He stood in front of the shrine, muttering a few words. I was seated a short distance away, but being only mildly interested, I didn’t listen to his words. After a while, he lifted the offering basket that was in front of the idol, and held it a few inches above the bench.
When he was finished he returned to me. “So, did you see that?” he asks. “I was trying hard, but I couldn’t lift it!”
I casually replied, “They’re pretty heavy when they’re full, eh?”
“No, no. What I prayed was that, ‘If you’re real, stop me from lifting the basket above my head’. I was trying really hard. See I can lift it easily like this…” he says, as he lifts the full basket with one hand.
Then I realised what had happened. I had been set up for a demonstration of the Nat’s (spirit) reality and power. While he considered himself a ‘true’ Buddhist and did not worship the Nats, he showed respect for their power.
Altogether, 37 Nats are recognized in Myanmar. Most died violent deaths before becoming spirits. Many people in Myanmar give offerings to receive favours or pray to the Nats in hope of not being harmed or punished.
Will you pray for Myanmar?
- Pray that people will see the superior power of God in their lives.
- Pray for wisdom to know how to deal with such demonstrations.
- Pray that God will break the power of the Nats over the people and the people’s dependence on the Nats.