You need some concept of God that matters. For many of us, it is just a name we invoke on special occasions or holidays – but not a God present in our lives. We need God – a certain kind of God – a personal God or God who cares and who can feel our pain!
The Talmud tells us: “The fool says in his heart there is No God.” Notice where he says it! – In his heart because that is where the search for God begins – not in the brain but in the heart. Any one whose heart is unfeeling, such a person cannot find God. I believe the underlying issue is that you have to crack open the shell of yourself. It begins in your soul.
There has to be some sense that God cares, or to whom are you praying?
- An omnipotent force that does not care about you?
- Some force that works through nature?
I have to believe I’m heard.
I think the only place that you can feel God in your life is internally. I think that God whispers to people; and what is significant about a whisper is that you can ignore it – you don’t have to listen if you don’t want to. (Still small voice–Kol D’Ma Ma) Do you ever hear the still small voice?
You believe in God because this is how you cope in the world.
When we pray, it is not to ask God to make our lives easier. I remember my beloved teacher, Rabbi Maurice Davies of blessed memory, saying: to expect the world to treat you fairly because you are an honorable person is like expecting the bull not to charge you because you are a vegetarian! Our belief in God does not take away our problem but can help us surmount the problem.
We discover resources within ourselves that we never knew we had. Where did they come from? The answer for me is the verse in the 40th Chapter of Isaiah. “Those who trust in the Lord will have their strength renewed. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not grow weary.”