Answered Prayers Sometimes Requires Work on Your Part

Sometimes a break is in order, especially when you're feeling confused about a certain situation in your life, whether it's a relationship issue, a developed habit, spirituality and religious teachings and/or beliefs or just time to reevaluate yourself internally.  During this time, I began to understand what God needed me to do in order to answer my prayers. Sometimes, prayers cannot be answered because we have to do something on our part to make that happen. We can't just expect miraculous things to happen if we don't make the effort to improve things on our part. For instance, for the longest time---I'm talking over ten years, I suffered with insomnia, where I couldn't go to sleep until 4am. It was the hardest thing to deal with because I was living in a different time schedule than everyone else around me. I love my mornings and having coffee watching the sunrise. I love working early, because that's when I'm at my sharpest. But it wasn't happening for me, even though I prayed and prayed.

I learned that God sometimes will remove something in your life in order to bless you and answer your prayer. For me, He showed me how alcohol was the culprit for my insomnia and health issues. In my mind I was like, "I'm a moderate drinker and like my wine with dinner---it's not like I'm a boozer!" But it didn't matter. The way my body processing the alcohol was ruining my sleep and giving me other health ailments. And yes, my wine goblets are huge, so one glass is really like drinking three. So there's that. Out of nowhere, every single time I would touch wine, my heart would spin out of control with a heart rate of 150 bpm. Even one glass of wine would set it off. I had to visit my cardiologist and as always, get a clean bill of health. Once I removed the alcohol, I noticed I was more calmer, and at night,  with no racing heart. I would fall asleep at a decent time, and wake up at 6am, shower, have my coffee and watch the sunrise. I thought this was a fluke, but it kept happening more and more, with each day that passed by without the wine, I found myself adjusting to my new schedule. I was always told, "Well, you work from home so it shouldn't be that big of a deal---don't even think about it." But I LOVE my mornings! It was bothering me because I like to get all my work done and be able to do the groceries, clean and cook afterwards. I was not very functional drinking wine every single evening.

With that being said, I also incorporated hemp extract (CBD oil) into my routine. At any given time I was plagued with an anxiety attack or I was feeling too tense, I would use a dropper of the oil and my entire body would feel calm and relaxed---not high---just at ease. As time went on, I realized that my claims of being a "moderate drinker" were way off base. I was drinking a lot more than I thought. So now, I am able to have a glass or two of wine on one night of the week, like on a Sunday with a nice meal. I don't crave another glass nor do I feel cheated during the week. I am more productive, I am busy from 6am, till I go to bed at night. It's been an amazing discovery for me through God's answered prayers.

I keep a journal of my prayers, along with God's answers. One of my prayers was speaking about my one week without alcohol. I was thanking Him for giving me this discovery and how good I felt. Right after my prayer, I opened the Bible to this scripture:

"And it is not for kings to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave liquor. For if they drink, they may forget their duties and be unable to give justice to those who are oppressed. Liquor is for the dying, and wine for those in deep depression. Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more." ---Proverbs 31:4-7

For me, this scripture spoke to me. Without focusing on "kings and rulers" --- I felt as if God was saying that He had greater things in mind for me, so if I want to go higher in life, I need to not crave liquor or guzzle my wine. And He also wanted me to heal from my grief of losing my mother, so the wine isn't helping at all, in fact, it was exasperating it to a level of complicated grief, which is a form of clinical depression.

I also learned that I was praying wrong. I kept praying for God to remove the fear and anxiety I felt. But I didn't realize that asking for that was pointless. Fear and anxiety will always be there at some level. He said, "Ask for mighty inner strength, instead of praying for fear to just go away." So I kept asking Him for mighty inner strength and to make me courageous---to even make my dangerously courageous. After praying this way, I began to do things I wouldn't normally do. I began to go out more, shop in places I was terrified of, like super Walmarts and even driving into the Bronx to see family. These are things I used to fear. I'm also able to be available for anyone who needs me at 'mostly' any given time. I used to feel sluggish or to anxiety-stricken to even make it out of the house. But with God, all things are possible.

So if you're suffering with the same things I did: fear, insomnia, agoraphobia and grief, maybe try praying every single day, and try eliminating things or substances from your life to see if it's the culprit. I also attend church on Sundays---not because "it's the right thing to do for a Christian" ---because I don't believe that. I believe church starts at home. But for me, I believe being surrounded by other people who love God as much as I do edifies me and also educates me. I've learned a lot more about my Bible too. It's good to have friends of every creed, but it's also good to fellowship with those who believe as you do.

Have faith and expect God to work in your life. If you have an inkling of doubt while praying to God, the answers to your prayers will take that much longer to get to you. Have faith, EXPECT God to answer you, and also, expect God to remove something that's blocking the path of your blessing. For me, my wine was the only thing I truly looked forward to at the end of the day. And now? I look forward to days with clarity, productive weeks filled with accomplishment and success due to God's help. I look forward to prayer and meditating on God's Word every single morning, whether for 30 minutes or two hours. I sometimes lose track because being in His presence has overwhelmed my heart with complete love and acceptance of who I am. God doesn't need you to be "perfect" and "holier than thou" --- He just needs you to believe and trust. That's it.

I will be writing more about my testimony as my journey goes on. I'm excited about my new life, and I'm hoping that maybe someone out there will be inspired by what God has done for me, because He can do this for you too. If you ever need to reach me, please reach me by sending a message in the box on the right side of this blog, or follow me on Twitter to send a DM.

Thanks for reading.

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