Written as a part of a Lent 2017 project.
This week I’ve been feeling empty. I haven’t found comfort in the Psalms (they are just words). I wasn’t inspired by the one Sunday of Lent I went to church (because it was Mothering Sunday and I was with my Mother). I didn’t live up to the Lord’s Prayer, to that collective promise of working against sin and evil in the world.
I’ve tried to fill the emptiness and retreated to tweeting, talking to guys and watching porn. And then I’m worried it’s leaving me more void and more disconnected from an identity I crave than before. That sense of losing interest and losing parts of myself has been this week’s white noise (consistently there but thankfully not all-encompassing).
Recognising what’s triggered this feeling helps (new job, the change of clocks). Talking about it helps (texting friends). Taking action helps (baking, reading). Prayer? Prayer exists. I promote its virtue when there’s global emergencies, when all we can do is pray and ask God to deliver us from evil and injustice. But I no longer see how praying for my situation transforms anything, whether I’m the one praying or someone else is.
I’ll still go through the routines. Reading a Psalm from my bedside Bible. Slowly saying The Lord’s Prayer before I come back from lunch. And now I’ll add in an Examen before bed. Is it all just out of a commitment to Lent, this blog and my niche Gay Christian Twitter brand?
Maybe I know the answer already, but I can’t reveal it to myself. So I’ll keep going for 17 more days til Easter Sunday, hoping this process will speak into my emptiness. Hoping, not praying.
How do you pray when it’s no longer your day job? After three and a half years working at Tearfund and Christian Aid, Joey is starting a new job at LGBT Organisation Stonewall. Joey blogs and tweets (@joeyknock) about faith, LGBTQ culture, masculinity, Disney, and Lorraine Kelly. Seaside walks in Southend make him happy.