I recently started praying for faith. I know that seems random and out of the blue so I guess I'll backtrack a bit. Somewhere along the way, in the last few years of my life, I lost my faith. It was a gradual process - it didn't happen overnight. When I was 17, I was convinced that my purpose in life was to be a pastor so that I could repay the great debt that I owed to God. I wanted to use my life to thank Him for saving me from the depression that haunted me since childhood. I even attended a Christian college to prepare for my calling to ministry. I loved it there. I was surrounded by people who shared my beliefs and we encouraged each other. It was one of the best times of my life.
When I was 19, I had my doubts. I had long since left the Christian college (out of finances and a new calling to literature) and the church (out of laziness). I would spend countless hours sitting with my then best friend Fellow Seeker, discussing all the ways in which God had disappointed us. We believed in God, but we were disturbed by what we perceived as His misogyny, homophobia and general negligence regarding the human race. Soon Veteran Seeker joined our ranks. We were a formidable group who shared not just friendship and love, but ideals, philosophies and... if not dreams for the future, at least dreams of escaping the past. The old Christian ways were dead - we would have to revise them, modernize them, bring them into the 21st century.
When I was 20, tragedy struck my life in such a forceful way that I fell to my knees and prayed like I hadn't in years, prayers born from desperation and terror. I went back to church, I repented my evil ways if only God would save us from this. He did not.
Throughout my early 20s I became angrier and angrier at God. I vacillated between feeling that He did not exist to thinking that He did exist but was kind of a jerk who was out to get me. I still vacillate to this day.
Though today something else creeps in - desire, longing, wanting to reclaim some of my past, but on my own terms. I go to a church or temple, I see people praying, I see their humility, and I think... If I could get that back, would I be happy? But my faith is so dead that I cannot even pretend to believe. I am so utterly convinced that God is a concept humanity invented to make ourselves feel better. I don't want to believe that, but I do.
I decided to start praying again to ask for many things: safety for friends and family, peace in my mind, strength... and faith. I figure it can't hurt to ask for it. If there is a God, and if my prayers are heard, then hope for regaining my faith might not be lost.