When I was an Orthodox Christian I prayed directly to god and cut out all the middle men. My prayers big and small were answered but many were not. My mom told me to pray and let it be or do something about it. Otherwise I had no control of outcome. I was still a very young child then and wasn't sure what she meant but I started to have doubts about the whole religious thing. No one answered my questions to my satisfaction. "Too young to understand "was not an answer to me and it was insulting. It just made me upset and find crafty ways to get my answers. I eavesdropped on adult conversations and got a huge education in the ways of adults that way.
When I was around 12 I met the "born-agains" I also became a born again Christian (later) since their offer seemed win/sin/win. I could never be sent to hell once born again was the way it was presented and having been through hell with my aunt this was all I needed to hear. I did this all behind my mom's back. I started taking a bus (bus driver turned out to be a huge baptist pervert who volunteered to drive a church bus. I never saw him go inside) to a church with my friends who were all just as messed up as me. You would think parents would be happy to hear that we were all going to church instead of getting into other things. If they only know what went on. No one asked our parents permission to take us there or other places. They just picked up street kids and took them to church. It seems so wrong when I think about it. I would flip out if someone did that to a child of mine without telling me. Pervy bus driver would entice us to join his church. It was an old converted school bus.
Most of our parents didn't know where we were and most of their parents didn't care. At first it was just for fun, kissing boys on the back of the bus or behind the church. Pervy bus driver never tried to stop it. He helped my sister and me a lot. He personally chauffeured us around town, bought us tickets to movies and other events. If we called and asked for fast food he would bring it right over. He never stayed and he never touched us. He drove me around town at midnight if I asked. I would sneak out and have him take me to my bf. I knew him for a few years and I knew how to manipulate him sweetly or by getting angry and bossing him around. I think he liked it that way. He wanted me to be bossy. I even had him pay for my best friend. This was all when I was around 12. I think he was in love with me. A few years later he did try to touch me when I was 15. I went to his house because he wanted to give me some money. Fortunately I had a friend with me and when he grabbed me (first time ever) I flipped out on him and pushed him away forcefully. First time he ever scared me and my friend as well. He gave me the money and said I was old enough to know this would not go on any longer. I stopped calling or taking his calls after that. I thought he was an answer to a prayer when I was a child and maybe he was. Does that mean god also works through perverts? It is said he works in mysterious ways.
At some point I got really interested in the whole born again thing and wanted to live the life. Changed churches and I started praying through Jesus. Apparently I was not supposed to be talking to the big guy (I had no clue. My mom didn't teach me that!), again, many of my prayers were answered by adding "in Jesus name" at the end. But this time, when they weren't, the reason I was given was. "God knew what was best for me and I must accept it". I wasn't really given a reason why they weren't when I was a child. Yet I started thinking god is jealous I am praying to Jesus. It was much easier praying directly to god.
Various other forms of christianity explored during this time (Pentecostal scared me as a younger child, met them before the born agains, btw) but my prayers were still being answered frequently and if they weren't I was told by various people they were
being answered by twisting reality. They wanted me to see things that weren't' there and if I didn't it must be my fault in some way... punishment for a bad deed or whatever (loving god parent was just withholding affection and comfort because I was being bad). When I started to question why my frivolous prayers were answered (some by those people doing things for me that I prayed for) but some of the important stuff was being ignored, I was told I lacked faith. Many nightmare hellish experiences during this time. "Demon attacks" that I was told I brought on. Didn't know to interpret it as fighting my own inner demons at the time.
Then I shifted to new age metaphysical stuff and stopped using the word god or even giving god any acknowledgment for ever existing. Arguing with christians and being generally angry. I prayed to my spirit guides and multiple gods of old (Viking and Greek) during this time. Got really into goddesses and ET gods who were really helpful it seemed. Life got way better and I was happy for awhile. I seemed to be getting all my prayers answered. My anger faded the more I explored this and Eastern religions and philosophies. I became sweeter and kinder while looking for inner peace. Inner peace was not my thing though but thanks to my sister I know how to achieve it if I want to. I hate to meditate by the way so I could not explore it as long as I could have. To me meditating would just be listening to music, binaural beats or staring at beautiful scenery out in nature and not clearing my mind. I like to let my thoughts and feelings flow. I enjoy the various images I see and my mind is never blank for long because something comes along and fills it. I could not be buddhist. I gave it a try for a very short time. Not me.
Lots of various other philosophies followed including atheistic (I don't consider myself an atheist since it is too rigid for my brain to accept). I had completely stopped being angry at god during this time as a lot of atheists seemed to be, so I started arguing with them too. Lots of times playing devil's advocate. hahah I was in an in-between state and at some point around this time I had a complete spiritual breakdown where I absolutely knew there was no personal god. I also stopped praying to spirit guides or anything else. I started using creative visualization and it worked as well as the prayers. If my car was/is acting strangely I will talk to it. "She" will "tell me" what she needs if I am paying attention. Sometimes I randomly say into the air, "if anyone is watching out for me this would be a good time to step in".
