I recently read part of a blog post about prayer and OCD. It inspired me to write this post. I already had a lot of notes on prayer and prayer in regards to OCD, so I decided to take some of the things I've learned, add some stuff, and share it with you.
OCD affects me in regards to prayer in a couple of different ways.
1) The enemy has tried to make me feel like if I just say God or Jesus while praying, I could be talking to another god, etc. Of course I don't pray to other gods, but the enemy likes to make you question yourself. So, when praying, I began using more specific titles for God and Jesus. Many times, I have prayed using this "format":
Dear God in Heaven... ... ... In Jesus Christ, Your Son's name, I pray. Amen.
Only very recently have I begun feeling some freedom from it, which has caused me to enjoy prayer more and feel a little closer to Him.
*IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Just to be clear... praying Dear God in Heaven... ... In Jesus Christ, Your Son's name, I pray. Amen. is good! I'm not saying it's bad at all. Part of what was difficult was the enemy trying to make me doubt who I was talking to/about.
2) I often get ritualized in my prayers OCD-wise. Sometimes my prayers are also lacking in emotion. And, at times, I say prayers without consciously being aware of my words.
"... we have the privilege of talking to God through prayer, and yet most of us pray regularly without thinking about what we’re doing." - Francis Chan
"... we can actually become apathetic about speaking to God!" - Francis Chan
In a Bible study by Francis Chan, one of the questions asked the following in regards to my individual prayer life:
"... how would you like to see it change?"
Based on things I've learned (in a sermon, etc.), I know I want to:
1 - Spend more alone time with God and, also, take time to listen to Him.
2 - Talk from my heart rather than being so OCD-ritualistic about my prayers.
3 - Get on the floor more to pray.
Beth Moore points out the importance of prayer by showing some examples from the Bible of people praying:
"Abraham prayed ... Isaac prayed ... Jacob prayed ... Moses left Pharaoh and prayed ... So Moses prayed for the people ... ... So David prayed ... Elijah stepped forward and prayed ... Elisha prayed, 'O, Lord' ... After Jacob had prayed for his friends ... Hezekiah prayed to the Lord ... Daniel got down on his knees and prayed ... ... early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed ..."
"... The list could have gone on..."
"... James was tagged "camel knees" because he knelt and prayed so long that he developed thick calluses."
pray without ceasing, - 1 Thessalonians 5:17
The blog I read said something similar/same to part of the following. And, that is that I certainly am not an expert on prayer and I also don't know if there is a "right way" to pray. And, if there is one, I certainly don't know if I'm doing it. I still have a lot to learn. P.S. See disclaimer. :)
COOL STORY: I posted the above blog post earlier today (other than the "important side note" part, which I added after the following happened). So, just a bit ago, I decided to open my Bible. I opened to a page and on that one page in front of me were the following words:
"... and prayed before the God of heaven."
"LORD, the God of heaven..."
"Then I prayed to the God of heaven..."
(See Nehemiah 1:4-5 and 2:4 NIV)
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I work in the health field. I am not an expert in anything faith-related, nor do I work in a faith-related area. The things I write are things I've learned and/or things I believe. I learned them from sermons, Bible teacher(s), Bible study, life, and/or etc. I take things I've learned and see how I believe they could be applied to OCD based on my experiences, etc. with OCD. I am not saying to use any of the things on this blog as treatment. Maybe you'll find some things in my blog posts to help you on top of whatever treatment method(s) you have chosen/choose to use or not use for your OCD, but you do so at your own risk. I am not responsible for any of your choices, actions, decisions. I am not responsible for any of your results, nor your lack of results. I have read something similar or the same as this in the past from a Bible teacher: If anything I ever write doesn't line up with God's Word, please throw it out.
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