Friday, March 11, 2011


I haven't prayed in a long long time. I mean like a committed prayer. I've kind of handled my relationship with God - sadly - like I've handled my relationship with my husband lately. I coexist, putting forth not a lot of effort. I believe that we love each other . . . but that is the extent of my thoughts.

Steven and I recently realized the pattern that we had fallen into with each other. Busy separate lives, not really doing much life together. We have sense put more purpose into our thoughts and actions involving each other, and it has been so refreshing to wonder what he is up to, to miss him, to need him.

I have mentioned that I've been feeling more panicky lately. I H-A-T-E IT! It is sooo hard to live like this. I can't express how I hate that feeling, and worrying that I'll get that feeling, instead of just enjoying my activities.

Today I listened to reports on NPR over Japan and the tsunami on the way to Mimi's house. Then after I got there I turned on the news to see Oklahoma up in flames. I started to feel anxious (as any normal person would). I started to actually pray that something amazing would happen, and the fires would be held back from hurting anyone. Honestly, even now, I don't believe in the power of prayer as a decision-changer for God, or that increases His power. I don't know what I believe about it. What I do know is prayer changes the pray-er (eww, that seems like something a Baptist preacher would outline in a Powerpoint). Be it psychological, spiritual, or mystical - when you pray, something changes inside you. For me, it brings a sense of peace. Maybe because when there is a situation where you can do nothing, it makes you feel like you might be doing something.

My middle sister Kacey is an atheist. She is open to talking about it, and I love hearing her thoughts about the matter. She mentioned in a conversation awhile ago, that religion is built by cultures out of a need . . . like a coping mechanism. I don't think I disagree. I do believe in God. I just do. Somehow it's hard for me not to. But there are so many things that Christians seem so sure about, that I'm just not sure about.

I've decided though that God is a pretty good coping mechanism for me. In that way, He is a Savior to me. I think Kacey would ask me questions about the psychology of that. I would say if you suffered from some painful disease, and you took a pill (that could be a cure, or could be a placebo), and you felt amazingly better, wouldn't you just keep right on taking it? I don't know that I'd care why it was working. I would just be thankful for the pain going away.

This is by no means a clear and concise thought process. It's just a spilling out of quasi-revelations.


Amanda Fortney said...

wow, i can totally relate to this post. i feel so much doubt and uncertainty, which scares me, but i still pray and can't (or don't want to) imagine a world without God. we actually had this discussion at our book club, about if believing in/praying to God was just a placebo. i'm really wanting to read rob bell's new book-i think he talks about some of the things that disturb me about christianity, ie God had to have a blood sacrifice to save us.

Leslie said...

Thanks for sharing so vulnerably. I can relate to so many of these thoughts. And yes, I have definitely heard a So. Baptist minister say that prayer changes the pray-er. :)

Erin said...

To me, prayer is more of an act of worship/discipline. I agree that I don't think prayer influences God's decision or changes His mind. He already knows what's going to happen anyway. I think you are on to something that prayer is more for us to show Him we are open, listening, vulnerable, asking, waiting, hoping, etc.

CheekyLea said...

I want to have a date with you and talk about this. I have been thinking a lot about this topic. I basically just refused to think about it for a long time. However, now that I have a baby I want to start getting myself more in line for when he starts asking questions and for my own piece of mind.