Why Praying Is Hard

It used to be easy for me when I believed that it did something useful. Then I wondered why an omniscient creator god needed to hear from me to guide his perfect plan. Then I wondered why his perfect plan included so much pain and suffering in the world. Then I learned statistics.


On any given day there will be a sizable portion of the population of which it can be said “it sucks to be you.” It’s hard to remember that when it’s my day to have a sucky life. These days are the ones that I used to pray about. It never did any good. Sometimes, drinking few fingers of Scotch and playing with my dogs makes it better. Some days there is nothing for it but a few aspirin and more sleep than normal.

In the end, no matter what your philosophical position is, none of us have it all figured out. Some days or weeks just suck, badly.
When that happens, I try to meditate, relax, remind myself that it will pass because it will pass. I’m not talking about first world problems or fears about imaginary things. I’m talking about real life that grabs me and shakes me and won’t let go till I somehow figure out how to solve the problem. Without a solution at hand it often enough feels like a good scotch and some tearful moments will fix things. Perhaps even an attempt to ignore them will do it. Sadly, nothing like that really works.

Instead of prayer I sit and talk with myself. Amazingly there is a sound thinking part of me willing to have the conversation. I complain and that other part of me tells me it’s just one of those days so buck up sunshine, till you do something nothing will change. It would be nice to have a skydaddy that would fix it all for me but there is none. Even when I pretended there was, it was me that did all the hard work.
If I can do this anyone can. I’m juggling 153 things at once and I just want to put some of them down. No such luck. I just have to soldier on. Writing this is not helping me do any of them but it is allowing me to have that internal conversation that I need. Do a few more things tonight, wake up, shower, do some more of them. Keep doing that till there is room to breathe or sleep. That is all I have. It’s the only plan I’ve got. The weight on my shoulders will not go away till I shed it myself. Praying would not fix it. In fact, praying would be no more effective than me writing this post.

That’s how this nihilist anti-theist does it.

How do you deal with shitty days?

  1. I attach myself to a morphine drip on bad days. Works like a charm. 🙂 No. But really, I’ve been trying meditation and the more I do it, the more I think it’s helping. Calming and clearing an impossibly busy mind is the hardest thing for me, and I’m finding meditation helps.

  2. I love this post, so real. I like your thoughts on prayers’ ineffectiveness in comparison to your blogging. However you are wrong! As you say you enjoy sitting down and talking with yourself, so truly blogging is a form of meditation, which I am sure you are aware of. 😉 As far as the laden agenda that needs to be attended to, hell blogging may not get the dishes done but attaching that smile and contentment from writing that nice long blog will surely make those dishes shine a little brighter.
    Sometimes when I catch myself in prayer I slap myself in the face with the same philosophy you mentioned, ‘why an omniscient creator god needs to hear from me to guide his perfect plan’. A hard truth.
    To answer your question, I deal with shitty days like you, I talk to myself and God, yes I’m spiritual ;-). I swear at him and cry and yell and scream and get it all out. Then I sit with a still mind and ask him, “what do you want me to do?” Unless I care at the moment I wont look for his answer, but venting sure fucking helps! This method of course is still being improved but I find myself in a total conscious state of mind for a good few hours after this technique, then, later on in the day I reflect on why that day became so shitty in a clearer, more realistic psychological state 🙂
    Thank you for this one MAL, I love to be reminded of how human you are after finding you so God-like incessantly. 😉

    ~slave bri

    • I am not a god, I am… that is all that I have.
      Some will say that we are all god. I don’t know how to do that and keep my sanity, how to do that and still understand the world. I’m happy that my words, my way of doing things is found useful.

    • Dear bri,
      By now you know me, at least a little. I am glad that you still think me human. It is all that I can be.

  3. I probably haven’t dealt with them too well…but I suppose I have managed some of them. Red wine, the moon and silence sometimes work. On other days, I have a fuck it attitude. I do what I can and that’s it, the rest just has to wait until I can get to it. And on a fuck it day, I’m okay with that. I try meditation, but that is harder than it seems…

    Either way my dear MAL…I do hope you’re shitty day gets better. Writing this post might not make things better. But remember there is always someone you can to talk to if need be. There is always a friend somewhere willing to listen. 🙂

    • I know that dear. Talking is good when it is me that I’m talking with. comfort from a friend always feels good but it is still me that has to do the work and put in the effort. It is comforting to know that there are those that would comfort me. In that I feel not alone. I hope that your weekend was better than mine.

