I Struggle to feel God?

I am a 16 year old guy, and am discerning, but I have stumbled onto a problem which leads to a much bigger problem. I struggle to feel God. In a sense, I feel as if my prayers are just words being murmured to my conscience, because I feel no different after praying, whether it be for 5 minutes or 30. I struggle to meditate. It’s not that I fail to visualize things, it’s that I don’t feel anything - I only see them. And because of this all combined, I feel no sorrow when I repent of sins, yet I know I am sorry, because I make attempts not to sin, and get frustrated when I do sin, but then when I try to pour my heart out (outside of confession), I just don’t feel anything. I was last at confession about 2 weeks ago, and felt sorrowful then, and the next night I was at adoration (this was all on a retreat), but for the past days I have just not felt right. Should I go back to confession and/or adoration as soon as possible? Those 2 things are what I would say influence my faith life the most, but currently I just feel empty, like God isn’t there, when I know He is.

Any links/tips to help me meditate and better understand repentance maybe? I just fee angry and terrible about this all and want it to end but don’t know what to do.

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your time of need.

K here’s the thing about God. He’s a strong set of arms when you need him. You can feel that support most sometimes when you’re falling over. Sort of like a parent who reaches out to catch you when you trip or fall. But otherwise you don’t feel it when you’re standing. You don’t feel His arms around you then. He’s not a hugger. He’s a catcher. So when you’re upright in your faith. When you’re standing tall. When you’re doing all the praying in the world. All the adoring. And retreating. That you could possibly handle. Well God’s not a helicopter parent. He’s not nuzzling up against you each time. Because He wants to respect your space. He wants you to learn to stand on your own two feet in this.

I mean it’s sort of like a tree. A small tree sometimes needs those supports that you can tie it to so it doesn’t blow over too much in the wind. But when it gets big enough and strong enough to stand on its own. When its roots are deep enough down. Well then those supports get taken away. They’re not needed anymore. Because the support was only meant to get you to the point where you could put down your roots. From there it’s supposed to be up to you for a stretch.

So man, that’s not God abandoning you. That’s God trusting you. That’s Him showing His confidence in you. You’ve made it. You’re riding your own bike now. The training wheels are off.

So keep doing what you’ve been doing. It’s obviously working.

Peace Curts. Good luck man.


You are so wise beyond your years. I believe a great majority of Catholics have struggled at times with feeling a “closeness” to God. I am attaching a link to an article that discusses a book reflecting Mother Teresa’s personal letters: “Come Be My Light”


Even she describes feelings such as yours. Please continue your devotion to your Faith. God is always with us, even when we don’t think so.

God is like the stars, you can’t always see them, but you always know they are there.

“Feeling God” is not something we can achieve by ourselves. It is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, known as Knowledge. It can only be given by God.
To be able to receive the gifts of God, we must first realize, that they are given. They are given at sacraments, after prayers, etc. Once You realize it, You will soon be able to feel God’s presence. Do not try to force it. Do not try to “visualize”, especially God Himself - You know that this is impossible!

As you’ve stated, God is there; even some of the saints have struggled to “feel” Him and yet they kept going. Imagine the strength you will gain (that God is giving you through this, rather) and how much you can show God that you love Him by persisting through dryness, both spiritual and emotional. I’ve struggled with dryness at times myself and I call can say is that this hurts now but it can be a blessing if you persist through it. You may not feel anything but it is an act of the will to keep going and not just give up. I might recommend talking to a priest if your schedule allows you to. I’ll pray for you, hang in there!

Well, most Catholics might consider you in good company…since Mother Teresa felt the same way for fifty years. She wrote in her personal letters that she felt nothing when she prayed and didn’t have any experience of God:

“…even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness …I have no faith,” she wrote.
“When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. I am told God loves me … and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul…Such deep longing for God – and … repulsed – empty – no faith – no love – no zeal. (Saving) souls holds no attraction – Heaven means nothing…”

I think you get her drift.

So even the people that many in the world hold in highest esteem share your feelings.


Try just talking to God. Tell him your troubles, your gratitudes, your needs, your hopes…talk to him like he is your best friend (he is!). In addition, try to find something meaningful to do. This is a good time of year to work at a food bank. You will SEE and FEEL God in such a meaningful way through those interactions. Ladtly, spend some quiet time ar church. Look into Adoration time. I often feel God during those quiet times more than other more active times because one has to quiet our mind and body to allow God in. God bless you@

Many people on this forum have posted the exact same thing, many times…you are not alone. Stay strong, & God bless!

