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Jan 3, 2008

Faith


What is it? What does it really mean to each one of us? I would like to say I am having a bit of a crisis of faith, but would it be true? I still believe. But I am very angry today, at that which I call god.



When we pray, do we expect to get exactly what we pray for or just a tidbit, a few crumbs of what we ask? Seems my whole life I have settled for a few crumbs. I believe there is a song along those lines. I have prayed and asked for interventions. I have said if I believe, if my faith is strong enough, then you will answer.


There was a time when I lived in Pensacola FL with two toddlers in tow, and a husband who spent most of his time away from home. (You can't hardly blame him...a wife pulling her hair out, and two little boys running around getting into everything.) Any way, I prayed one day. I prayed for money for milk and cereal, and eggs, and just enough to get us through until payday. When the mailman came, I got a check for $10 from Publisher's Clearing House. I was overjoyed, and disappointed. Why could not the check have been for 10,000 dollars? But it was for 10, and at that time, it was enough to get us through. This was faith. Though some would make a good argument for luck, or chance, or coincidence.


What would you call it? Do we pray and expect more than what we pray for? Do we have to be very specific in our prayers, or can we still make a generalized prayer? Do we spend enough time being grateful for what we have, and not whining about what we don't have? The questions have rumbled through my brain all day like some unwelcome guest at a get-to-gether for close friends. Can it just be that god answered my prayer and I didn't like the answer?


Lots of questions here today, folks. Any answers would be most welcome. Any thoughts at all?

17 comments:

Babzy said...

Good morning Deb xx

You already answered your own questions but I understand the need to ruminate and want feedback and support for what you already know. I do it all the time.

"I prayed for money for milk and cereal, and eggs, and just enough to get us through until payday."

You DID get what you asked for.

I don't think God needs a specific list. He already knows you. He knows you are capable of figuring things out for yourself.

When you asked for a little help he gave it to you because you didn't need to learn any lessons about greed. The lesson He had in store for you was to learn about faith that the $10 would be enough.

Now I have to have my coffee, wake up, and will be back with more gems of wisdom :)

alphonsedamoose said...

Hi Deb, I think Babzy has hit the nail on the head. God gives you what you need, Not necessarily what you want. We have been in the same situation where we got just what we needed. Faith is probably the hardest thing to hold onto, but it will be rewarding at the end. God bless

Babzy said...

Warning guys - this comment is girl talk ...

Deb, as a single Mom I was always broke. I drove a crappy old Hundai that you could hear all over town. Even though gas was cheap 20 years ago, I was often running on fumes until payday.

One morning I not only needed gas to get to work but I also needed to buy some tampons or pads. I had a couple of dollars and scrounged around in the couch cushions and kitchen drawer looking for coins. I ended up with $5.00. I could buy a little gas or a box of pads but not both.

Then I remembered my Mom telling me about the old days when they had to make their own pads out of flannel.

So I tore up one of my flannel nightgowns and spent the $5.00 on gas. It was a win-win day.

just me said...

I don't feel like I've answered any of my questions. It may seem that way to others. Why does God pick and choose the prayers he answers and the ones he doesn't? Why does he say no to the big ones? I don't get it, or understand it, no matter how much I ruminate over it. It says if you have the faith of a grain of sand, you can move mountains...or something of that sort. I have moved no mountains. I have survived.

just me said...

Babzy, I appreciate your sharing that. I would have done the same, and have on those occasions when cash was short. Yes, Margaret, there wasn't always a maxi-pad. But that was man/woman's invention. Actually, tampons date back to 15th century Egypt. (had to look it up.) Don't even ask what the ancient Hawaiians used.

just me said...

That was 15th century BC Egypt.

Babzy said...

If you can go on the internet to look up "tampons" I figured I could go on the internet to look up "unanswered prayers." There are dozens of articles. Go look. Maybe something will click and help you figure this out.

I have a firm belief that we already know the answers to questions about ourselves. Sometimes the answers are well hidden and need some work to bring them forward.

Go read your own post and the questions you've asked. You didn't get $10,000 because you didn't ask for it. You didn't ask for it because you didn't need it. Or you didn't want to ask because you didn't want to be disappointed by God's answer.

Specific prayers? Generalized prayers? Why not both? Mix it up. I often pray for someone else who is hurting or fearful or dying. It always works but not always in the way I expect.

For example, a fellow I worked with was dying of cancer and was very afraid. At first I prayed that he would recover but as he got sicker and more fearful I knew he wasn't going to make it so I changed my prayer direction and asked for his relief from fear and to have peace at the end. It worked. It always works.

Another fellow I worked with had a nervous breakdown because he lost his job as well as his significant other and people in our town are not very accepting of gays. (small town mentality). I prayed hard for him to recover and find happiness. Last I heard he was living in Hawaii. Has a fabulous job. Has a new love. Has met many friends. And has joined a gay men's choir which was the best thing for him as he loves to sing and he is gay.
Praying worked again.

