To Believe in the Power of Prayer

I am now an avid user of public transportation. Back in Jakarta, I used Trans Jakarta, train, and sometimes metromini to get around. Here in Bandung, I take angkot daily. The perks of taking public transportation is that I got the chance to see a lot kind of people. And the downside is, I got the chance to see a lot kind of people. Sometimes, I met interesting people that make my journey from/to home less boring. But sometimes, I also met people that make my head boils.

About last year, like usual, I took angkot to my office. Usually, since the route is going through one of the main road in Bandung, it is always full. But that day, the angkot I rode was empty. There’s only this one man in the front seat. He was looking at me like he was disturbed when I got in. And then after two seconds, he looked to the front again  and continue talking to the driver. Apparently they were having a serious conversation when I stopped the car.

Just in ten minutes, I figured out that the man in the front seat did not live in Bandung and he was not a fan of Ridwan Kamil, the Mayor of Bandung. He didn’t like the way Ridwan Kamil lead the city because there are still traffic and chaos everywhere. And in another ten minutes, I heard him talking the same stuffs again, grumbling about how this nation will never walk forward.

“Ridwan Kamil is stupid. Just how did he lead that he cannot fixed the traffic. He could have made a better public transportation, like a bus, for example.”

“Ridwan Kamil is not a righteous person. If he is, he wouldn’t give sermon in the mosque about money like he did before!”

“When I was here back in the 80s, Bandung was so nice, clean and cool.”

“This country will never be better, we should blame none other than the leaders. They don’t have the will to make our country better.”

I’m neutral towards how Ridwan Kamil leads this city. I think he made a lot of effort to make this city pretty. Some people think that while he does make Bandung prettier, he only did it to the places where tourists would visit. But, hey, that’s better than leaders that do nothing, right?

I felt my ears starting to heat hearing the man grumble about the problems of this city and country and how the leaders do nothing about it. Because, come on, he had repeatedly said that over and over again in 20 minutes! And then he said one thing that cool me down and put a deep thought in me.

“They, the leaders, they are not wrong. I am the one who do wrong. I didn’t pray for them to do right and be better.”

That makes me think: all this time, all I have been doing was complaining. I blamed the situation, the leaders, and all other people for making the place that I live in miserable. I never have the thought like his. When I live in Jakarta, have I ever put the city in my prayer? All I did was complaining:

“For God’s sake, why do you make this city so hot? I feel like I’m being baked in an oven.”

“How could it take me 2 freaking hours to get to my office, while it usually only took me 15 minutes. What is it about Jakarta’s traffic?”

What would my complain bring to the city?  Nothing. The city doesn’t get better from complaining, and I also don’t get to be a better person by complaining a lot. One of the things that I have been learning in life is to believe in the power of prayer. I do pray, and I’ve seen big things happening in my life. But I never really correlate the two.

My boyfriend, however, has always been living with the power of prayer. Once when we were still in college, he didn’t make it to one of his mid-semester test. The rule was if you skip mid-term, then the calculation of your score is 80% of final test + 20% of assignments. That, is if you can prove that the reason of you not showing up is legit. And, if he failed this subject, he would have to re-take the subject in the 8th semester, which would have been devastating, because we were supposed to be finishing our degree after 7 semesters. So, one prayer after another, he ended up having higher score than most of his class because turns out, the final test is far easier and having it calculated 80% catapulted his score to get an A.

Maybe he’s just lucky that way. But I believe that luck comes from God. I believe that whenever I’m lucky, it’s God being so nice to me. So, instead of complaining, it would have been better if our frustration is channeled to prayer. Imagine if all of the people in the city doing that. I am learning to do that, to turn my frustration into prayer. Apparently there are a lot of people doing that in Jakarta, praying. Because God listens, and eventually they now have a leader who has the concern to make the place a better place. So let’s pray a lot and maybe He listens and put a little luck in our life 🙂