“If we know that He hears us whenever we ask, we know that we already have what we asked of Him.” — 1 John 5: 14-15

I HAVE always believed in the power of prayer. I pray before difficult exams, and get good grades afterwards. I prayed for my father after an accident, and he eventually got better. And for a thousand other little things I need to get through a day: safety, confidence, and understanding, among others.

But even prayer has its limits. I have come to realize that not all prayers are answered as soon as I would wish them.

Last semester, my classmates and I made an Advance Statistics project, a pre-requisite for Econometrics. But due to the change of instructors, we had a difficulty meeting our new professor’s directions. Worse, my groupmates and I discovered loopholes in our project’s framework. We decided to start again with a proposal with only about two weeks before the deadline. With this in mind, I prayed for guidance, and for our project’s approval. Two weeks was a very short time, considering the amount of work we needed to accomplish.

The first week was dreadful. It was really tough to come up with a unique and sound proposal. We went to the library often, doing intense research, but somehow, my groupmates and I still couldn’t agree on a decent topic. Then we decided on a piece about the movie industry. We polished the basics and were so confident about it. We didn’t even have a back-up proposal.

It turned out that the topic was already taken. We submitted proposal after proposal that week, but none was approved. I was pressured and depressed because of the disappointing turn of events. Finally, after a long and confusing discussion over our last proposal, our professor asked for a printout and told us she was willing to help work on our variables. She stayed with us an hour after her regular class as we went over the proposal.

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As she guided us through, I felt embarrassed but flattered. She patiently explained what should be done, as if she was a group member brainstorming with us. My groupmates and I went out of the faculty room that night feeling very much relieved and empowered. I told myself that I would work twice as hard to be able to show our professor how grateful I was for her help.

In the course of these activities, there were times when I doubted God’s power and felt hopeless. I thought we would never make it in time. But in the end, instead of just letting us find a topic by ourselves, God had a better plan. He made our professor an instrument of His guidance.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for all the blessings You have given me. You have been faithful to Your promises. Teach us to become men and women of prayer. Teach us to depend on You all the more. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bryan S. Balao is an Economics junior from the College of Commerce

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