What if I'm not certain what I believe?

"Not certain what I believe?" Try asking it this way: "Not certain what I trust?" If we can substitute "trust" for "believe," the fog around faith might be pierced with some new light.

When in Doubt

Written by Renée Miller

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Preparation for Prayer
As you prepare to pray, quiet your soul and be aware that there is a presence of stillness and holiness in you and all around you as you listen to the ringing of the bell.

“#18—As now the sun shines down at noon”

When the truth of God seems false
When the truth of God seems false
Or faith a construct of the mind,
Still prayer can lead us to a place of trust
A place of trust that is not blind.

Text: Renée Miller
Music: "Conditor memoria, plainsong, Mode 2"
Hymnal 1982



Opening Sentence
Even when the emptiness of doubt disturbs your soul, the Holy One is nurturing within you a seed of faith.

“Faith is the substance of what we hope for—the evidence of what we cannot see.”
—Hebrews 11:1



A Psalm
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I have perplexity in my mind, and grief in my heart, day after day?...Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God; give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death.”
—Psalm 13: 1, 2a, 3

A Reading from the Bible
“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
—Matthew 7:7,8



Reflection followed by Silence
Now close your eyes for a time of brief reflection and meditation. Take a deep breath and quiet your soul.

Some things simply are mysteries. No amount of investigation or scholarship can provide verification for what is most life-giving to humans. Things like faith, hope and love cannot be proven by scientific or intellectual inquiry. They are true because we know them to be true in our heart even though there is no outward confirmation of their truth. When, however we are in a place of uneasiness or fear, the very things we intuitively know to be true seem suddenly ephemeral.

We begin to wonder if we have been wrong, if we have misjudged our intuition, if God really is nothing more than a hopeful image we’ve created for ourselves in our minds. But then, in the flash of an instant we feel a warmth in our soul, or view a sunrise that halts our breath, or experience love full and free and we know the Holy One has glanced our way. No external proof tells us—we know it in the deep of our being.

Ask yourself the question, “When has my doubt been turned to faith?”


Invitation to Prayer
Take some moments now to offer the concerns of your heart to heaven. Remember those who are in pain, those who are afraid, those who are alone, those whom you love, those who are dying, and those who are already in heaven, and pray for the needs of your own life.



“Gracious God, there are times when my ability to trust seems absent. My heart longs for truth and I even find within me a kernel of desire to believe, but my mind seems unable to grasp the truth and belief that I seek. Let your sure and true presence wash over me, shedding shafts of light where only darkness resides, and in those shafts of light may I see the outline of your face. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.”
—Renée Miller


May your soul rest confidently in heavens’ touch this day and may the Holy One hover over you with care and blessing.

The creation waits for you, waits for you to see
All the wondrous hidden truth, setting your soul free.
There are times when faith feels hard, when God seems unreal,
Yet within your deepest heart, heav’ns love you can feel.

Text: Renee Miller
Music: "Adoro devote, French church melody, Mode 5,"
Hymnal 1982


The music accompanying this worship session is "The Grandfather Mountain Suite: Wince," by Daniel Foster Johnston, © 2006. To learn more about Daniel Foster Johnston, or to purchase his CD From the Attic Window, please visit his Web site.

Copyright ©2007 Renée Miller