So, you ask after reading that last entry, where's the problem??
Well, the years have certainly gotten better and deepened my faith. My husband even found God again after abandoning him so many years ago (years before we met, when his problems that ultimately led to our problems began). My husband was a cradle Catholic who just dropped the Faith when it couldn't help him overcome his "stuff". Shortly after I was confirmed, he went to Confession for the first time in over 20 years (!!) and began going to Mass regularly and receiving the Eucharist.
My children have all been baptised. My son received his First Holy Communion about a month after I was confirmed and loves to serve at the alter during Mass. My husband still needs to be confirmed, but we'll just keep praying on that one, shall we? Ok.
So, as wonderful as this new found Faith is, as great as the Church is, as much as I love Jesus with all my heart......I still have a hard time with prayer.
I believe every single Truth the Church teaches and I believe the infallibility of the Pope to lead us. I believe this is the One True Church left to us by Christ himself.
Here's where I end up in problems (I hope this doesn't seem silly, or petty, or weird, or, or, whatever. It's just how it is in my head).
God is all-knowing, omniscient, and omnipresent, everywhere. I believe this.
What does God need me to ask for that He doesn't already know? He knows everything that has every happened, is happening, and ever will happen. How is my teeny little human prayer going to change that? He already knows if it's going to "work out" or not. He already knows what the outcome is. He had already seen it happen. Does my prayer really make a difference?
Please don't think this keeps me from praying all the time or in every instance. It just, well, it hinders my prayer.
Someone says to me, "Please pray for my brother. He's in the hospital with an illness and we want him to get better." I can't figure out what to pray. I know that he is either going to get better because God already planned it that way, or he is not going to get better because that is God's plan. I usually just pray, "Thy Will be done."
Another instance where I feel hindered is when I have my own needs to pray about. Forget that completely. I can usually argue in my head and end up not praying anything because HE ALREADY KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR ME, even if I don't like it.
Part of my problem too, I know, is that I grew up knowing I didn't deserve anything. I deserved nothing good. Nothing happy. I was not good enough to ask for things and I wasn't good enough to have anything good happen to me anyway. (Thanks Mom & Dad!!)
Then I feel guilty. Guilty for not praying. Guilty for not doing what I should be.
I can usually pray when those prayers are the kind that revere Him or Mary. I have no problem with the Hail Mary, the Our Father.
It's the petitions I have a problem with. I feel guilty not praying, then I feel guilty asking for what I need. Like my needs matter to anyone, let alone Him. Then I feel bad for thinking that.
It's an endless circle I let myself get caught up in. Again, not that I never pray....I just have problems sometimes.
I remind myself that it is OK not to "feel" anything with prayer. I do not believe that Faith is directly connected to "feelings". I know that I usually need it the most when I "feel" nothing. I still go to Mass when I feel nothing. I still say the prayers. I still live my vocation. I have learned that "feelings"/emotions are not what we base our lives and our Faith on.
My faith is firmly rooted in belief. My marriage in firmly rooted in vows. I know that I will not always "feel" love for my husband in the lovey-dovey, teenager, hormone-crazed way I did when we first me (not that I was a teenager when we met, just using it as a descriptor). That doesn't mean there is no love, or that the love is meaningless. Love is shown in many ways, by living my vocation and he living his.
The same applies to my faith. I don't always "feel" the presence of God in my life. But I know He's there. I know He carries me when I am down. I know He is with me in my joys. I believe He won't abandon me. I believe He wants happiness for me. I believe He will help me, in ways I may not understand at times, to become a better disciple, a better mom, a better wife. I believe He wants me to pick up His Cross with Him and Carry It. I know that struggle is part of this life and will help purify me for the next. I don't always "feel" these things, I just know them.
I try to apply the same to praying. I don't feel like it. I don't usually feel anything profound. But I know I should.
*sigh* So that's it. I have problems praying. I don't do it enough, and I don't exactly get the point ('cause He's all-knowing). Anyone else have this problem?