Consistent, relevant prayers
Sometime ago, I came across this prayer that I absolutely fell in love with. It was a novena that I prayed every hour because I really needed a quick miracle. According to google, “A novena (from Latin: Novem, meaning Nine) is an act of religious pious devotion originating in ancient Christianity, often consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days in belief of obtaining special intercessory graces.” Here's a picture of the novena I did. People also say these prayers to saints and angels (but I just felt more comfortable saying this particular one.)
I liked the consistency and repetitiveness of the prayer, and with each novena I said, I felt more confident and at peace about my request.
I must mention that I do not believe in praying novenas in isolation: you’re not praying, fasting, reading your bible, but you’re just saying novena upon novena. That’s literally making God an ATM. We’re only coming to Him because you need something from Him. When saying a novena, it’s important to be in a "state of grace," as should be normal for christians.
When you're asking God for an intention, especially go out of your way to do things that you normally wouldn’t do. Give a sacrificial offering. In Hausa land, there’s something called “albarka”. The word albarka is both a noun and a verb. I've heard about performing “albarka” in the sense of doing something good to commemorate an event or because you want something.
For instance, I’ve heard of cases where people cook in large quantities and distribute the food and other goodwill items to beggars. Or make a large donation to an orphanage, (when they're praying for children) or to a church, or an NGO. Basically, do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do.
Here are three reasons why I like novenas and why I pray them.
1. They stretch my faith- When I put my faith on the line with a novena prayer, I always get answers. The thing is this, prayer is an act of faith in and of itself. Now, coupled with saying a novena for a specific intention, you really are putting your all into your request, because. Hebrews 11:6 says “ And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
2. Simplicity of the Prayer- There are some times when I want something really badly, but I almost cannot open my mouth to pray for it, because I do not know what to say, or how to say it. Sometimes I’m not even sure what I want. Shame, I know. But you know the feeling of “things would be much better if they were a different way,” but you don’t exactly know how you want them to look? Yeah. A novena comes in handy because it already has the words, and I just add in “Lord, I’m not sure what I want, but please give me what you know is best for me.”
3. Consistent Prayer- If there’s one thing I wish I did, it would be praying more. I wish I lived, breathed, and walked prayer. I wish I prayed as I sat down, stood up, walked to the bathroom, woke up, went to bed and everything in between. And since a novena means you’re praying either every hour, or saying the same prayer every day, it pretty much makes me pray at the same moment of every hour, or the same hour of every day, or just for the same thing for nine days consistently. I really like that.
Even if you do not believe in novenas, or in saying “ready-made” prayers, I hope you’ve learned a thing or two from this post! Tell me, have you had any experience with novenas? Do you think you'll be saying one?
Featured image from here.