His grace and love. Have much thanksgiving and praise giving in His sweet and loving Presence. If you spend the time well with the Lord, you will not know how your time has passed with the Lord. 


End your prayer with the Sign of the Cross
When you end the prayer you may make a sign of the Cross on important part of your body and entrust yourself to the blood of Christ for protection and care. Thus with much grace and God's love do the works of the day with much peace and joy. If you pray this you will see many blessings of the Lord daily in your life and you will see that the Spirit leads you.
 

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