      • I do agree that the work has to come from you..I guess comfort is the most a friend can offer, but sometimes, that can help ease some of the suffocating feeling.

        I do know you rather retreat to yourself and your thoughts alone and that is okay too. But, you are not alone Mr. MAL…my weekend was good. I had a fuck it attitude…But, tomorrow I might have to face what I brushed off this weekend sitting by the beach.

        • Then I hope (smiling now) that Monday is not too harsh on you. I want you to have a good life.

          • I’m glad you’re smiling now :). I hope it’s not too hard either, but if it is…I will try to smile through it. …I do believe you want me to have a good life…..I think you want a good life for everyone…it’s just how you’re built.

            Other’s want good for you too!

            • Thank you for that. I’m going to sleep on that thought because it is a good one.

  4. Well I don’t pray because it’s a bad day. But on bad days sometimes I try and just clear my mind and remember I’ve lived through worse. That actually helps.

    • Thank you for commenting. That is much of what I do.. my logical voice tells me such things.

      • Well being sort of female (I was told since I am lesbian I am only sort of female) my emotional side gets the best of me from time to time. Logic wins most times though.

        • Logic is the real thing. There is no need to be either male or female. There is only need to be.

  5. So far I have been very fortunate. I happen to have very few shitty days. When they come, I know they will not last. And I am trying to be a stoic or cynic. But one thing I sure do, is say oh shit!

  6. I Pretty much have to sleep off really bad days. I come home from work and just sleep. It’s just the best way. No matter how bad I can feel, I’ll almost always feel a little better the next day. Unless it’s loss related.

    • preacherontheweb
    • June 8th, 2015

    I deal witha S****y day by first praying (as a preacher that is expected of me) when that doesn’t work, which it usually does, I still have the 3 fingers of scotch to turn to should I need them (hasn’t happened yet even though I love scotch, damn!)
    As another blogger has said here. We who talk to God do so aloud, sometimes berating Him, sometimes cursing Him, but talk we do and always will.
    Your blogging is a form of meditation, instead of prayer perhaps, because you must have an outlet.

    Good one MAL

  7. It feels very good to hear that someone else also does the talking thing. I talk to myself especially when I am very angry or very upset. Helps me calm down a little bit before I run my mouth off and say things I can’t take back. One very shitty days – Marathon of light romance reads with breaks for necessities (and since I can work from home, I use them those days 🙂 )

    • I think most of us talk to ourselves. Its just that many think they’re talking to a god

  8. How? Move on. Can’t ever stop.

  9. Shitty days. Like you, I just push on and hope I don’t break. There are really only two options when things get tough: give up or keep going. It’s really all we have. That, and alcohol.

    • Thumbup
    • June 9th, 2015

    Do meth.

    • Scottie
    • June 10th, 2015

    for me is the two cats that by their own choice spend their time with me, they are with me know, they are with me when I sleep and they are with me when I cry. The soak up my love and my tears. They show me the way to return to being human. It is called love. Hugs

  10. Firstly, thank you for writing this. This world is full of too much bullshit and it is a breath of fresh air to hear someone be real. Also I love to find a fellow scotch drinker.

    Secondly, I know what you mean. I spent a large part of my life drowning my anxiety in escapism. It was okay. I lived. Back then, the prayer didn’t seem to do anything, so I didn’t really bother.

    I cannot prove to you that God exists. As a lover of science and logic, I still doubt it sometimes. But what I do know is that my life has grown rich and beautiful and painful and adventurous as I have grown to know this loving voice that speaks to me in the coldness of my human despair.

    This is my prayer for you, myatheistlife:

    “Lord, You are Good. You are Powerful and Present with us. I ask You to do something grand in the life of my blogger friend. Show them how much you love them, and that You have lain on the floor with them as they cried into the carpet, that You yearn to show them the beauty of Your Creation and of Your infinite, infinite love for these broken humans on this broken earth. Show them that nothing makes sense with you God, but that life with You is SO glorious and peaceful beyond understanding. In Jesus’ perfect name, amen.”

    May God continue to bless you on your journey for Truth, myatheistlife. Never stop searching. Never stop challenging what the world tells you. Truth is out there, and it is dark, violent, and hopeful all at the same time.

    Thanks for being real, and feel free to challenge and comment on my posts. We are all on this journey together. (This is where I would clink my glass of scotch, poured neat of course, with yours).

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