How can I be closer to God?

I used to have this sort of “high” when it comes to my faith. I was devoted. My prayers, no matter how small and ‘useless’, were answered (getting an A for a test, tickets to a concert, etc)

But now I find my faith so exhausting. I hate how difficult its teachings are, I feel so detached, I feel so resentful towards a lot of religious people. I also realized that recently, the little prayers (that have no impact on my life) I had were answered while huge ones, like my dad’s job, seemed to be ignored. Honestly…why would God do that.

The only time I feel close to God is during times of despair/times when I want something from him. I want an actual relationship, not just asking him for nice stuff I want and then getting mad when he doesn’t respond. I just don’t know how to do that.

I would recommend reading 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, and keep it in the forefront of your mind. Rejoice at all times and pray without ceasing. Continual prayer is necessary to maintain a strong faith. There are many distractions that will try to pull you away from this, especially in today’s world. You must give your best effort to pray with an open heart all throughout the day.

Pray to God for strength when you find yourself feeling exhausted. Imagine how Jesus must have felt when he was tempted in the desert for 40 days. He had no food and was exhausted. He found his strength in prayer and trusting in God. I’m still amazed how he was able to persevere through not only this, but everything he endured on his mission to save us.

Prayer isn’t just about asking God for things. Pray for wisdom, and that the wisdom you attain through prayer may draw you closer to God. Prayer doesn’t guarantee an easy life, there will be challenges along the way, but if you make a conscious effort to keep your faith, you will be rewarded in the long run.

Have you tried meditating? I have heard that it can draw one closer to God. I am currently starting to look into meditation.

How about praying the Rosary? Praying the Rosary is a good way to get closer to Jesus.

Do you volunteer? Maybe you could get involved in a ministry at your parish. Helping others or being helping your parish with something could help, too.

I can relate to what u r going through. I used to feel that was some time back when I was also holding resentment against some people who were really close to me. My difficulty in relating well to my loved ones also prevented me from relating well with God…and I had a feeling that faith is quite meaningless. I saw people of other faiths and lesser faith doing so well in life which gave me the feeling my faith was not ssupreme or the truth. A couple of major failures brought me back on my knees and now I lean on God much more than before … I continuously see gods interventions around me and that makes me realise our God is indeed mighty. Join a real group or get involved with people who are active in faith. Their faith will rub off on you…

the groups at my parish are terrible. The youths meet up to basically drink alcohol and just “hang out”. As an introvert who hates alcohol, this seems like a huge no for me :frowning: I’m also terrible with interacting with new people alone, so I tend to stay away from them

This usually means that the Lord desires to increase our faith. The Doctors of the Church on prayer point out that God draws us to himself when he gives us consolation (“highs”), and then allows us to feel desolation (no “highs”) to see if we will pray without the consolation. He is still there for us and wants our faith to increase. Do you understand what I am saying? When we keep doing this, it is an act of faith without the “high”. That is how we mature and grow in faith. The reward is that we will go forward in His love, and have a deeper peace. He will reveal his love to you in a “feeling” way when He sees fit to do so. Trust Him!

Blessings on your journey to the Lord, the King of Kings!

Dorothy

His grace is available! Always!

You feel in yourself the thirst in others’ souls that they don’t feel.

Your vision for the Church members can include:

  • The woman in the last 21 verses of Proverbs who laughs at the future as she spins and provides rich food for her household members from abroad (not included in order to lecture housewives)

  • When the siege of Jerusalem (her “warfare”) came to an end the city people could resume their trading and could stop starving

  • As God’s adopted sons and daughters we become productive members of the family firm

  • The disciples who brought forward the boy with the unpromising bits of gifts, to help feed the 5,000 (of which the 12 baskets to feed the nations were the spin-off)

  • Trading with the talents by building up others’ spiritual gifts and thereby gaining our own crown which is a share in their crown when their lives become fruitful in God’s family business

  • Numerous overlapping and complementary lists of spiritual gifts in the Old and New Testaments. How they must all be honoured equally and none despised. May they appear in the Church more and more!

  • The master who comes back from the far country and wants to know whether we have fed our fellow servants on time (their own fruits are going to be tested by fire)

  • Interceding and supplicating which is the work of Christians which God is looking for (all I do, is mutter Our Fathers, and when inarticulate, just Glory Be’s)

  • The worship of God is to not stunt the growth of the widows and orphans

and can form part of the focus of your pleading with God. A vision for all those around you and especially not for you alone. He will surely not reject this desire as it catches on amongst our fellows.

I remember with sadness the “youth parties” like that.

My own relationship with God has become closer in the terrible shocks I have had in the last couple of weeks.

First, I want to affirm you for asking the question.

James 4:8 says when we draw near to God, he will draw near to us.

It sounds from your description that your current perception of God is as someone who provides you things when you want them (not unlike a human father). It is not at all unusual as a younger person who is beginning their faith journey to hold this view.

As you continue to grow in life, you can continue to grow in faith and practice. As our faith developes, we see God as someone deserving our worship, rather than as a provider of our desires (though he does provide). As this continues, we come to a recognition of his greatness and our not-so-greatness.

Generally, those we call saints are people who have more fully developed the perspective of God’s greatness and our inherent separation from him through our sinfulness.

Good luck with your journey.

