Feeling Rejected by God

(Micah Bush) #1

Hi everyone. Growing up in church, I’ve always been taught that Jesus loves me and desires for me to know Him. For a while now, though, I’ve had a lot of trouble believing this with any real conviction. From a rational perspective, why should God care about me? I’m a sinful, depraved, sickly human, and rightfully should be worth less in the eyes of God than a mangy, disgusting, flea-bitten dog is in my eyes. What can I possibly offer God? I know the answer: Absolutely nothing. There is nothing I can do for God except as a vessel of the Spirit.

This brings me to the real root of the issue. Growing up as I did in the Pentecostal tradition, I was told that the Spirit was available to be poured out into the lives of all Christians, with a heavy emphasis given to the gift of tongues. I was also inundated with language about “the prompting of the Spirit,” “having a personal relationship with Jesus,” and “hearing the voice of God.” As far as my own story goes, though, I’ve experienced none of this. My story is one of becoming disillusioned with the charismatic movement after attending a church where numerical growth became too great a priority and the community was too shallow, falling into depression, and settling into a place where I hold onto the Christian faith because reason won’t let me discard it and the alternatives seem altogether undesirable. Some days, this faith is the only thing that restrains me from seriously considering suicide.

This brings up the issue of evangelism. Witnessing to others was stressed heavily when I was growing up (not that I ever did much of it, since I had no non-Christian friends and was rather reclusive), and in this case, at least, I know that the teaching was well-grounded in the biblical text. To this day, though, I don’t see how I’m in any way fit to share the gospel; my story holds nothing to promise a fulfilling life, understanding other people (much less those outside the church) is among my weakest areas, and as far as I can gather from the biblical narrative, witnessing is pointless without the Spirit working through me, and I’ve had no indication of such work in my life. This leads me to worry: Am I a tree that is bearing no fruit? Am I good for nothing but to be cut down and thrown to the fire? Has God rejected me?

(SeanO) #2

@MicahB Thankfully the Gospel does not hinge on your story friend - it hinges on Jesus’ story :slight_smile: You know, when I’ve had these feelings, I’ve found the best way to deal with them is to pray this song by Hillsong to Jesus - ‘Jesus - consume me from the inside out - I’m not that way, but I want to be’. Instead of putting your eyes on yourself, put them on Jesus - receive His love and trust in Him as the Good Shepherd to lead you where He wants you and to make you what He wants you to be…

You may also find the linked thread on salvation helpful. Praying for you bro :slight_smile:

(Lindsay Brandt) #3

Hi, Micah. I’m so glad you decided to post here. You are in good company, because I think there is a good chance that many of us have felt the same way as you do. I grew up in a Lutheran church, and I am now in a Pentecostal church, though not one that puts as much stock into speaking in tongues and such (it sounds odd, but our sweet pastor prefers to focus on the gospel and all that comes with our identity in Christ, not allowing experience to trump the truth of what God has accomplished for us in Christ through his death and resurrection). In my experience, people tend to put too much into feeling and experiencing some very particular things when it comes to the Holy Spirit. While I won’t deny that God sometimes provides those experiences through the Holy Spirit, I tend to see that it is not the norm. Feelings and experience are very subjective and cannot give us truth. Very often, I find that people want to conform truth to their experience, when really we should be filtering our feelings and interpreting our experiences through God’s truth. Like Sean said, the Gospel hinges on Jesus’ story. That’s great news!

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:11-14, NIV).

Like Paul prayed for the Ephesians, I am praying for you, Micah, that God would grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in regard to all that is yours in Christ (Eph. 1:17-19), because it is so much more than a feeling or a particular experience. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28 NKJV).

(Kenneth Jones ) #4

MicahB, the greatest trick Satan ever pulled is convincing the world he does not exist, the second greatest trick he ever pulled is convincing people they are not good enough to be a Christian. The funny part about the second trick is that it is true, no one is good enough to be a Christian (Psalms 14:1-3, 53:1-3, Romans 3:10), that is why we need the blood of Christ. I was much like you, in that I thought I was not worthy to be around those great people who knew Christ. But then I took a good look at what Jesus said in Luke 9:57-62. I saw me in each of the three situations when Jesus was asked, or asked people to follow Him. I was allowing my past to dictate my future, rather than allowing the blood of Christ to dictate my eternity. To me it is no longer a question of where I was; or, where I am? but rather, where I will be going? I pray this helps you.

