Hands down one of my favorite books ever was Are you there God it's me Margaret? By Judy Blume. I was in 4th grade the first time I read it.Devoured it actually, and although the main character Margaret was actually in 6th grade I could identify with her. I still have it and breeze through it occasionally when I am feeling nostalgic,(Who can forget "We must, we must, we must increase our busts") and even though I have read Superfudge to the boys I don't think they would appreciate the book like I would. ANYWAY.... all through the book Margaret talks to God, asking questions. She isn't really sure he is either listening or can hear her........the same way I feel sometimes.
Praying has always been hard for me. Not that I don't believe....it's just very personal and I feel like instead of telling God what I need, I should just be thanking Him and praying for other people. It has taken me a long time to realize that we can and should freely ask God for what we need. I have tried to get in the habit of praying daily. I don't always. I try and pray at the same time. Doesn't always work. I don't want to be one of those people who only talks to God when help is needed or when things are bad. I still have this guilt feeling for asking God to help me with anything...what do I deserve?
I cannot pray out loud in front of people. One of the most horrifying memories I have is being in Sunday School and some teacher telling everyone they had to pray out loud. I don't know if this was some learning experience or what but for me I would gladly have eaten glass or some other preferable form of torture. I still can't do it. The boys and I pray but there is no pressure there. I took a class last year and one of the things our leader had us do was take turns praying about someone we needed to forgive. Everyone had their heads down, gathered around a long table and I was somewhere in the middle. I had a few minutes to prepare myself, I knew what I needed to say and when it was my turn my voice had left me. it cracked, tears streaming down my face, and I could barely get the words out and it was the most horrifying two minutes of my life.
Anyway..... I pray, but like Margaret I often wonder if I am praying for the right things or if I am even being heard. How long can you pray for the same thing, not see any change and wonder if I should stop praying for that and that maybe there is a reason you don't find your answer. I get so discouraged when I hear people say "Oh we prayed about it and God gave us the answer" Now I know whatever decision was made they did themselves, there was no letter in the mailbox, note on their door, signed, Do this, Love Jesus, but when I pray and pray and pray and still have no clearer picture of the decisions I am making it gets very disconcerting.
I know that it comes down the test of Faith. To believe and know that God is hearing you and if you are listening, you may hear Him and know what to do. That is what I tell myself and what I will keep telling myself, that if I listen I can someday hear that still, small voice. That I will know if I am praying for the right things, that I deserve to ask for God's blessings, and not feel guilty about asking for good things for my life.