I sometimes ask my dead friends and relatives for advice and they answer me in creative ways.
Now if I want a specific outcome I try not to doubt it and do whatever I can to make it come to be. I am better able to differentiate things in my power and the things that are not. I don't pray for someone to live or get well. If it is important enough I do what I can to help them get well. If I know it is over and they are dying, I accept that is the natural cycle of life. If they get better it is their own will to live and not an intervening entity. This was the biggest revelation ever and one of the most freeing and scary. Still one of the hardest things to accept when you are in the midst of it.
I kind of believe that praying for others, without their desire for you to do so, is imposing your will on them and I learned that the hard way. I didn't want to hear that my wanting others to live, or do something I wanted them to do, then praying for it was being selfish on my part. Thank you to an ILI for that bit of info. If someone cares for me I would rather have their good vibes directed at me and not them pushing for me to change to fit their ideal. That kind of energy is actually oppressive. I can't breathe around those people who want me to be what they want me to be. Their prayers are like a pillow over my face, energetically speaking. I am not opposed to people who say they will pray for me when I know that they are only sending me good vibes and have no expectations for me.
Most people have said I was lucky. Lucky to have so many prayers and wishes come true over the years. They wondered how I could not believe god was there for me. Yes, great and amazing things have happened to me, right place, right time, situations and I can't help but feel I am blessed in many ways. I have walked away from accidents and robberies where others were not lucky. People give me things. Lots of things and as recently as last week I got a really nice fridge fully stocked with brand new unopened food when an elderly couple my brother worked for moved state. We also got a weight bench and free weights. Another neighbor recently moved a couple blocks away and gave me a treadmill she had paid a $1000 for, lots of expensive paintings, 3 chandeliers, other little but expensive things. She is also old and wanted to downsize without the hassle of selling stuff. In a couple of weeks I have been given $1000s of dollars worth of items even though I personally did nothing for them. Some of the stuff, like the fridge I have been planning to buy so now I have it in the garage where I have wanted it. I also wanted to redo my garage and make it more of a proper and comfortable gym. I had inherited gym equipment before and now with this I am motivated to do it. My friend and brother will do it for free. I didn't pray for this stuff but I did want it and I put the thoughts out there to the universe. A lot of it I will give to others to keep the flow going but some of it I will sell (the paintings).
I have been given cars, money, expensive clothes and even diamonds. You name it. I don't ask for these things either but in my mind I know when I want something bad enough that it will find a way. I am not bragging here because I am still shocked and awed at the generosity I have experience and I want to spread it around. I give to people and in part it is because I noticed (long ago) the more I give, the more that is given to me and not always material stuff. I am not that materialistic but I am grateful for what I have. Maybe it is some kind of cosmic karma to balance out all the bad. If I am kind to others most are kind to me. Maybe not even the person I am being kind to. They can be a complete jerk but someone else will make up for it.
There were many abusive people in the churches I tried out. They were a big part of why I walked away and have not looked back but I am very aware that my good or bad experiences with it are just that, mine. I know that there is not an abuser in every christian, just waiting to come out. Those people would be the same with or without religion. Many of them just flock to religion for redemption or hope like anyone else. I find all that in nature and the supernatural connections and experience of my own mind. I have talked to many ghosts over the years and none have told me that they are hanging with god. God doesn't even come up that I can recall. I guess I could ask but I think my family would have told me something so important. None of them talk about burning in hell so that is a good sign.
For those thinking it, what I talk to are not demons. Demons are just our own fear manifested. I meet them in dreams. They are quite easy to defeat in a lucid dream but if not lucid it can be scary. I always end up escaping them lucid or not. I wake up unnerved but usually feel a weight lifted as I go about my day. If I can interpret my dream I fine especially when it helps with real life problems. Those are my personal demons.
In conclusion many of my prayers have been answered as well but I could have prayed to a lamp with the same outcome if I believed it. Spirit guides and aliens were just as accommodating as god or jesus. It was all just me making things happen or not. I don't always know exactly what I did to get what I needed or wanted but subconsciously I made the choices that lead to many favorable outcomes. Of course in hindsight it is easier to interpret. When my "prayer" went unanswered it was because I was unable to influence the situation or I made the wrong choices.
Prayers for other people were limited to praying for their health and happiness and I still send warm vibes to people I care about. I don't call them prayers and it is mostly an energy not something consciously arranged into words. They say they can feel it. Sometimes out of nowhere I will just tell them how I feel about them even if I barely know them. I want some people to know how they are appreciated even if I don't make an effort to talk to them much. Some of those people can energetically affect my mood just by seeing their name or they show up at the right moment and I feel uplifted and want to give some back.
*I also am not above sending bad energy back to the sender by blocking it. I don't wish them any bad things. I just ask that their negativity be returned to them. All this stuff works if you believe it will. I have gotten my own negativity back when I had bad feelings toward some one. I usually know this is happening because I will stub my toe and it really hurts. I then give myself an attitude adjustment. I am always in a grumpy mood before I stub my toe. Snaps me right out of it after I scream.