Well I quit. I’m a quitter and my mother will be so disappointed in me. Prayer was ruining my capacity to believe, and I think it’s worth noting that I might be hit by a divine strike of lightening in the near future. I have made peace with such a potential because at this point I don’t know what to do to change my dark unbelieving soul. Sometimes in my moments of temper tantrum I role my eyes at God and say, “well you made me this way.” Gross.
Now technically I did everything I said I would do in this study of prayer, it’s just that I went backwards during the process and then just decided to stop trying and moved on. I honestly believe it was the right choice for me. When I read the first book recommended to me by Steve Carter for my New Testament study, the author Dallas Willard answered my questions of why prayer was so hard for me. Ready for it - because I don’t actually believe. I mean, he didn’t actually say that but I gathered the essence of it, which is just that - I don’t believe God listens, answers or engages with us and so prayer makes no real sense to me.
He actually says, “Confusing God with his historical manifestations in space may have caused some to think that God is a Wizard-of-Oz or Sistine Chapel kind of being sitting at a location very remote from us.” I know I’m not supposed to believe that, it’s not theologically accurate or in line with my Christian beliefs, but I DO. That is what I think and I cannot seem to figure out how to think differently. Willard goes on to say, “It seems that when many people try to pray they do have such an image of God in their minds. They therefore find praying psychologically impossible or extremely difficult. No wonder.”
Well brilliant sir Dallas Willard, “no wonder” is right. So I suppose I’m meant to figure out how to believe that God is actually active and participating in our world. Even though, I’ve never seen someone get undeniably healed, or tangibly experienced God’s presence, or heard his voice in any definitive way. Even though I can explain away everything to the nature of this world. Trever and I now have the potential to have kids thanks to God (read: hormones) so is that supposed to be a miracle? I give God credit and as Christians we'll tick the box that he still does miracles, sure, but it’s certainly explained more clearly by the medical advances of IVF. Zap!
Oh Lord help me. I’ll take one step at a time toward the direction of belief, then backwards, and maybe one day I’ll believe God is here and engaging in our world. If I ever do, I suppose that will be a miracle in itself.