Breaking Up with God and My Problem with Prayer

I have had a problem with prayer for some time now.  It started shortly after I left church when I was sixteen.  I used to pray ALL of the time.  Literally.  I would have conversations with God throughout the day and into the night.  I would talk to God like He was right there.  I remember it not being awkward at all.  It seemed so natural. I felt like God was always listening. 

My problem started as I realized that relationship was drifting.  I’m not sure when that was, but I remember being embarrassed.  This was odd because I was so used to openly praying everywhere for anyone that asked or anything I felt needed it.  I suddenly found myself failing to just talk to God.  The random and constant conversations with God just dried up.  It reminded me of that point you can come to in a relationship where you are with your girlfriend or boyfriend and you just don’t have anything to talk about.  You know that awkward feeling you get when the moment where you are both sitting there avoiding the obvious occurs, but if your buddies were there you could talk for hours.  Matter of fact, its like that moment where the silence is so awkward you just want to hit your buddies up on the telephone and tell them about how awkward it is right then instead of continuing to sit in the awkwardness.  Yeah.  That was it. I guess I was breaking up with God.

It just happened so suddenly.  I couldn’t prepare for it.  I definitely didn’t plan on it!  I mean how could I???  I was so in love with God!  He always took care of me!  I mean the sacrifice He made….I couldn’t just forget that and throw what we had away right? 

Well, I did. 

I avoided calling God. 

Sometimes I wanted to pray, but I was so ashamed that it had been so long since I last prayed that I didn’t want to deal with explaining why it had taken me so long to at least check in.  It got worse and worse as the weeks went on.  It finally got to a point where I only called when I needed something that I could only get from God!  Lord knows I tried to find it everywhere else first!!!

 

Years went by and I stopped calling God altogether; even when God was the only one who could help me.  I figured I deserved what I got and it wasn’t fair to God to just string Him along acting like we might have a relationship again when we both knew that was a lie.  I just took my punishment as a man and figured I was helping God by not praying.  I just planned to stop doing wrong and knew that everything would work out as soon as I did. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t.

Have you ever had that one person that you are just so horrible to, but they are so good to you and seem to make your life better, but you feel like you are destroying theirs? 

Yeah.  That was me and God. 

I had moved on.

I knew He would always take me back.  I also knew I wasn’t as good as He deserved so I should let Him move on past me even though He would make everything make sense and could make my life better.  I was just going to keep letting Him down in the end, right.  That wasn’t fair, right.  If you love someone you let them go, especially if you aren’t “in love” with them, right?

So I let Him go….because I loved Him…smh.

Well, years later I ended up back at His house.  My girlfriend Laura drove me there (or maybe I did, I dunno because I was half drunk and half coming down).  I didn’t really want to see Him or all of our mutual friends that stuck with Him when we parted.  I can’t blame them, but I could only imagine what they thought of me.  I mean He is perfect right?  No, really…..He IS perfect, right!  Yeah.  So…I came, but I wasn’t sold on getting back together.  We didn’t really talk that day.  I thought about it, but decided it wouldn’t be best.  He kept coming by.  I could feel Him coming near, but I would make sure to avoid contact. I talked to a couple folks I remember might be neutral, or at least act it.  They kinda hoped me and God would patch things up.  They invited me to come back and even said we could hang out together when we got together so it wouldn’t be so uncomfortable for me. That was cool. 

I did come back.  Over and over.  I finally decided to talk to Him, but just quickly.  You know, nothing to deep.  I apologized and thanked Him for always being there. I might have mentioned what I had going on.  I didn’t ask Him anything about how He had been or what He was doing now.  I told Him I would keep coming by and would be open to talking more often.

After weeks of little updates here, a couple questions there, I finally broke down and let Him know how I was really feeling.  I told Him how life just built up and crashed on me.  I told Him how I had just failed at everything I did after we parted.  I apologized for drifting away in our relationship and acknowledged that it was all my fault.  I explained why I couldn’t come back and how the separation just escalated too fast for me to keep up with my guilt and pride.  I told Him I just didn’t know how to “get it back”.  He just listened.  That’s what He does.  He listens.  I felt better.  Kind of reminded me of the good ol’ days.  That scared me.

Then He started giving me gifts.  A little present here, another blessing there.  I would read His letters and His words told me exactly what I had been asking to hear.  Over time I saw our closeness returning.  It took four years and we still aren’t “back to where it was”, but we are better.  I feel comforted.  I worry about letting Him down, but not as much as I worry about showing Him how appreciative I am for taking me back at my own pace. 

Still, there’s this problem with prayer.  It’s not that I don’t pray.  I pray quite a bit actually.  It’s not that I don’t hear.  No, I hear quite a bit.  I couple personal study with prayer now which I didn’t do as much of in my younger days.  My problem is that I want it that closeness so bad; that feeling like He’s talking right back to me. I mean really hearing Him in the voice of your conscious or thought like it used to be, but I don’t know how to get it back. 

I battle guilt from time to time.  I let people who are gifted in prayer or deep in a fast and connected to Him pray for me sometimes.  I want to be that person.  There’s respect in that, but also some jealousy.  I want my prayer to be overwhelming.  I want it to be so natural, yet I haven’t gotten back to the point where I don’t realize I am praying until I’m halfway through.  Oh those days when we could just talk about anything and everything!  We would be wrapped up in conversation for hours and it would fly by like seconds!  It got me through so many shifts of work and time alone in my car at night as I would try to sleep.  There was such a comfort. 

It’s coming back, just not as fast as I would like. Some days I don’t work on it as much as I know I should.  I see the drift setting in and try to adjust as quickly as possible to avoid it.  I know what it is I would be losing and I know how fast it can happen.  I love God, but I’m still working through my problems with prayer.  That’s what matters though.  That’s what makes all the difference:  That I am working on my problems with prayer.  Don’t let your relationship with God drift like I did.  Hold on to it.  Work on your communication.  Talk, but allot time to listen.  If you start to drift, don’t let go.  You won’t find anyone else like Him.  Make some emergency time and if you simply sit and read His old letters to you in that dusty Bible, at least you can start moving back towards a strong and close relationship.  I will be praying for you.  Feel free to pray for me to.  Sometimes we need it!

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