There seems to be a way of thinking nowadays that thinks that we are to ask God for help by closing our eyes and speaking to God, either silently or out loud. Then ask God in our mind or with our voice for help. Some people may "pray" in this way for days, weeks, months, or many years, often with no affect.
I've gone to various churches for countlelss years. I've heard many sermons. The focus of each message seems to boil down to a few specific things. Although it is very subtly worded, it basically says, "In order to be saved, you have to believe some very specific things (the correct doctrine). God is a great and wonderful loving God. If you believe these things, and say this specific prayer, then You can go to heaven when you die. (and it just so happens that this "correct doctrine" so happens to be the same as "we" (the church) believe.
We all make mistakes. But if we fix out mistakes immediately it's almst as though we never made the mistake. This weekend we had gone camping on a friend's property. When we had finished camping and departed for home I left my camera at my frien's house. After we had arrived home my friend called and told me that I had left my camera at his house. He offered to drop if by my place after work on the next day. With that I began to think about how my camera would then be left in his car all day.
We just got back from camping this weekend. We have a friend who we've known from church for about 7 or 8 years. Last weekend he had made his 12 acres available to the church for a camping weekend. Previous to the weekend he had spend countless hours mowing fields (to be used for parking and camping) pruning back many trails, hauling tables and chairs from the church, setting up a volleyball court and other games. However, it turned out that there were other church events happening during this same weekend.
It seems that whenever I decide to develop a character trait in me that God brings a lot of circumstances into my life to test my resolve and to make it real in me. For instance, the latest principle is to do everything without grumbling and complaining . But how does one do that? So I have just been trying to refrain from grumbling but I still feel the grumblies within me .