Jane_Doe

Prayer: when you don't want to ask

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(please be gentle here)

 

Prayer & I have a complicated relationship.  Or to be more specific, the "asking for things" part of prayer & I have a complicated relationship.

I don't like to ask people for things-- such is a huge move of trust for me, and I feel like I've been burned too much in the past.  I'm much more comfortable doing something myself, or making do without.  I don't want to trouble others, I don't want to ask and be disappointed in them.  I feel like I give and give- which I do because I enjoy so much, but too often people don't give back.  From the evidence, they  appear to be different than me.   Some aren't, but a lot of people are different in this regard.

Asking God for things...yes, I know that God is the ultimate giver, and has already given way more than I could.  I got that.  But I also feel.. like I shouldn't ask Him for things.  Which as a parent breaks my heart- I WANT my kids to ask me for things.  I know the Father does too.  But when I do work up the courage to ask- something super important to me and by all indicators is a righteous request... a lot of time there is not receiving.  And I hurt.  I hurt a lot.  And I want to hide.  I don't want to ask again.  I really don't.

Yes, "thy will be done".  Yes, God is not a vending machine.  Yes, God is equally with those that receive miraculous healing and those whom He more directly welcomes their spirits into His arms.   Yes, God is equally with those whom keep their jobs, and those who are forced to leave.  Yes, I know that I am blessed in some many areas.  Yes, I have a GOOD life that I am so grateful for.   Yes, things could be much worse.  Yes, yes, I know all of those things- I recite them to myself regularly.  And sometimes they help.  Most times they help. 

But other times... I hurt....

Edited by Jane_Doe

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29 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

(please be gentle here)

 

Prayer & I have a complicated relationship.  Or to be more specific, the "asking for things" part of prayer & I have a complicated relationship.

I don't like to ask people for things-- such is a huge move of trust for me, and I feel like I've been burned too much in the past.  I'm much more comfortable doing something myself, or making do without.  I don't want to trouble others, I don't want to ask and be disappointed in them.  I feel like I give and give- which I do because I enjoy so much, but too often people don't give back.  From the evidence, they  appear to be different than me.   Some aren't, but a lot of people are different in this regard.

Asking God for things...yes, I know that God is the ultimate giver, and has already given way more than I could.  I got that.  But I also feel.. like I shouldn't ask Him for things.  Which as a parent breaks my heart- I WANT my kids to ask me for things.  I know the Father does too.  But when I do work up the courage to ask- something super important to me and by all indicators is a righteous request... a lot of time there is not receiving.  And I hurt.  I hurt a lot.  And I want to hide.  I don't want to ask again.  I really don't.

Yes, "thy will be done".  Yes, God is not a vending machine.  Yes, God is equally with those that receive miraculous healing and those whom He more directly welcomes their spirits into His arms.   Yes, God is equally with those whom keep their jobs, and those who are forced to leave.  Yes, I know that I am blessed in some many areas.  Yes, I have a GOOD life that I am so grateful for.   Yes, things could be much worse.  Yes, yes, I know all of those things- I recite them to myself regularly.  And sometimes they help.  Most times they help. 

But other times... I hurt....

I'm sorry this is tough for you. I think one of the most important discoveries I've made in life is realizing that God wants me to be 100%  honest with him. I know that sounds silly, because why lie to God he already knows everything, but I tried to pretend I wasn't angry or upset with him when important things I really needed were not provided. All burying my anger did was prevent me from being healed and learning to appreciate how God was guiding me and building me up. So I say, I understand sister. I've felt the same way as you before, and I will probably feel that way again. But I do know, as Nephi said in 1 Nephi 11, that "God loveth his children." God be with you in your time of trial, whatever it may be.

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2 minutes ago, Midwest LDS said:

I'm sorry this is tough for you. I think one of the most important discoveries I've made in life is realizing that God wants me to be 100%  honest with him. I know that sounds silly, because why lie to God he already knows everything, but I tried to pretend I wasn't angry or upset with him when important things I really needed were not provided. All burying my anger did was prevent me from being healed and learning to appreciate how God was guiding me and building me up. So I say, I understand sister. I've felt the same way as you before, and I will probably feel that way again. But I do know, as Nephi said in 1 Nephi 11, that "God loveth his children." God be with you in your time of trial, whatever it may be.

Thank you.

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I have also felt disappointment but I am not angry at Heavenly Father the past few years.  My wife has not been well.  She has little or no energy and she is in pain from a botched surgery that cannot be corrected by medical personnel.  I pray for her healing daily but it has not come yet.  I hope we find the cure for her body to heal and she does not have to wait until death or the resurrection to be delivered.

Do not be angry at God.  Pray for peace and joy in your life and guidance for what you need to do in your mortal journey.

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10 minutes ago, Still_Small_Voice said:

Do not be angry at God.  Pray for peace and joy in your life and guidance for what you need to do in your mortal journey.

I'm not angry, more just sad, wanting to hide, and not ask anymore.  Even something like Pres. Nelson's call for a worldwide fast this weekend... I feel like I can't ask. 