That’s my problem, whenever I pray to him during times of desolation, I get really angry at him for every thing I could think of-female, having a bad father, my looks, being short, my financial problems, etc etc. And then I’ll pray when I want something. And then I realize what a horrible person I am. The cycle repeats. :frowning:

Like the above posters have said… Pray and help others.

When we are helping our neighbors, we are helping Jesus.

And although praying may be hard for you at the moment, you really have to just push through it and do it. I go through times where I don’t feel like praying, but after it is done I feel a lot better.
Be careful to increase your prayer time a little bit at a time. It’s like training for a marathon… you can’t just go out one day and run the whole thing without practice. Pray a little bit more each day.

Two things I recommend doing each day are trying to pray the rosary, and praying the Liturgy of the Hours. You can find it here: universalis.com/

Also never be afraid to ask people to pray for you. The more prayers in your corner the better.

I think many people come to this point in their life. It sounds like you want to move on to a more intimate relationship with God which is a good thing.

You mention that your prayers are answered in the little things, but not in the big things. This implies that many (perhaps most?) of your prayers are prayers of petition; prayers asking God to do certain things. To become more intimate with God we need to move beyond that stage in our relationship. If prayers of petition dominate your prayer life then look to add other types of prayer like prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of contrition and prayers of adoration. I would also encourage taking time in silence to listen to God. I know this is always a struggle for me; trying to quiet my mind and not think of superfluous things is nearly impossible most times, but we cannot converse with God if we do all the talking. :wink:

Really look at how you relate to God similar to how you relate to a close friend or family member. Just as close friendships are not defined by what we do for each other, neither is our relationship with God. St Bernard of Clairvaux tells us that there are four degrees of love:

[LIST]
*]The first is loving yourself for your own sake. (selfish love)
*]The second is loving God for your own sake. (dependence on God)
*]The third is loving God for God’s sake. (intimacy with God)
*]The fourth is loving yourself for God’s sake. (united to God’s love)
[/LIST]
If we apply these principles to other relationships, then we can often see how loving the other person for their own worth, independent of our own benefit, is what leads to intimacy. For most of us though I think it is more difficult to obtain those last two degrees of love with God. Part of it requires setting aside our own self doubts, hate of ourselves, and holding on to past hurts. We thirst for the love of God, but are often too afraid to go to Him out of fear of not being perfect or being rejected. God waits for us and will enfold us in his loving embrace if we simply allow him to.

Part of how we enter a more intimate relationship with him is through scripture. You cannot love someone who you don’t know. This is why reading the Bible and perhaps Lectio Divina are important. Spend time everyday reading about God so that you can better know Him. You also need to be able to cultivate a dislike of not just mortal sin, but also venial sins. If you are not already doing a nightly examination of conscience, this is a good habit to get into. Just spend time each night seeing what you did good and where you stumbled during the day. Offer an act of contrition for anything you have done wrong and offer prayers of thanksgiving for the grace that lead you to do right. Also pray to do better the next day.

It’s not always easy, I know I fail at the above more often than I succeed, but don’t count the times you fail so much as the times you do better. Some of it is simply practice. It took me a long time to let go of petty hurts and I still feel myself falling into those old habits, but I find I fall less often now (and for shorter amounts of time). Just keep telling yourself it’s a journey and pick yourself up when you fall and keep walking towards Him.

In our prayer time it is needed that we spend more time in praise, gratitude, and adoration of the Lord, and then personal intercessions. (the shortest part of all).

We all have challenges in our lives, and many of them are with those in our family, the workplace, etc.

The challenges are what helps us to grow closer to the Lord! And we can meet those challenges through adequate daily prayer and the sacraments given us by the Lord.

Try praying using infused contemplation, it is advanced but it can be good for your spirituality.

Thanks to those that responded. In reference to the advice given-

-reading about the faith weakens my faith. It’s usually the opposite. But I don’t know, I honestly tried. I even joined this forum for this purpose (for people to explain stuff to me) but all of the explanations are either people sugarcoating difficult verses (wives being submissive for example) or people being too harsh. I feel like I’m being forced into a box and I can’t be who I am. And then it angers me so much to the point I actually want to cry and insult God for creating me this way. Like I know we say he doesn’t make mistakes. But I genuinely believe I am one and hence I’m angry at him sometimes and then like I said, I would feel guilty. I’m not bipolar, I swear.

I guess I am a stubborn b**** at this point :blush:

-reading the bible is not that hard, besides certain portions that land me in point 1. Old testament is awfully boring though.

-i’m trying to pray more, too soon to say if it helps but fingers crossed.

-Meditating/any prayer that requires me to not think much always backfires. I always think about something else and then I completely forgot that I was praying and then continue thinking about anything and everything except prayer. Although this seems like a common problem so I’m not too upset about that.

I do not think God has anything to do with you getting an A on a test or tickets to a concert. I think the Catholic church’s teachings are supposed to be challenging they go against the mainstream. As for why your father has not gotten a job, that may have more to do with human free-will than God. Many people feel the closest to God during times of despair, that is when we are the most humble. I started by writing letters to God. Say a quick hail Mary whenever you remember. Do not overwhelm yourself with prayers. Pray earnestly. I cannot pray the rosary. I drift off easily. I have done in a few times in one sitting or I do with other people, it is easy. Do works of charity you will find yourself closer to God.

my father has a job. it’s just that his business is falling apart

I am sorry darling.

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