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Whenever I pray, I say the words in my head but deep down, I don't mean it or feel it. I think this isn't good for my relationship with God. Should I just pray more until I feel a connection with God?
Thank you for asking an honest question about prayer. I am encouraged to hear that you want to pray and that you desire to connect with God. I am also sorry to hear that you do not currently mean it or feel it. However I am sure this is something that many of God's people experience from time to time, and I hope this answer will encourage you.
Prayer is a wonderful gift from God but also a beautiful mystery. We are essentially speaking to someone that we cannot see. This is an action of faith - of believing God will hear and answer our prayer. We should not depend on feelings too much because they can be misleading, but there is an inner peace that comes when we pray in true faith.
At the same time, we must remember that sometimes God answers our prayers with a yes, other times with a no and sometimes we are made to wait for an answer until the correct time. Accounts of this can be found right through the Bible.
Without knowing what you are praying like or for it is hard to comment if you are praying in accordance with the teachings in the Bible.
You ask if you should pray more often. This is certainly not a negative thing to do. We are encouraged to pray about everything: The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:5-6).
We are also encouraged to pray at all times: pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
I wonder what you expect to happen when you pray? Often people have the misunderstanding that if they pray, God will give them whatever they want. This is not how God has directed us to pray. God is not a magic fairy, a Santa Claus figure or a genie that grants us our wishes. He has told us to pray in line with his will and teachings in the Bible.
We are also encouraged to pray to simply thank God for the things he has given us.
I want to encourage you to talk to someone at your local Church about this issue and be honest with them. We are told that we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith (1 Thessalonians 3:10). This shows that praying with other people can help increase our faith. If you do not currently attend a church and would like to find one, the LookingforGod Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
Also I encourage you keep a prayer journal and write down things that you have prayed for to go back over them and see how God has answered your prayers. This can be an encouraging thing that will also build your faith.
I would like to encourage you to read the Bibles own teaching on prayer. Consider Jesus teaching on prayer in the following passages:
- Luke 18:1-8
- Matthew 6:1-14
- John 14:8-14
Finally I want to encourage you to not rely just on your feelings when you pray. There is a certain degree to which we need to believe in faith that prayer is something God wants us to do and that he acts upon it. We may not always feel like prayer is working, but God says that we should do it and we need to believe God.
We will pray for you!
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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