How Do I Connect to God?

July 28th, 2020 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 9 comments

Hi,

I was raised Christian and midway into my adult life, I questioned many things about my faith and reevaluated where I stand. I went through bouts of atheism and ended up more agnostic in my beliefs. I felt abandoned and always searching for God/Creator and what that really is.

I still enjoy the moral lessons in scripture and especially yours. But I still feel that sense of disconnection from God.

I would like your advice on what I should do to accomplish my quests to find the peace, connection, and love of God, while all the while, always questioning the existence and presence that I cannot see. I hope that you can offer advice.

Marcus

Dear Marcus,

By its very definition, having faith means trusting in something that cannot be proven beyond a doubt. Maimonides, a great sage who lived from 1138-1204 instructs us, not to believe that there is a God, but to “know that there is a God”.  Of course, that quest to know God is an ongoing one. We do not each day need to set out to “know” that we need to breathe oxygen or that our bodies require food. Other things that we “know” do need constant reinforcement such as knowing that we should be faithful (there’s that faith word again) to our spouses or that getting up with alacrity is better than lounging in bed.

You are clearly a thinking person and also one who feels deeply. It sounds like you have gone through a process and it is possible that you may even have confused accepting specific tenets of a specific religious path with being aware of a loving Father in heaven.

You now seek connection with God. Please know that being aware of a connection with God and of His love for you does lead to peace, but most of us feel that more at some times and less at others. The search for that connection does not always make us feel peaceful; it can actually be disturbing just as an emerging newborn is jostled, pushed and prodded by going through the birth canal.

Here are some practical tips we hope may help you.

1)        If you don’t feel the way you wished you felt, start acting the way you’d act if you already felt the way you’d like to feel.  You may need to read that sentence twice, but it boils down to talking and praying to God before you are sure He is there and listening.

2)        Try to designate a time and place for daily prayer when you won’t be disturbed or interrupted by the phone or by people. You certainly can and should talk to God “off the cuff” throughout the day, but a set time and place will serve to “prime the pump” so to speak.

3)        Spend twice as much time during your prayer session, in silent contemplation as you do speaking. So many times, we talk to God telling Him of our needs, desires and questions, but we run around the rest of the day, not allowing ourselves the quiet to listen for His responses to us.

4)        Get to know in person or listen to or read about people of deep and simple faith for an hour or two each week.  Reading about someone who trained for and ran a marathon or listening to them present a motivational speech makes it easier to follow in their footsteps. The same is true for faith. There are so many people and resources out there, some public figures and others less well-known. Find those who resonate with you.

5)        Start reading a book about how the world and the human body work. Understanding how complex and miraculous this universe and our human existence are evokes gratitude to God for each day we survive and each breath we take.

6)        You might want to go through the book of Psalms slowly, taking half a year or even a whole year to work your way through.

We are confident that 90 days or so into this regimen you will feel more secure and settled than you are today. Don’t expect a steady, consistent change. You will face challenges that make you take a step back and that seduce you to give up and quit your quest. Persistence, humility and courage will keep you on the right track.

Let us know how it goes,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

_______________________________________
Money. Is it physical or spiritual? 
You might be surprised
ON SALE NOW
Boost Your Income: 3 Spiritual Steps to Success

Boost Your Income Download
Tags: , ,

9 comments

James Blossey says:

From earliest childhood I have never lost faith in the existence of God. However, until I actually experienced Him I never felt certain about His existence and personal love.
Several years back, my troubles—business and personal—finally overwhelmed me. Ultimately one morning, during my prayer time at the end of my early morning run, I finally gave up. “God”, I said, “I’ve tried everything I can and nothing has worked, so I give up. I am no longer the CEO of my business, you are. It is in your hands, Lord.”
Immediately I felt the warmth of relief.
Literally, within a day or so things at work began to turn around and before the year was over my small firm was out of the red, profitable and growing; furthermore, my personal life was once again happy and productive.
Today, even in my rare darker moments, I never question the existence of God, because I have experienced Him; He is definitely there. All one has to do is give Him a chance.

Joyce R says:

Hi, Marcus. Rabbi Daniel’s advice is probably the best I’ve ever read. I wish you God’s best as you continue seeking him. To encourage you, remember that God is also seeking you and wants a loving and fulfilling relationship with you. That’s why He created us and that is what Is at the heart of every covenant He has made with humankind. May His lovingkindness surround you always.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Just to let you know, Joyce,
It wasn’t my advice. It was the combined advice of me and my wife, Susan who works, prays and writes just as much as I do on these Ask the Rabbi questions.
Cordially
RDL

Janet Huey says:

That is actually excellent advice for any part of the seeking path.
Thank you.

jc says:

This is the path. This is a man (Marcus) that the Lord will listen to and drop ‘crumbs’ to follow the path. It is precisely this ‘struggle’ that (I believe anyway), brings us closer to Him. His hand is outstretched but we must ‘struggle’ to reach out all the same and grab hold. I know little dear Marcus, but I do ‘know’ you are on the right path. As dear Rabbi Lapin alludes, He is there and He will not fail you. One day at a time —

Beautifully answered, and these steps are still relevant even to one who already have a relationship with God our maker.

Brenda P Metcalf says:

Thank you for the practical tips to Marcus. Personally, I appreciated the the suggestion to take time in the Psalms, as I was taught to read 5 Psalms each day, so that I would finish the psalms each month. After many years, I may know may of them by rote, but I have missed some of the very deep truths. Taking more time, I am able to pick up on something that I passed over many times. I also need the reminder to allow listening time in my prayer time. I need to keep realizing this is a two way conversation and the answers will come as I sit quietly, bathed in fellowship, and hear His voice instead of my own.

Gus says:

Thank you Rabbi for this is a big one for most people at one point are another in our lives.
Marcus,
Everyone struggles with this one at some point in our lives even Rabbi’s and ministers.
The one biggest help for me was when I started to understand who God is and what He wants for us.
To truly understand what a Good Loving Father is, is to understand who God our Father is.
Most people only see our biological fathers as family and never really get the chance to have the type of relationship with our biological fathers that God intended us to have. Many of us miss this connection as I did. When you accept God as your Father in Heaven and understand His love for you as we should all know is when you will understand and feel the Love in you that God wants all of us to have for one another. Its called LIFE.
Make no mistake Satan is there to take it from us if he can. Some of us must work harder than others to hold on to that light our Father has given us. But the work is well worth it just as Rabbi Lapin explained.

Mark Z says:

Dear Rabbi and Susan, I’m thankful for Marcus’s letter and your reply and especially for a loving and caring God. I can think of at lease 5 times that He hasrescued me from perils. The first one happened many years ago when I purchased my first rifle. It was a bolt action that would hold 21 bullets if you first put one in the chamber, so that’s what I did and the proceeded to load 20 more in the feed tube. When I started putting the spring loaded rod in (while looking straight down at it) the gun fired.

We would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment.

Comments will be posted after approval by our moderator, so you will not see your comment immediately.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.This is a required field!

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Search Questions

Yes! I would like to receive FREE weekly teachings

Sign Up Now!

Do you love reading our Ask the Rabbi column? Now, get 101 favorite questions and answers in one delightful book.

Dear Rabbi and Susan: 101 Real Life ‘Ask the Rabbi’ Questions

Learn More | Add to Cart

X