When it’s late at night and I have settled for the evening I start to pray. I have a one on one conversation with God. I don’t pray for a long time, but I tell God what my problems are and ask Him for things I need. It sounds super easy. But prayer became more complicated than that. I remember at one point it was hard to pray.
Sometimes when I prayed I had a few issues. When I talked to God, thoughts I didn’t want came into my head and it was hard to get past them. Imagine ending your prayer and then afterward you think that you just prayed to Satan. I had this happen a lot and I didn’t know how to overcome it.
I would pray and say Amen and then repeat it like several times because I didn’t believe I said it right. Once you say Amen, it’s like mailing the prayer to Jesus. He gets a nice letter and I go about my day, but not with OCD. I mean how many ways can you say Amen. There are A-Man and Ah-Men. You really can’t say it any other way, but I think I said it wrong so I would say it twelve more times. It’s like sending Jesus a bunch of stamps with no letters. I’m was sure He thought I was weird but He’s seen worse.
But saying Amen a thousand times isn’t the half of it. I can’t pray without thinking I had somehow sold my soul to the Devil. I had no assurance that that didn’t happen. I would go through and ask God for forgiveness for things I hadn’t actually done.
I never wanted to tell anyone these problems because I thought they would think I was crazy. I felt that way, so I stopped praying. If I didn’t pray I couldn’t sin or get God mad at me. I hated the fact that every time I prayed I was thinking of blasphemous things about God or horrible things about other people. None of these thoughts were in my character. It had gotten so bad that when I sang my favorite Christian or gospel songs I was having these thoughts. They had gotten so bad I stood in church ignoring the praise and worship to ask God to forgive me for something that wasn’t my fault.
These thoughts were not my normal thoughts, they were OCD. It took me a while to realize that. I’ve learned with OCD thoughts you have to call them what they are. If you don’t recognize what your OCD thoughts are, you will think of yourself as the worse person in the world. Can you imagine thinking that God must hate you or is sending you to hell because of what you think? It’s the worse feeling in the world and it’s scary.
Now when I pray, I know what thoughts are mine and which ones are OCD. I know that my thoughts are not evil or against God. I ignore the thoughts when they come into my head and draw my attention to something else. I keep praying, because stopping is just hiding behind fears. I pray for God to keep me in my right mind even when I’m not having OCD thoughts. I know that He can help me out of whatever trial I am facing.