(Kathleen) #5

@MicahB - your story really moved me. Thank you for taking the time to post, and for giving us the chance to sit down with you, as you have taken the opportunity to sit down with a number of people on this forum already. :slight_smile: And as I was reading through your struggle, something struck me, and I hope it will be as helpful for you as it is for me when I get into these spots.

One important thing that I have learned over the last couple of years is: There may be nothing we can do for God; but there is plenty he wants to do with us. It’s true that nothing we can offer to God earns us anything (whether favour or disappointment!), but, simply because he is our loving Father, he actually desires our participation.

I was quite satisfied to be blown away by God wanting to do something in me – a personal work usually tied to be thinking correct thoughts and doing correct things. I was even satisfied for him to do things through me – ‘I am but a vessel.’, similar to Rizzo the Rat in The Muppet Christmas Carol. But I couldn’t quite believe that he really wanted me, in my imperfect state, to enter into the work with him. How striking that he not only wants to accomplish his ends through us, but with us.

I am training to be a counsellor, and one of the things I keep hearing (and have experienced in my own life) is that relationships are co-created. That is, relationship cannot exist if one party is non-participatory. It takes two to tango, so to speak. :wink: So I would encourage you to start speaking honestly with God. You don’t need the gift of tongues to do that. Ask him questions and search for answers in his Word; that is one of the main ways he communicates with us. Don’t be too concerned with what you think you should be doing (evangelism) or how your faith should manifest itself (gift of tongues, prompting of the Spirit, hearing His voice, etc.), but just start a conversation with Him and see where that takes you. :grin:

(Kerron Joseph) #6

Hi Micah, I can definitely relate to this post. This used to be a concern of mine aswell. My life was rather uneventful and I had nothing to offer to a God that was in need of nothing. I also had a hard time understanding others and was almost robotic in my interactions.

But one thing that I’ve realized in my short life is that I’m worth more to God than I think I am and everything in life is a process. I’d be lying if I said I can justify my worth to God but the fact remains that He gave His life to purchase us back. I can’t even put to words the value associated with that.

Also as I’ve said, everything is a process. I’ve grown up in church and all my pairs are now involved in 5 fold ministry but I’m still Brother Kerron haha. This used to be so discouraging and put alot of questions in my mind about my standings with God but I finally made my peace with it last year. I’m not sure when or how it happened but after that I, for want of a better word, matured and my prayer and study changed dramatically. Then I heard this year I’m being considered for Junior Pastor.

I’m not sure if this helps but I thought I’d share it. God bless.

(Lakshmi Mehta) #7

Dear brother Micah (@MicahB) , I am so touched by reading your honest questions and I am praying for you. I think we have all asked those questions to a certain extent at some time or another. Even in the Bible, king David expresses the perceived rejection he felt from God (Ps 13, Ps 71). I hope what I have to say will bring some encouragement to you. I remember the deep agony I experienced in my own life when I doubted God’s love for me. It was a vicious cycle of not feeling motivated to pray, not being able to believe that God would hear my prayer, further doubt about God’s love and further lack of motivation to pray. I realized I was isolating myself from the Only one who could give me any real hope. The answer for me came through a deeper study of God’s grace and love as revealed in scripture over several months. One book that especially helped me at that time was “The Search for Significance” by Robert S. Mc Gee. It helped me understand God’s love for me and know where my thinking was not aligned with the truth of God’s word. It allowed me to practically apply grace toward myself and others in daily decisions.

