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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 30, 2010

Prayer helps in many ways

By Robert Yokoyama

Prayer is a way of communicating with God. It also raises my empathy for other people and increases my level of patience in tough times.

Prayer helps me relax and focus on whatever I have to do.

The only time I pray aloud is when I go to my church's men's social group on Thursday nights. Our group leader asks if anyone has prayer requests. Most of the time we all do. We pray to help one another through difficult situations we encounter in our daily lives. Hearing the problems of the people in the group raises my empathy for them.

Prayer in these group sessions has sharpened my listening skills as I have to remember what each person is praying for before I pray for them.

After being unemployed for several months recently, I believe that prayer and patience truly go hand in hand in my life. I need patience to find the appropriate job for myself. This patience increases my confidence to try new things.

Patience keeps me humble. I know that there is always something I can learn and improve on. Patience gives me time to develop my writing and social skills.

I pray silently before I board an airplane. I always pray before a job interview. It helps me to relax in both situations. I used to pray before every exam I took in school. I did not always receive the grade I wanted, but I tried my best.

Some people will say that miracles happen through the power of prayer. I have not been worshipping long enough to see that happen. But I know that prayer gives people hope to get through their daily lives, and that is a good thing.

Prayer has increased my level of forgiveness. For me, it is like a silent timeout. I still get angry when I get insulted or do something wrong, but prayer helps alleviate my anger. I also try to do constructive things to release a wave of anger. I may exercise, try to talk out my problems or simply read a book.

Prayer has taught me not to dwell on past failures or mistakes and to keep moving forward in life.