I've also prayed for myself. I don't think I've ever prayed for money. If I have I never really meant it because even though I'm often broke, money isn't that important to me. But I have certainly prayed for freedom from worries about money. That worked too. I could go on and on. My point is that praying works for the right reasons.

Sometimes the right reasons are financial that's for sure. Take my story about gas vs tampons. Not only did I dig up enough coinage for a little gas but I also recalled a memory about my Mom that caused me to tear up my nightie. I found the answer or God whispered it to me.

You wrote at the beginning of your post that you're very angry today at God. Maybe you're so twisted up and tight with anger that you can't find relief or a way out. That's how I get. I can't think straight. When that happens I go to bed and pray for an answer. When I wake up in the morning the answer is there. I knew the answer all along but couldn't see it. Prayer is the key to the locked door in your head that contains all your answers.

I pray that my comment will help you somewhat because I've run out of steam. xx

Babzy said...

Holy crap I sure talk a lot!

just me said...

Holy crap, sometimes you make sense. Ok, here's what I've come up with.

1. somethings are just predestined. we make our own fate, but the biggies, like death, are predetermined. my mom always said, when its your time to go, you're going...maybe she's right.

2. be careful for what you pray for. sometimes your prayers are answered in ways you never imagined.

3. god has a warped sense of humor.

BBC said...

I don't pray, don't see any point in it. I don't think there is any bogyman God in the sky that would want to favor me over anyone else.

I just wander through life doing what I need to do to get by. That has worked pretty well for me. I've sure been a lot more fortunate than many others.

Have never been hungry, always had shelter, transportation, money, friends, etc.

In that respect life has always been good to me, I think. But then I've never expected fancy homes and Cadillac's and such. Had them at times, but didn't care when I didn't.

Life isn't about fancy things, you don't own them, they own you. I'm okay living on my little property, it's free and clear and it's comfortable here.

It isn't much but it would be nice if everyone on the planet could have what I have.

just me said...

What a nice and beautiful comment, bbc. I too have always, well, except for about 2 weeks, had shelter, a home of sorts, somehow or other. And food. And something to wear. (thank God or whoever for that one! HA!).

alphonsedamoose said...

Deb: I think ALL prayers are answered. It is just sometimes the answer is no or not right now.

Spadoman said...

I'll try to keep this short.

The Creator has a sense of humor. He, or She, or It also understands that you are not a God and will get mad, discouraged, selfish, vindictive, sad, pissy, violent and many other things that we do to ourselves and to others.

If God doesn't understand this, then He, She or It is not God. God can take a joke, too.

The use of the word prayer is misused. By praying do we actually think the God will wave His, Hers, or Its hand and change the situation? Prayer is a thought, any thought is a prayer. The simplest is Thank You. The prayers aren't for the cancer to go away, but for the person to live courageously with it, and the friends and family to be courageous as well, for the time to go by smoothly, painlessly and quickly. Prayers solidify your own belief in yourself, for you are God. You are God because God has manifested His, Her, or Its Spirit into every one of us beings. It is your own Spirit that is God. When you pray, you are asking your own Spirit, yourself, to feel better about the situation and the outcome.

Anyway, that's the way I try to live. Take what you need and leave the rest.

Peace to All.

just me said...

I think what I feel is anger. Anger toward God and anger about losing my son. And anger for the trials my oldest son has had to endure. Deep down I know its a natural part of the grieving process, but it makes me writhe inside, like I was filled with snakes or something. I don't know how else to describe it.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Here's a few:

1. I get mad at God more than I care to admit. I spent most of 2007 very pissed off, but I did not want to lose my faith.
2. It didn't help that those who are of my faith were not forthcoming in my dilemna. But we are not supposed to look to man. Nevertheless, it is a real turnoff when you are supposed to call someone a brother or a sister and they turn out to be backstabbers.
3. I'm learning that God can handle rage, doubt and questions, but many followers cannot. They need to believe the world is a certain way. And if you challenge that, you are in for a licking.
4. Prayer is crucial, but I won't lie: I didn't pray for 6 months. It was a breakthrough when I could again. It is more than saying words or petitioning for this or that--it is bringing God into the world.
5. Unanswered prayer: sometimes we don't pray in accordance with his will; we aren't seeking the kingdom of God. Other times we are making reasonable requests such as protect my loved ones and God does the opposite. That is where the anger comes in. I am working on this one, trust me, but I am at the point that I see God as eternal, myself as finite, and he does have a plan. It doesn't mean I have to like it.

I've been thinking of you.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

It's been my personal experience that we tend to ask for what we want, in the quantities we think acceptable; when we're given "what we need", we get bent out of joint.

just me said...

Thanks Enemy..I think you got me figured out with this one. I totally relate to what you are saying.