Coming out of Hinduism, I desperately wanted to be a good Christian and after a few years of attending church I started pursuing some vague standards I had come up with of being a good Christian than following Christ. Being a good Christian has nothing to do with our natural abilities, our spiritual gifts, our ministry success, number of answered prayers, the perception of others about our faith, our ability to live above our circumstances, our emotional stability or any other standard we have set up for ourselves. The truth is we are all good Christians the moment we make Christ Our Lord. We are good Christians because of Christ’s righteousness in us. So, when we find ourselves failing or others point our failures, we can give ourselves grace. God fully accepts us. Jesus promises in John 7:37 – Whoever comes to me, I will never drive away. So, it is not about aiming to achieve something for Christ but about living out our new identity (2 Cor 5:17, 21, Col 1:19-22, Heb 10:17, 1 John 4:9-10) that God has already achieved for us in Christ. Our worth before God and never changing status as beloved before God is through faith in Christ whether we fully accomplish all the good works that He planned for us to do or not. As we focus mainly on intimacy with Him, our calling will be a natural outflow, God may allow us time to develop gifts for His ministry and may choose to bestow spiritual gifts. Though a spiritual gift can give us the sense that God has answered our prayer or used us for His work, I have seen in my own life that supernatural experiences didn’t prevent me from doubting God’s love in another difficult season of life. Supernatural experiences didn’t prevent the Israelites from doubting God either. It is only standing firm on God’s word in humility that expels doubt.

One of the ways Satan, our accuser, interferes with God’s work in our lives is to plant doubts in us. So, once we recognize that a thought is not in according to what God has revealed in His word, we can cast it out. Holy Spirit’s conviction is always accompanied by gentle correction, a sense of God’s love and is uplifting unlike condemnation that attacks our self-worth and alienates us from God. As Christians we have the power to set aside faulty beliefs about ourselves and renew our mind (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:21-25, 2 Cor 10:5-7, Is 54:17) which will lead to freedom from oppressive thoughts and emotions. Depending on our backgrounds and experiences, this process can take time and we may need help from other strong Christian friends or counselors. It took me years to work towards this habit and still have lows but much less frequent. The fact that you want to feel loved by God, used by God and are open to discussion about this tells me that the Holy Spirit is very active in your life brother Micah! I have always appreciated the wisdom in many of your past posts! God bless you and know that you are being prayed for. Looking forward to God’s plans being unraveled in your life!

(Mitzi Witt) #8

Micah, I don’t know what more to say than what others have said, except for I just finished praying for you. I would just say, pray. Keep talking to Him. And keep on.

With no flippancy intended, keep this in mind when you pray… HE does actually, really truly hear you. When you speak to someone who you know is listening, it is much different than when you talk to someone who cannot hear.

Keep praying. God is faithful. He rejects no one who comes to Him in faith.

(Russell Mashburn) #9

I believe the feeling you have could only be the holy Spirit working in your life. Having said that there’s also the king of lies that tries to plant seeds of doubt in us. God made us and knows each one of us. We don’t know his timing when we’re used in the way he made us. This is a great opportunity to pray about being receptive to Christ and for him to take anything evil away in Jesus name.

(Dean Schmucker) #10

We are born into a world where value is determined by what you do. The whole foundation of religion is works to obtain favor with God. However, religion is not God’s idea, but man’s. As one of the previous responders pointed out, we are only vessels. The only “work” we do is believe on Him, and appropriating that work for ourselves. “Christ in you, the hope of glory”.

1 Like
(Rose Amer) #11

Hi Micah first of all thank you for your honesty. I am encouraged to see your post here. When I first started my walk with Jesus I was full of passion but as years passed, I became more of a churchian than a Christian. Currently, I pastor a small church in Niagara Falls. Every week I preach on witnessing, loving, compassion, evangelism, etc but through out the week, in the hustle and bustle of my life, I lose connection with my own words and preaching. I used to blame myself for not doing enough. When my church dont grow as people around me expects it to grow, I am the one get blamed for. In the beginning of my ministry, I thought I was not doing this church thing right, I mourn over why I dont have any one to baptize like the big church down the street, why I cant have enough money to get the music system or blue dreamy light for ambiance, etc. I felt like a loser and failure, then one day I was crying and yearning and pleading in prayer and it dawned on me I am called to ONLY proclaim the gospel of Lord Jesus Christ and warn the people about the consequences of rejecting him. Honestly, in my 15 years of ministry I find most people inside the church want to have their ears tickled, I am not called to do that, they are allowed to use Q-tips. lol. Brother the thing is, if God can use me, he can use you. Just be available. Your presence here is an encouragement to many. I know it does not make sense but somehow God takes us through. Just hand in there.

