This letter writer can’t pray like they used to.
While we can’t influence people’s beliefs here at EWC, our elder shares their own experiences of prayer.
Hello, I prayed to God daily for many, many years out of love and devotion. In the last few months, I lost this feeling of prayer. I still believe in God, but I am upset that I don’t pray like I used to. I still visit the temple. But I need to regain my prayer and communicate to God for solutions to my many issues. I need God’s blessings and guidance as I am very lost in life. My relationships are very strained and I would like God to listen to me please. Please advise. Thanks, very much.
Your inquiry presents a dilemma for us here at The EWC because we aren’t allowed to influence people and their religions or beliefs. Furthermore, we can’t even use the word God unless it is brought up.
I’m so sorry you are grappling with this. I’m sorry that in some ways you seem to have lost your faith and your personal connection with a deity. There are several things I know that might help. For one thing many people believe that God helps those who help themselves. Another thing I know is that faith is comforting, and exercising faith, no matter how you do it, allows us to face the greatest of challenges. See, when I am making a major decision, I gather all the available facts, but then I take a leap of faith. It is faith that allows me to bridge the gap between what I know and what I don’t know.
In my family several religions are represented and while some pray with structure, others do so in a personal way. I don’t know of anyone in my family who hasn’t attended funerals or a religious gathering and yet, most don’t do so regularly. Some don’t even pray.
If you would indulge me for a moment, I’d like to draw a distinction between religious followings, attending any religious gathering and personal communication with a deity. I’ve found that people can have beliefs without being religious. I believe that prayer is personal, and you don’t need religion to do that. Moreover, I’ve known people who are very religious, attend religious gatherings but have no fear or connection with God. A perfect example were many people who were part of the Mafia. They supported the church, but they broke all laws of God.
I just wonder: How do you know if God is listening? Except for people mentioned in religious texts or some who have been deemed to be insane, I don’t know of normal people who have two-way conversations with God.
I would like to point out that it is generally believed that all of us have free will. That means that in many cases God will not intervene with our affairs. When terrible things happen, I think one must make the distinction whether the cause was human error, human frailty, a random act of nature, or something that is completely under God’s control. I believe that miracles have been documented and do happen, so we keep hope alive that our worst situations will be handled. Personally, that is why I pray daily, but personally I don’t normally pray with others. I pray before bedtime, and it allows me to get a peaceful sleep.
So, I’ll share one concrete example of something that I’ve witnessed first-hand. There have been many circumstances that I know were handled well and I believe in the power of prayer. About a year ago, my son was diagnosed with major liver damage. He was told to change diet, seek out other specialists but then advised to connect with coroners in case he needed a liver transplant. He waited many months to meet with the top specialist in New York City here in the United States. He never lost faith. He hoped for the best but prepared for the worst. I prayed and implored intervention. By the time he met with this specialist, he was starting to feel better. The specialist took many tests. She then conferred with the other doctors who had seen him before. She said, “I can’t explain it. The other doctors can’t explain it either. Your liver is now normal. Just keep doing what you are doing, and I suppose you will be fine.” My son said, “I don’t understand.” I responded, “I do. I prayed.” You can argue with me that miracles don’t happen, but I’ll politely disagree.
Perhaps the solutions to some of your problems can happen by your own will. Perhaps conferring with God will help you to direct activities, empower all your abilities and deal more wisely with things. Under the worst of circumstances, I think it might be wise to wait for that miracle. I think if you don’t pray, it may not happen.
So, I’ll leave you with this quote from MyBible.com:
“Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sarah was impatient, Elijah was depressed, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead… God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the Called!”
I do hope you are called to prayer. I do hope I’ve put things into perspective and hope I haven’t broken any of our edicts here at The EWC in that process. Please feel free to confer with us about anything else that troubles you and I suggest that you might also want to confer with God.
Article #: 497741