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I can understand somewhat.  That is hard.  I don't have any wisdom or insight  that would help you.  But I know that expressing and sharing issues or problems like these can help a person get a better understanding of it and start to be able to change.

I wish you the best in your endeavor, @Jane_Doe

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Hi @JaneDoe while listening to Brother Tad Callister’s talk at the 2019 Sidney B Sperry symposium earlier this evening, you came to mind. You have described a form of suffering. Brother Callister’s talk, titled “What is the purpose of suffering?” is one of the best talks I can remember on this topic. Brother Callister gives long, detailed and carefully considered responses to the following questions; who or what causes afflicting and suffering; why does God intervene to alleviate suffering for some but not others; does all suffering lead to positive growth; how does God help us face our afflictions; how should we respond to affliction and suffering; and what is the ultimate objective of suffering in God’s plan. His talk is on youtube. I strongly recommend it.

 

See also

 

 

And

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm sorry this is so hard for you Jane, but I think you are right to think of it how you would want your children to think about you, you want them to ask you for the things they need/want/desire.  God wants you to ask him for the things you need/want/desire.  But that doesn't mean the answer will always be yes, but God doesn't want that to stop you asking, just like you wouldn't want your no's to stop your children from asking you for things.  Trust in God, he loves you

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My thinking has been, God’s will is going to be done regardless. And what I want, even if I think it is right and good, is not always what he wants. In fact, I’m learning it very rarely is. His ways are higher than my ways and all that. This is why I struggle with asking. Any insights are appreciated.

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I have nothing but gentleness to offer, because this is quite a close subject to my core as well.  I've had overall big positive results from prayer, but I also have spent hours, even years sometimes, in prayer, begging for blessings that haven't come, direction that hasn't been given.     When I pray for direction and it doesn't come, then I am left with the inescapable conclusion that God trusts me to make the right decision, and I can only do what I think is best.  When I pray for blessings that don't come, I conclude that it's not God's will that it happen, and I take a good hard look at what I am asking for, and what would be more appropriate to ask for.

I've changed my prayers a lot, and I'm still a work in progress.  But yeah, when the righteous yearnings of my heart aren't realized, it hurts, but I'm not mad at God.  I try to focus on what the hurt means, and how I can more closely align myself with His will.  

Still plenty of kleenex involved though.

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Guest MormonGator
2 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

I'm still a work in progress

We all are. If you think you aren't a work in progress or think you don't fall short, you are in serious spiritual trouble.  

Now, having said that, and this does not apply to you @NeuroTypical, I've seen countless people who give lip service to that-and do nothing else. They'll say "Oh I'm a sinner too." Then lecture you about your sins and do absolutely nothing to change their own. It also happens with personality. I've seen countless people who say "I know I'm rude and abrasive, I need to change that." And surprise! They do....absolutely nothing to change it. 

Again NT, I'm not describing you. 

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I finished reading Why Isn't God Answering Me? by Gerald Lund. While I wouldn't say it addressed my issues above, it did have some great ideas. I found his analysis of D&C 121 in regard to this topic very interesting.

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On 3/27/2020 at 12:19 PM, Jane_Doe said:

Asking God for things...yes, I know that God is the ultimate giver, and has already given way more than I could.  I got that.  But I also feel.. like I shouldn't ask Him for things.  Which as a parent breaks my heart- I WANT my kids to ask me for things.  I know the Father does too.  But when I do work up the courage to ask- something super important to me and by all indicators is a righteous request... a lot of time there is not receiving.  And I hurt.  I hurt a lot.  And I want to hide.  I don't want to ask again.  I really don't.

Knowing what I do of you, I can take a guess at what you're talking about.  So, I'll address it this way.

When my wife was a small child, her father was a very giving man.  She was fairly happy without even asking for much at all.  But she did ask. And she did receive.

At some point, he lost his job.  In fact, he lost if for years.  She was well aware of the situation after she heard "no" a few too many times.  So, she stopped asking.  Her father still tried to be the kind man he always was.  But he simply couldn't do what he used to do at the level that he used to do it.

Ever since then, she has the same tendency as you do.  She doesn't ask for anything for herself.  I practically have to drag out of her any desires of her heart.  I really want to give to her. But she just doesn't ask.  It's quite frustrating when I really want to give to her.

In ages past, I believe that miracles were much more common than today.  The Lord was also willing to prosper the societies that were righteous, and punish those who were wicked (pride-prosperity cycle).  Miracles ceased among the children of men because of the wickedness of men.

We can see this wickedness as having a similar effect as poverty.  God is still a giving god.  But if we as a society are not righteous enough, then miracles are often withheld even from the righteous.  Even so, the Lord does bless the righteous -- ALWAYS.  But it just can't be at the level that was given in a world where even the wicked believed in miracles.

In this world where even the righteous believers think that miracles have stopped or at least been diminished, the Lord has no choice but to diminish the spigot.  What does pour out does pour out.  And he tends to give that little bit to the faithful.  While the world's faith reduces the spigot.  The Lord can still direct that flow to the faithful.

Quote

How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.

 -- D&C 121:33

We are given the knowledge of God. We can have access to miracles that the world is ready to receive.

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