His Way, His Will and His Time
By Arieona June Ronal
Every New Year, we often talk about making new resolutions. But have you noticed that many of our New Year resolutions are focused on self-centered desires?
I grew up in an Adventist home, but as the years passed, I began to realize that my spiritual growth was stagnant. I went to the midweek meetings, to vespers, and to church. I was so proud of this, but I was a Seventh-day Adventist in name only. I wasn’t really practicing or living a vibrant walk with God.
However, at the start of 2012, I prayed that the Lord would humble me and give me a spiritual breakthrough. Be careful what you pray for, because He really did! I was put in a situation where my faith was tested regarding the Sabbath truth in my college, where I needed to stand-alone for God.
It was tough and challenging, especially studying in a secular college in a Muslim country. Through these challenges, God helped me realize the real condition of my heart. He showed me that I didn’t really understand the practical meaning of keeping the Sabbath. He showed me that my faith was my parent’s faith rather than my own, and that I didn’t have a real relationship with Him.
Because of my struggles over the school situation, I began fasting and praying for God’s will for my life. After I struggled for seven months in prayer, my parents decided I should quit the college in Malaysia, and they took a step of faith to send me to the Adventist University of the Philippines to study dentistry.
In June 2013, God answered the New Year’s prayer that I had prayed in 2012. I had been humbled, but He had also given me spiritual breakthrough. He brought me to a new country, a new university and new set of people. I was out of my comfort zone. I had to start from zero even though I had already studied for two years in my country. But this was a blessing because God used these experiences to draw me closer to Him.
The Lord is so gracious because He also led me to a circle of friends and group of people who also desire to know God more through Bible study and prayer. Little by little, He began changing my heart from self-centered desires to His desire, His delight and His plan for my life.
In 2016, He guided me to pray another New Year’s resolution prayer: “I want to be a prayer warrior.” This seemingly small prayer actually became a big prayer that has led me to where I am in my spiritual growth today. Even though I had been attending the Bible study group and prayer meeting, I was not growing much because I still didn’t have a consistent personal devotional and prayer life.
That year, Philippines Youth for Christ, a youth revival conference, decided to have 100 Days of Prayer before their conference. Since I was still longing for a way to grow more spiritually, God convicted me to join this united prayer group every morning at 5 a.m. in the amphitheater of our university. Looking back, it’s only God’s grace that woke me up and led me to faithfully join them every morning. This was my first experience discovering the joy of spending hours in prayer with fellow prayer warriors. I slowly realized that God was answering my prayer and shaping me to become His prayer warrior.
One day, as I joined the 100 Days of Prayer, I clearly heard a still, small voice speaking to my heart, “Arieona, you’ve been always asking and asking, and talking and talking to me. When will you listen to me?”
“Lord, how can I listen to Your voice?” I replied. He answered distinctly that it was through spending time in His Word. He was calling me to more alone time with Him. That morning, I burst into tears because I realized that I’ve been talking but never listening to God. I became serious with my personal devotional time, and that was the real beginning of my prayer warrior journey. It is only when I take God seriously in my quiet time with Him that I grow exponentially in my walk with God.
Now I’ve had a wonderful four years in prayer ministry. That small prayer changed my life forever. I’m active in prayer ministry here in Malaysia and will soon be transitioning to Africa. God answered my prayer to be a missionary dentist in His mission field. I’m so thankful that He’s raising me up to be His prayer warrior for such a time as this.
Friends, as you read my testimony, I’m praying that you will dare to ask for more in prayer. If you do, God will surely answer in His way, His will and His time.
Arieona June Ronal is a dentist and prayer warrior from Malaysia.
World Church Prayer Requests
January 15 - 21, 2021
• Pray that we as a church will personally and corporately recognize our great spiritual need and earnestly seek genuine revival.
• Pray for peace during the upcoming presidential inauguration in the United States. Pray that we as believers would keep our focus on the eternal and not the temporal.
• Pray for religious liberty for believers around the world, and pray for God’s special blessing on the upcoming religious liberty Sabbath, January 16, 2021. (For more information: https://www.adventistliberty.org/religious-liberty... )
• Pray that the special prayer fellowship we’ve experienced during this 10 Days of Prayer will not end on Sabbath, but will continue through 2021.