Prayer Requests - Reflections of a Young Man™

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Prayer Requests

Second from right on the front row is me squatting after an evangelism graduation ceremony (circa August 2008) at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, the welcoming church I joined after I left Starehe Boys' Centre in Aoril 2007.

During one of the evangelism classes I took in 2008, a gentleman named Jared Ogutu advised us to keep a list of prayer requests to track how God fulfils our needs. Although I liked Jared's advice, I have only implemented it twice. That was in 2012 and again in 2015.

I still have those lists I wrote in 2012 and 2015 stashed somewhere. While going through the list I wrote in 2012, I discovered God only answered two prayers requests: acquiring a piano keyboard and landing a part-time piano teaching job. And while going through the list I wrote in 2015, I discovered that I had changed some of the goals I wanted God to help me accomplish. Like I no longer desire to be a newspaper columnist; I just want to be writing entertaining, enlightening and inspiring stories in this lovely website of mine.

Now, I have decided to come up with a new list of prayer requests which reads as follows:
  1. Develop courage to say "no" without feeling guilty about it
  2. Gain wisdom on how to spend my time, words, money and energy wisely as well as on who to associate with
  3. Reduce my weight so that I can reclaim my youthful looks
  4. Rise early in the morning everyday to pray, write, read, sing, walk, meditate or play the piano
  5. Renew my emotions of happiness daily by writing an inspiring story
  6. Win a lucrative advertising contract in this website
  7. Meet my soul-mate who shall be declared my wife in a colourful wedding which I'd like to be held in April 2019
  8. My parents may live to see me get wedded
  9. Produce inspirational songs
  10. Become an eloquent speaker both in public speaking as well as one-to-one conversations
  11. Get an opportunity to travel overseas
  12. Crack clean and witty jokes everyday
  13. Become rich enough to build a magnificent home which I shall stuff with modern accessories as well as with rare and beautiful treasures
  14. Learn how to drive and own a brand new Toyota prado
  15. Experience sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss and inner-peace
Yes, I will be going through the above list once in a while to witness the work of God in my life. I challenge you to also come up with your own list of prayer requests. And let us remember the timeless words of King David in Psalm 37:6, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." Over to you!

If you've enjoyed this story of mine on my list of prayer requests, you might also enjoy another story I wrote about an inspiring prayer worthy of memorization and another story I wrote about my favourite Bible verse. Just click those links in blue to jump straight into the stories.


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Benefits of Solitude

As some of my engineering classmates at JKUAT would testify, I spent a lot of time alone during my two years in the university. I enjoyed being all alone in the university's pristine meadow where most students never ventured. The following epigram from the autobiography of Bill Clinton was to me then, as it is still today, an inspiration and a spur:
"Tell him to be alone often and get at himself
and above all tell himself no lie about himself.
Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong
and the final decisions are made in silent rooms.
He will be lonely enough
to have time for the work
he knows as his own." [1]
Bill Clinton made me think, and still makes me think, that something good could come out of my worrying and wondering. And yes, I did indeed spend a lot of time alone at JKUAT to do the sorting out Bill Clinton said a good life requires.

Before I end this story, allow me to tell you something funny. There was this obedient boy who was instructed by his teachers in school to always stand up for adults in a packed bus. One day, the boy happened to be sitting on his father's laps when he spotted an attractive woman standing in the packed bus. He quickly stood up and motioned the woman, 'Hey, come sit on my father's laps." What do you think happened next?

[1] I extracted this epigram from page 150 of My Life by William J. Clinton, published in the United Kingdom in 2005 by Arrow Books.

If you've enjoyed this story of mine on benefits of solitude, you might also enjoy other stories I wrote on the benefits of music and of reading and of writing and of drinking water and of doing physical exercises and of working in a team. Just click those links in blue to jump straight into the stories.


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Arguing With God

About seven and a half years ago, I picked a piece of newspaper with the intention of using it to wipe myself after answering a call of nature in our old, wooden latrine. That was me in my primitive days when neither I nor my family could afford to buy a tissue paper.

But then as I squatted ready to excrete a small brick of waste matter, I happened to read what was written in the piece of newspaper. Alas! I was suddenly captivated by what I read; so much that I immediately postponed answering my call of nature so as to save the piece of newspaper.

The newspaper was reporting briefly of a prisoner who wanted to sue God for committing some crimes which I felt God had also committed on me. I therefore plagiarized the prisoner's complaint and posted it into my Facebook wall as follows:
"I, the undersigned Thuita J. Maina, currently struggling to lead a successful life, request legal action against the Almighty God, Creator of the universe, resident of heaven and represented here by so many religious groups for committing the following crimes: concealment, taking bribes, traffic of influence, abuse against my interests and not responding to my prayer requests."
Some of my Facebook friends were amused by my intention to sue God. Others however unleashed a torrent of criticism.

Like there was Edwin, a friend of mine then at Cornell University, who instructed me to delete that complaint from my Facebook wall. Then there was Charles, a high school classmate, who bluntly asked me, "Are you on drugs?" And then there was William Esikhaty, an elder and lay-reader at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, who wrote to me, "This is blasphemous. SEE ME!"

I however don't think I committed a serious crime by posting that complaint as my harshest critics put it because I think God appreciates humour. Doesn't the Bible say God loves cheerful people?

More importantly though, I also think God values people who argue with Him provided they are honest. The best friends of God as narrated in the Bible were those who complained bitterly to Him over His actions. Even Jesus when He was dying on the cross, blurted out, "Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani? (My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?)"

Let us therefore argue with God once in a while in our moments of pain and need. I think God will be more impressed with our honesty and understand our grievances. Or what do you think?


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