(Micah Bush) #12

I appreciate all the comments and encouragements that have been offered up to this point. In going over them, prayer seems to strike me as a recurring theme. I must confess that building a disciplined prayer life has proven to be one of the greatest challenges for me in the Christian walk (I do pray, but it is usually spontaneous, when I think of something to pray about).

I suppose this is for a few reasons: First, because prayer is rather repetitious, and asking something of someone over and over again is a habit that I consider infantile (if a child says something to me a dozen times, my response is, “I heard you the first time!”); second, when I talk to another human, I can usually expect a clear response via an expected channel, which has never been the case with prayer; third, it’s hard to want to continually pursue conversation with someone who is in a habit of being non-communicative (I have the same problem with people who repeatedly don’t respond to messages or emails). All that, combined with the fact that my prayers are rarely answered as I’ve hoped (to the point that my prayers almost feel like a liability), and it’s far easier to simply stop praying and tell God, “Very well, do as You will.” Prayer to me is a lot like exercise in that it feels like a chore that I have to push myself to do, except the metrics of “success” are far more ambiguous.

How does one build a habit of regular prayer when it doesn’t seem productive in any way, especially in the midst of depression, where self-discipline is already difficult to maintain?

(Lakshmi Mehta) #13

@MicahB, I am so sorry to hear about the depression you are experiencing at this time. It is my sincere prayer that God will take you through this dark time into a new phase. We dont need to be so sure that light will not follow, we can have confident hope in Christ. I think for us to have a productive prayer life, we have got to first work at our heart and aim more on building a relationship with God than having requests answered. Timewise, I would start small.

What you are experiencing in your prayer life seems like the vicious cycle of doubting the love of God and prayerlessness that I had experienced. Here’s how I came out of that cycle:

  • I started with confessing my lack of faith in God’s love and took Him at His word that He loved me even though I didn’t feel it. Studied bible passages about His love and asked Him to reveal Himself to me.
  • I worked on any unforgiveness or bitterness I had against Him or anyone else.
  • I prayed using scripture to pray in His will as our emotions can interfere in praying according to His will. I pray from Psalms or the Lord’s prayer as a guide. I often paraphrase them according to my circumstances.
  • To approach Him with an attitude of thankfulness, I tried to focus on giving praise for every good thing that I did have and for who He is.
  • As I learnt more about His grace, slowly a natural hunger to pray and a realization of His love for me did come. It didn’t feel like a chore to pray anymore but desired to pray. When occasionally I do feel it like a chore, I just discipline myself to pray and after about 15-20 min of worshiping Him, the attitude of the heart does change.

When it comes to discipline of prayer, I think what we really need to focus on is discipline of the heart than time. When we are not able to pray in faith, prayer time can get focused on ourselves than Him and appear aimless. Why does God make us pray for something over and over if God heard it? It is because He wants to teach us what a life of faith is. When answer does not come after having prayed, we just keep believing. Just imagine if God gave us everything immediately and all we had to do was ask and get. What a spiritual loss it would be to us! Waiting in prayer is training to let go of our will, so that we can learn to rest on His will and timing. May God reveal His love in a deep and mighty way to you!

(Kathleen) #14

Same! For me, if I’m not sitting and praying with someone, then I’m out. I get too distracted on my own, so I try to keep a dialogue up with God throughout the day. This usually includes going out for a walk ‘with him’ at some point. I generally focus better that way, and it gives me some quiet space to hear him.

Do you have people with whom you can talk and pray with? At the times I’m too ‘blocked’ to pray, I have to get some of my friends to sit with me and intercede for me. They’ve gotten used to me sometimes beginning with, ‘God…I really don’t want to speak with you right now, and here’s why…’ I’ve realised that that’s better to say than not say anything at all. The more I refuse to admit ‘to God’s face’ that I am angry or sad or lonely or bitter or fearful or whatever, the more I shut down. The more I avoid him, the more distant and hard (and numb) I become.

