I’m not too sure what’s happened, but ever since January I’ve been praying like never before. I never hated praying or anything, but like most things I made the act of getting on my knees to be a procession, until I had no desire to do it. There were times when I didn’t know what to say; other times when I was so upset I couldn’t speak. I invested in a diary—which I keep locked and hidden—for my prayers when I’m too distraught to say anything. I’m someone who closes up when I’m upset and sadly God is the easiest person to do that with: you can’t see Him! He doesn’t have a phone to pester you with.

But I didn’t want to stay distant from Him. Some of the things written in the diary would surprise some people, but there are some things that only God needs to or should know about. There are things about me that I don’t like saying out loud, even in the confines of my own room; even when no one’s at home. The diary allowed me to express these things.

The diary helped in other ways too, I guess. It started me on my way for a healthy prayer life. I used to go to Wednesday prayer meeting just because it seemed like the right thing to do, but now I truly enjoy it; when I don’t go I’m bored, my Wednesday night somewhat of a damp squib. I like praying in the mornings, the evenings, and throughout the day. Ever since I started driving I pray in my head as I go. I think praying in this way has helped me stay calm when people blast their horns at me and spook me out.

I pray for my family and for their success in life. I pray for my own. University has been tough; it’s been a dramatic change from doing a course such as Creative Writing to the much tasking Sociology, which requires academic reading and assignments. I didn’t like university when I first started and even now I worry if I’ll do well in my first year exams. But when I pray for my success, God reminds me of all the times He’s helped me to pass. I’ve never failed an academic exam, why would God let me down now?

My friend set up a prayer group on Facebook where we can post prayer requests and testimonies. The whole idea of the group and the way how it’s taken off has really been a blessing. It’s been encouraging and it feels nice when I put requests on there to know I’ve got people praying for me, people who don’t even know me but are willing to pray anyway.

There’s been a case in the news this week about a couple who tortured and killed a 15-year-old because they believed he was a witch. Since then, certain pratices of corrupt churches in London have come into the limelight. I’ve seen these churches and I know about them; they spring up from no where, on the top floors of abandoned shops, with long entrances that look like the openings of caves. Their signs are dubious, with advertisements of prophets and prophetesses, who will heal your sicknesses. These people inject paranoia into vulnerable adults and brainwash them into believing their children are possessed. Some of these children are seriously ill and their parents ignorant of vital signs, so they go to these pastors who pray and chant over them, forever traumatising the children and leading them into distress. Some of these children are killed. The pastors are rolling in the tithe and offering money given to them by their congregation. Prayer can be abused.

But in its purity, it’s an amazing thing. There’s no other force like it. Read through the Bible and you’ll see countless miracles performed through prayer, the prayer of someone who truly believes and loves their Creator.

I could take or leave prayer before. Now I can’t live without it.

Happy Sabbath.