Faith is hard. Anyone who dares tell you otherwise is, quite frankly, a liar.
From feeling like God is being silent to having (mostly) stopped reading my Bible, I’ve been in one of the dry seasons. “Difficult” or “challenging” seems too extreme, as though there are certain obstacles I’ve been facing. Those would make it make more sense—if there was some sort of identifiable catalyst for this season—but I haven’t found it. This season just is.
Admittedly, my response has not been what it’s “supposed” to be. Reading the Bible and praying are the steps most Christians would recommend for times of feeling like you’re in a spiritual desert, and those are the two things I have, to some extent or another, set aside for a time.
I think my real problem with prayer is that I’ve stopped feeling like it works.
Not that I’ve entirely stopped believing it works, but that I’ve stopped feeling like it works.
For someone like me, who interprets life heavily based on feelings, this has left me looking at prayer a little side-eyed. Somewhat wary, unsure of it.
In my head, I know this not what I’m supposed to base my prayer or any other part of my spiritual life on. Somewhat inherent in the word “faith” is the idea of keeping after it, whether or not the feelings are there.
This kind of faith is not one I have come to know well yet.
I’d be willing to guess that prayer is one of the more difficult parts of Christianity for many people. If it doesn’t feel like it works, it gets hard to keep believing that it actually does work. And when the answer to “Please bring the right significant other into my life” or “Please heal them” or “Please fix this brokenness” keeps being no, the belief can start to flicker.
Mine has. Right now, the belief in prayer is there, but dimmer than it has been at other points in my life.
I don’t know what the path looks like to get back to the place of both believing and feeling like prayer works.
Or perhaps, just belief will be the new normal. And maybe I’ll learn to be okay with that instead.
Til next time…
p.s. How do you handle times when it feels like prayer doesn’t work?