But you’ve mentioned that you’re experiencing depression, and I don’t at all want to minimise that. I know that can make even the most menial of tasks hard work. How does that tend to physically and mentally effect you?

Praying, brother…

(SeanO) #15

@MicahB Have you ever tried mixing worship and prayer? It’s the only way I pray :slight_smile: Much more engaging and I think worship opens our hearts to truly pray for what the Lord wants us to…

The classic acrostic for prayer is ACTS:

  • Adoration
  • Confession
  • Thanksgiving
  • Supplication

Do you notice how supplication - asking for stuff - is the last thing? Why is that? Because the ACT gets us ready for the S! If we are worshiping Jesus, if our sins are confessed and if we are thankful - then we can really pray supplication in a way that is more appropriate.

Why don’t you try this - start with a few worship songs you really like - spend five or ten minutes in worship. Then confess your sins and make a list of all the things you are thankful for - then spend five or ten minutes more in worship. And then bring whatever is on your heart to God AND pray for others. I have to say - praying for others is so much more life giving for me than praying for myself. Pray for the poor - pray for your neighbors - pray for persecuted Christians - pray for your pastor - pray in the Spirit!

Here are a few songs I really like to put my heart in a good place and some people to pray for :slight_smile:

(shirleytan10) #16

Hi Micah,
I can understand your feeling of rejection. I had been a doubting believer, if that makes any sense. I had panic attacks every time there is a crisis or adverse situation (not a Christian behavior). Yes I prayed, but I thought I was too insignificant for God, and for sure He overlooked me. Ironically it was an answer of prayer that led me to read the book by OS Guinness "God in the Dark ". It gave me a better understanding and insight into why I feel the way I did. He said faith is "one mindedness ", unbelief is “one mindedness”, and doubting is double mindedness. The doubting person is in a in between place suspended until he gains more understanding of his faith by asking: What drew him to the faith? Why he remained a believer? What was the reason he believed in the beginning? Was the conversion based on feeling and experience and not enough understanding? Did the person have clear understanding of the truth he believed in? He suggested to dig deep, he said there are enough “know-ables” from the word of God to help answer questions that can solidify the faith foundation to move one that is double minded into “one mindedness” of faith. The book has much more insightful information than I can summarize here. Overall, he seemed to imply that when one finds himself doubting, don’t loose heart, because it is a good place to pause and think, find answers, and move onward to become a person of faith. I hope you are able to find time to read the book, perhaps it can help you as it had helped me.

(Albert Paul Devanand) #17

Dear Brother Micah,

It is good that you had come out honestly with all your doubts. This itself is in search of a solution and truly God will help us everyone whenever we feel burdened by doubts and things that are happening around us and He alone can resolve the issues, raise us from our levels.

Brother, not only yourself, everyone were once without strength, sinners and enemies of God (Romans 5:6,8,10), dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). But God quickened us by the same resurrection power of his begotten Son, Jesus that we may be sanctified. He has called us everyone to be in his very own image from glory to glory by the Holy Spirit of God (II Corinthians 3:18). This is a process and takes time and God sanctifies us every often day by day. We should know that every problem we face are permitted by God Himself to construct us, and not otherwise. I am sure your questions will be answered by God and by the end you would be in your new height in your faith. Apostle Paul says in his letter to Romans, Ch.6, vs.22 that we have been freed from sin and are now servants of God. The gain and profit we have been promised henceforth is holiness. Though we are weak, we are made stronger by the One who is strong. I would like to remind of Apostle Paul’s words in his almost all letters to the various Churches addressing the congregation as believers that were called to be saints. So be encouraged that God will answer you, all your doubts. Seek Him all the time.

Whenever a man repents of his sins, the conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit on him. He moves the man closer to God that the blood of Jesus shall wash and cleanse him from all his earlier sins, inequities and by the power of Holy Spirit all the chains of all the adversary are broken and the man is now a new born one. From His very first work in a man, the Spirit of God dwells in him always pushes him to move closer and further more every time. He do not stop His work in us at any time unless we hinder Him. He gifts us with many super natural abilities, among one which is speaking in tongues. It is to profit everyone of us as individuals (I Corinthians 12:7). This cannot be at all a scale to check the growth of a Christian. But the transformation we gain in our daily life just as Jesus Himself can be taken as the true scale. Walking with God, trusting in Him, fearing His Words, reflecting Jesus in all our actions, thought and in our every spoken words are the some that God seeks us and always cherishes and be glorified with. But wait upon the Lord as Isiah says in his book (Ch. 40, vs. 31) that He shall renew your strength.

