I sometimes wrestle with the questions of “why do I pray” and “why do I believe”. Do I believe because I was born into a Christian family who afforded me a Christian education (K-8)? Do I believe because members of my family (siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins) believe? Or maybe I believe because I fear of God? I had to do a bit of soul-searching.
Every Sunday we recite/pray the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. I also pray them most days, one before I take my afternoon nap and one at night before going to sleep at night. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. Even during my 20 year absence from church while I was on active duty in the Navy; I still prayed these two prayers, and asked for forgiveness and repented for my sins… but, did I do it out of habit or shame or a real need for prayer?
I think all of the above. I have often wondered how many people there are like me who had to memorize the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed. And how many of those (who still pray) recite/pray as if on auto pilot. I try different things like trying mental voice inflections or stopping and thinking about each line in the prayers, but those too become automatic. I think I pray out of a sense of need and love and obligation. I do believe my prayers are heard, and I do believe that they are answered in God’s own timing. And, I believe in miracles too.
But why do I believe in a God I cannot see and I cannot touch. That’s a combination of being taught in school about God, reading the Bible, friends, and by personal experiences.
I believe because I BELIEVE! There is not doubt in my mind that God exists, that God created the heavens and the earth; all that is seen and unseen. I believe that God hears and answers prayer. I believe that “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son to die for us, so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). I believe that Jesus died on a cross for me and all mankind so that we may be saved and go to heaven with him for all eternity and I believe in the Holy Spirit who guides me, inspires me and protects me from day-to-day.
So why do I pray and why do I believe?
How can I not believe? He has done so much for me that I am astounded that someone would not believe. God is love and always will be.
God’s Peace and Love!