You are 16. Years old,and you sound like a perfectly normal 16. Year old to me,
You seem to have a problem with the word FAITH ,what it means , what does it feel like,
Why don’t you FEEL Something,
you try to use words ( Prayer ). To try to understand what this Word means,
Well, Faith is something I myself find at times difficult to explain ,
Faith isn’t something that goes up in Neon Lights, Faith is more like Breadcrumbs you find along Life’s path,God drops breadcrumbs along your life’s path to follow,
Small things happen in your life that confirms Gods existence ,
When this happends your heart feels uplifted , some don’t experience this feeling because they don’t have faith,or rather,they don’t look for these breadcrumbs along there path,
What I suggest is this, Don’t try so Hard,just concentrate on your education to better yourself financially , be Humble in all you do, be kind to your fellow man,
Follow the Comandments to the best of your ability, and Look not on your Sins but on the Faith of your Church,

I am a 20 year old guy and in the same boat.

Part of what helped me, even though I still struggle, is knowing that the only measure for what I am, what goodness is, and what God is is self-gift. God loves me and God sacrificed himself for me, yes, but ‘me’ isn’t me at all! Instead I am only as much as I give myself to others.

It kills me struggling to feel God. I have to remind myself I’m not in this to feel God though, I’m here to put my time and effort toward the good of others. If I seek God’s love for myself, I’ll find it, hopefully, but hopefully not enough to keep me from being uneasy and unfulfilled! I mean this:
I think part of what I was and still am going through is a mark of original sin: our purpose, our desire for fulfillment, and our desire for God were never meant to be selfish! I was trying to take something holy, my desire for God, and make it about myself, and the dichotomy there I think in part is what did and still does cause me pain. I should want God for my sake only inasmuch as I want God for God’s sake, and then, as much as I want God for others’ sakes. Yes, I need to love myself, but not with myself as the end goal. Well, same thing: I struggle to feel God, and I want to feel God, but ultimately it’s not about me. …Or it is about me, only as much as I’m about God and others.

Even with regard to sin, I tend to feel most sorrowful when my sin hurts me–I struggle to feel sorrowful for God’s sake. And what do I do for God or for others? I can think of alarmingly little.

Love of God in the end I think can only be given to me; I can’t do it myself. But the more I have, hopefully, the more I’ll be able to be sorrowful for God’s sake, and want God and love others for God’s sake.

The “feeling” of God’s closeness is like being on a mountaintop- exhilarating; majestic; breathtaking. Those moments are fleeting. It’s walking in the valleys and trudging up and down the mountain that take up most of our days.
When the Holy Spirit graces you with a Mountaintop experience, relish it; hold onto it. But mostly, cherish the memory of it during your travels in the valleys and ascents/descents. They will carry you through.
I once, 21 years ago, had the MOST delicious indwelling of the Holy Spirit during a pro-life Mass; He gifted me with His Presence after reception of Holy Communion. It brings me to tears just now, even thinking about it. But it was real, and I cherish it to this day because it helps me get through each day with the crosses I bear (we all have them; just different kinds). I KNOW that He lives; and He lives in me, if I allow Him to- and He’s there whenever I need Him.
Since that day, I’ve had more “dry” days than not. However, I now know (probably just a smidgeon of what’s really there) what’s waiting for me, if I remain in His love.
Peace to you!! :):thumbsup::hug1:

This is what I was told when I posted a similar thread awhile ago, I too have the same problem, I have never once ‘felt’ God, Im confident he has played a part in some events in my life, mainly keeping me out of major trouble, and I have learned from those things, but its depressing to see others receive so much feeling from God, I have seen people brought to tears over praying, they are definitely feeling God in a way I do not know.

The only time I ever felt God was when I was teetering on the brink of just trying to overcome my addictions. But even then it wasn’t so much a feeling as a vision. That’s when I was shown a mental image of a golden Trident. The weaponized version of the trinity. To use against the darkness in my life. To help me fight forwards with that.

It was a clear thing. It was a sent message.

But after? I spent a lot of time hiding from God. Afraid of Him. Because I wouldn’t always live up to my side of the bargain. So yeah. I never really felt Him after that.

Peace mike.


Join the club! :o

It’s not a fun place to be, but it is necessary for God to test/try our Faith from time to time so we can get to heaven. It is a sign of God’s love. The Bible says that “God chastises those He LOVES!” So, see, God does in fact love you a whole lot right now. :D. And this time of trial and testing is His proof of that love. Jesus went through the same thing “my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Hopefully that helps some. I will say a prayer for you. God bless you dear! :hug3:

I love Psalm 91 with the words…dwell in the shadow of the Most High."…sometimes God moves very close to us as He knows our needs…sometimes so close all we “see” is shadow, and our prayers seem to go no further than the ceiling…they need go no further, for He is so close we can’t “see”… Trust that He IS near, in faith, whether you " feel" him nor not, He is closer than you know…He knows your heart and need…trust Him.

It is a purgative process. The old man dies and the new man in Christ. Read the Dark Night of the Soul.

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