Every Christian is entitled to share the Gospel and the testimony of his own salvation from his earlier life. So always at all times share everyone with that glorious moment when God reached you to draw unto Him. All through our life we have been sought to abide in Him to bear His fruit. When we get nourished by Him, we shall definitely not be barren but bear with fruit. So do not feel yourself to be rejected as God never rejects any one who comes unto Him (John 6:37).

My wishes and prayers to you.

(Rebecca Fohner) #18

Dear Micah,

While no one can earn the Love of God, nonetheless He loves you with a love unfathomable. Jesus felt it was worth it to die in your place.
Know that every person is equipped by the Spirit with different gifts, as it says in 1 Corinthians 12:

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

I have found that our dear YHWH wastes nothing. You may have nothing, but He will increase it to feed a hundred! It is my weakest moments that allow me to best witness and minister to others, because I understand where they have been. You are not alone in struggling with depression. I have, Ravi Zacharias did, and there are many others as well.

Learning to pray diligently is hard! Oh, it takes a lot of discipline! I have found keeping a prayer journal helps. Writing in a journal helps do several things: 1) it helps keep you focused on praying, 2) it helps you keep track of your growth, 3) it helps you see what God has been doing and how your prayers are being answered.
And they are being answered! But He often doesn’t answer in the way we think He should. :slightly_smiling_face:

Learning to be still and “hear” the Voice of the Almighty is a wonderful skill to have, but you will probably not be able to recognize His voice unless you know His Word. Reading your Bible is the very best way to learn about God. The process to recognize His Voice is tough, and it goes along with prayer, for prayer is you talking to God and vice versa, and how can you learn to hear the voice of someone you do not talk to? But I will warn you: His is by far not the only voice out there. I had to learn to discern His voice from all the others: my own thoughts and the demonic. And I made a lot of mistakes (some rather scary) along the way. Yet I can say it was worth it. I still don’t always open myself up to listening (and usually end up falling down.) I still sin, I still mess up. It doesn’t make me a super Christian. There are no super Christians! There is only a super Savior. Walking in obedience to God with the gifts we have and drawing ever closer to Him is the very best thing we can do.

So don’t be afraid to try, but rather lean on Christ in everything. Christ did not come to save perfect people, but rather He came to save and perfect people. And the process of being perfected will last our whole lives long.

(Micah Bush) #19

@KMac Physically, I’ve found that most tasks that aren’t strictly necessary are very difficult to motivate myself to do, so I get far less accomplished than I would like. Mentally, I find myself having very little in the way of drive or aspirations. At one time, I had plans of pursuing graduate studies; now, though, I lack enough passion for anything to commit five or six years of my life to further studies and my career to a specialized field. As for my emotions, they can be rather unstable and tend to default to despair and dejection. A perfect example of this came a few weeks ago, when a happy afternoon of seeing old friends was overshadowed by seeing a woman I had admired with another man in the evening; despite having known about their relationship and committed to being happy for her, it sent me into a day and a half of depression that I was unable to pull myself out of. In spite of having (by events that I can only ascribe to the grace of God) a more fruitful social life post-college than I could have hoped for, I still experience frequent feelings of loneliness and a lack of belonging.

(Russell Mashburn) #20

Hello Micah. I understand that feeling all too well. We all need to be loved. I struggle with spotting an attractive female and having lust I’m my heart. Probably the weakest part of me.

Things can get dull sometimes. The Lord knows what you’re going through. I truly believe he’s moving you in a divine direction even though it feels awful. Some of the hardest times and uncomfortable times are when his divine work is done. Jesus knows what it’s like to suffer because he came here to not only save you, but to know what it’s like to be one of us.

Instead of praying repetitive prayers that lose meaning try talking to him like you’re talking to a friend.