I Stopped Praying... || How I Changed The Way I View My Faith
Today, good things are happening in my life and it hasn’t been that way these last few months. My faith in God and Christ is basically my oxygen. I cling to God like no other because I and my family, our stories are living proof that he exists.
But I can tell you, I’ve been angry at God before. I’ve felt so sad and irritated that he wasn’t doing things quick enough or that he was allowing a situation to be prolonged and with that, my anxiety was swallowing me whole.
But I promised myself that when a day like today arrived, I would share with everyone what I’ve experienced and how I stopped praying to God.
After I had studied a theology class years ago, my perspective on God changed. Not in a bad way but it just shifted things for me. One of those things was how I communicated with God. Maybe it was my Catholic raised father but my view of talking to God was to put my tail between my legs, understand that I didn’t even deserve to ask for a THING, but BEG him to look out for me, to provide me things while not being able to make up for it in return…. all in all, my faith’s foundation was guilt and fear! Over almost two decades, that whining and begging type of praying and the mentality that God looked down on me as a parasite that he took pity on really weighed on my confidence and faith.
My mom had always told me ‘Speak it into existence!’ and ‘Pray as if you already have it’ and that advice was decent but I always felt like it was me expecting something from God…. It was me feeling like I already should have it, I know better, and will get it because I decided it and not God.
Believe me, this whole faith, God, Christ, prayer thing has had me really confused until my theology class. When I was apart of this class and then later on did my own research and leaned on my own faith, I made a decision… I stop praying to God.
Now before you freak out and pull out your bible, let me explain. I don’t pray to God anymore but I CONSTANTLY speak with him. My view of God is no longer him being an upper handed, big, intimidating power that would squish me like a bug if I pissed him off but I decided to see him as a parent. The perfect father. (I mean he’s called ‘Father’ in the bible for a reason, right?) My language with God has changed. He calms me and tells me to wait. I complain to him a lot and ask him to just present answers to me. He curses at me, tells me ‘Hey, I’m laying this opportunity before you… damn it stop doubting me. I know you can do it!’ and ‘Damn it Rebecca, I told you this is not the way to go.’ My husband often laughs and smiles when I tell him how I feel God speaks to me because he said ‘It’s perfect and very real… I like your version of God.’ Some might not agree with this perspective but I think that’s the point. Each of our parents talk to us differently. With one child they can be straight forward, another they can be gentler……
Along with this, I don’t ask God for things anymore. I don’t say', ‘I really need this car please let this work out!’ or ‘This job would be perfect, just please let me have it.’ And it’s because of that parent perspective that I just don’t talk like that with God anymore. If you’re a parent, you know your children asks for a lot of things they shouldn’t have. You know they shouldn’t have it because you have the experience to know it’s not in their best interest. A kid asks to eat four hot dogs at 9pm because they are so hungry, you know you aren’t giving them that many because they are for sure going to barf. Your kid REALLY thinks they need a king size snickers or that the slime is not going to end up in their hair…. you don’t give it to them because you know better and you can foresee the trouble ahead. - That’s how I see God when I ‘beg’ for specific things so I try to avoid asking specifics but instead ask him to guide me to my goals. Instead of asking for the goal of a six figure salary one day, what I know I really want is for financial stability and so I ask for guidance towards that because a six figure salary may not be good for me.
I recently applied for a job. A job I REALLY wanted. The pay is good, the hours are great, drive isn’t terrible… but I couldn’t beg God for it. I just said, ‘I want you to put me where you think I should be. I know you know the perfect place for me because you know my personality and heart better than anyone. I can NOT wait to see where I end up and I am so excited!’ Even after two interviews with the company, I even applied else where because I wanted to prove to myself I trusted God.
I can honestly say that God has chosen best for me. The boyfriend I thought I wanted to be a husband, the house I thought was perfect, the cars and jobs and whatever else that I thought would be perfect for me I now see, looking back, would have been terrible for me. They are NOTHING compared to the DREAMY life God has chosen for me now. This type of communication I have now with God has brought me so close to him. I have this new confidence in myself and my faith because of how we work. God is my father. He spoils me with things I never thought I would have, he has connections for possibilities I never thought I would get…. I love my relationship with God now.
I share this because for most of my life, I have been in fear of God. The scene from Bruce Almighty comes to mind, ‘SMITE ME O MIGHTY SMITER!’ as he is challenging what he feels is this ‘big kid with a magnified glass on an ant hill.’ I can tell you, that’s not who God is at all. Could you imagine your child coming to you like that, how God must feel that you think he would just strike down and ruin the life of his child… I bet he gets incredibly heartbroken over that. I know I would. God brings you through your worst decisions and your most awful moments to present you with the best he has, if you just communicate with him. My relationship with God is the best that it has ever been because of my shifted perspective. I hope that this can reach someone who may need clarity and a shift in their perspective too. You don’t know how good life is going to get once you start getting a good relationship with God…. I can promise you’ll be happier than you ever thought you could be!