christianity, Faith
Comments 24

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.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 11.50.17 AM 

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.

Prayer

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.

This entry was posted in: christianity, Faith

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Hey, my name is Alheri and I'm obsessed with Jesus. This blog is me keeping my promise to Him for answering a prayer. Purple is my favorite color and my favorite scripture is Jeremiah 32:27 which says "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?" (KJV) You can contact me at msalheri@gmail.com

24 Comments

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  2. Egor F. Egbe says

    One,
    I always do short prayers… In the name of the Father, the Sign of the Cross, The adoration and acceptance of the blessed Holy Trinity,which is the foundation of my Faith….. many mental prayers. I seldome do the Novenas… can’t stand praying repeatedly for a long time. Put in prayer(my prayer request)

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    • Haha, I’ll surely put in your prayer. And I think it’s different strokes for different folks. For some people, novenas work. But for others, they don’t work so much. Thank God He doesn’t have a prescription for how we should pray (except the our father).
      🙂

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  3. One more thing, there is no shame in not knowing what words to say, or what you want when talking to God. The Bible tells us that He knows the desires of our heart. When we pray it is as much for our benefit to learn how to be closer to God and spend time with him. There is no set formula that we must follow for it, prayer is conversation between us and God. By praying for something which is the desire of your heart, you build your faith as those prayers are answered. All of the aforementioned things like giving to Orphanages and the like are “works” those are not going to change the outcome of the prayer…after all salvation is free, and people who are in relationship with God would naturally do things in the course of their faith such as giving to others…so no need to make a special effort to do anything before you pray, other than quiet your mind as much as possible and get a bit of privacy for yourself.

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    • I agree with you, but only to an extent here.

      As believers, we definitely should engage in good works all the time, that’s why we’re made in the first place. But I also think that there are certain kinds of gifts, works, and offerings that usher us into higher points of grace and mystery. For instance, is was Solomon’s unprecedented gifts of 1,000 burnt offerings that pushed God to ask Solomon for whatever he desired. Would God still have given Solomon the wisdom regardless? We never can tell, but one thing we know for sure is that Solomon’s huge gift made way for Him at that time, and had a bearing on his entire reign in Israel.

      I hope I clarified my point.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says

    Yes! I love Novenas. I used to do them a lot when I was a bit younger as I’m Catholic. I really should get back on it!

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  5. Chizzy says

    I am not a Catholic but I have lots of friends talk about Novena’s.
    Well, I need an urgent intervention of God in life. I might as well start on Friday with this one.

    How many times a day are you supposed to say it? 9times? For 9days?

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    • Heyyyy Chizi! Nice to see you back here! You can say it for nine consecutive hours, or nine consecutive days, all depends on how urgent your request it!

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      • Chizzy says

        WOW. Nine consecutive hours is really a huge one. I chose 9 days but that’s because I go to grad school so time is really a scarce commodity

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        • Haha! I did the nine hour consecutive one and it really wasn’t that difficult to be honest. The prayer is literally one minute long, so I’d say it and go right back to whatever I was doing. But the nine day one is great as well! Do you want me to join you? We can pray together haha (just send me a message msalheri@gmail.com)

          Liked by 2 people

  6. This is great. Liturgical prayers are often frowned upon in the evangelical world as people associate them with “rote repitition”, but as you accurately point out in the post, the issue is intent, not function. Formal written prayers are a wonderful avenue for entering into “kavanah”, or focused, prayerful intent and communion with the Father. Rather than sitting there trying to figure out what to say, you can focus your mind on God as the words of the carefully crafted prayer soak into your mind and spirit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You just put this even more succinctly than I could have. The focus is on intent and communion. True, and thank you for adding that. I want to edit the blog post to add this little bit!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you, that if someone has a hard time getting started with prayer it is nice to have one to start with, and expand it as they go along to say what they wish to say. Some things are hard to pray about. It is intent that is important.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your comment Charlene! I thought it was just me whos sometimes not even sure how to pray or talk with God! Your comment has warmed my heart! Love and hugs to you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • My family and I went through a really terrible experience a number of years ago, to the point that getting up in the morning each day there was a prayer that God would just give me the strength to get through that particular day. All I could think of to do was to hold onto my Christianity throughout the experience because it was a type of “Job experience”. At that time, God provided me with friends that had similar experiences and they were able to share with me, and bolster me up in ways I cannot count. Loving and warm friends are such a great provision from God.

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          • I definitely agree with you. I constantly pray that God will help me show my friends and family members how much they mean to me because they’ve done a lot for me. I don’t know what you went through, but I’m so glad you called it a “Job” experience- that shows me that through everything, you believed that God would bring you through and that His love for you was everlasting.
            I think that’s so important! I hope everything’s much better now.

            And huge thanks to you for sharing.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Everything has reached a new normal, but I can’t say that there is not lasting sorrow. However, I refused to allow Satan to steal my joy. My minister at the time reminded me that this was Satan’s goal, to steal our joy. I feel absolutely awful when I see people going through a Job experience because I know that is a true test of their faith…it is a big one too, and many people don’t realize it. However, if you are a teacher of the Word, or someone who really has been a Christian of strong faith in front of people and you get into a Job experience and fail, then all of those folks that you taught could possibly have their own faith undermined, or if you don’t fail, bolstered by how you go through that experience. God reminded me of that, the only thing God expects of us is that we rely on him and maintain our faith in him no matter what the circumstances in our lives.

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              • Thank you for saying this: “the only thing God expects of us is that we rely on him and maintain our faith in him no matter what the circumstances in our lives.”
                That’s so important especially because we must remember God both in the good and bad times. And after your Job experience, your faith is tried and true. You can rejoice in that. Thanks so so much for sharing so much with me, I appreciate it!

                Liked by 1 person

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