I stopped praying for about 2 months.
It hurt to pray. I was (I am) angry at God that I’m in this situation and I just didn’t want to talk to Him. I felt dissappointed that after singing the words “You’re never gonna let me down” and “You’re perfect in all of your ways”, I still have to feel this way.
Even though I was still going to church and getting involved with my uni’s Christian Union, I wasn’t praying and I wasn’t talking to anyone about what I’m going through. In short, I wasn’t helping myself.
It’s difficult to find content that talks about being angry and not praying. There are posts about being angry at God and humbling yourself but I already know that it’s alright to be angry and upset with God. People will tell you that, even in the hardest times, He’s with you and speaks the loudest but what if I don’t want to talk to Him? What if I don’t want to listen? After some searching, though, I found a really nice short article called God Hears Your Heart which quoted a verse from Romans 8:26
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
Finally, I found some comfort in words. Even when I’m not praying and I don’t want to talk to God myself and put my feelings into words, He hears me. He knows what I’m going through without me having to express it verbally and, instead, does it for me.
I think my main issue was that I forgot – or underestimated – how calm and grounded I would feel after praying. So, I went on a walk and decided that, for the first time in a long time, I was ready to pray for myself. Instead of my usual, “Dear God, thank you for the world. I pray for world peace, amen.”, I told Him how angry and confused and lost I am. I told Him that I don’t know what to do with myself or where to start. I just let all of my thoughts float around my mind and didn’t think too hard about trying to structure a prayer in the way that I usually do. And it helped.
I have to say, I have missed it. In the past, whenever I as angry or sad, I would take a walk and pray or lie on my bed and pray. Even if I was in floods of tears, I would pray and, eventually, it would feel like a weight was lifted. Maybe it was just the act of letting everything out or maybe it was knowing that I was talking to God but prayer used to be my go-to when I felt like I didn’t want to talk to anyone else.
If you’re anything like me and enjoy being stubborn occasionally, it’s easy to forget the comfort that you can get from prayer. I’ve been so confused and it’s hard to know where to go and what to do. I have a hard time being vulnerable around people and so I guess, being religious, God is the one person I can go to and be vulnerable with because I can do this on my own and yet get so much from it.
So, to sum things up, it’s okay if you’re too angry or upset to find the words or the motivation to pray to God – don’t be hard on yourself about it – but don’t stop seeking Him. Don’t pull away from the people in your life who encourage you to keep asking questions and looking for the answers.
Hopefully this is helpful to someone, somewhere. I’d love to hear your thoughts whether you’re religious or not – I’m happy to discuss things with people who disagree. Feel free to contact me via email if you would prefer. The link for that will always be at the end of every post!
(That’s the link, by the way)