When not to question prayer

Prayer man

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Prayer manYears ago I made the mistake of questioning prayer in Sunday School I did not do it to challenge the concept, for at the time I believed in prayer, but I questioned it to come to a better understanding of prayer and communication with the God.

The question went something like this. How do people really know that they are actually communicating with God and not just with their subconscious? You would’ve thought that I bombed somebody’s home. The reaction was scary. Several people looked at me as though I was possessed.  A couple persons shared in an adamant testimonial way their personal belief and experiences in prayer, but never actually answered my question of how they knew.

Luckily one person with a good reputation in the congregation who also knew me well came to my defense, sharing that he understood my question, that he knew I was sincere in asking it, that he didn’t have an answer, but that it was a good question. Perhaps he said that because he saw the disappointment in my face, or perhaps he too had asked the same question in his own life. Regardless, I left that Sunday school class less spiritually stable than I had entered it, all because I was I wanted a real answer and not just an affirmation of the group thought.

So I put this question to all that read this. If you believe in prayer, please comment on how you “know” you are communicating with God.

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2 Thoughts to “When not to question prayer”

  1. lady of the lamps

    Your first problem is you ask in Sunday School. Sunday School too often deteriorates to the lowest common denominator of believer, the ones who love the “group think” and never question or think about much of anything beyond what they have “known” for years. Life is simpler that way. Unfortunately, those are also the ones who love to speak out and pontificate, and so tend to dominate the class. The only good thing I can say about them, is they come up with such outlandish statements sometimes that it sends me home to do some research and that is when I really gain some insight.

  2. lady of the Lamps

    It will take me a while to figure this out. I wanted to start a new paragraph and it posted my first statement, twice, so I will begin again. As for your question “how do you know you are communicating with God and not just your subconscious?” I’m not sure that can be answered. Part of it is, you can’t. You can hope you are, you can have faith you are, but “know”? there is not a lot of “knowing” in religion, inspite of a lot of testimonies we have heard. Your grandfather told me once that whenever he prayed, he just felt he was talking to the ceiling. I’ve prayed to a few ceilings in my time. I’ve prayed and not even been sure my subconcious was listening. and I’ve talked to God and known he was there because he answered me so clearly and so immediately it could be nothing else. When an answer doesn’t come so soon, I cling to the memory of the times it did, and then I proceed with faith for the answer always comes, eventually. I guess it comes down to I know, after the fact, not before.

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