This is how I think about God.
"Aided by my intelligence, I make up my mind about him. I know how God must act, in order to be really God. He must, for instance, be wise (wise in a way I can understand). He must act in a way that makes sense and is best for me. He must enrich my life with happiness and perhaps also with suffering (we clever human beings also know something about the uses of suffering!). He must preserve our nation, for our nation knows it is called to a mission in the world, and that God and providence can only exist when this mission reaches fulfilment. [After all, our anthem of unholy worship bows at the shrine of FREEDOM!!!] God must do all kinds of things if he is to be acclaimed as the true God. God must turn stones into bread. God must be able to leap from the pinnacle of the Temple, if he is to be acclaimed as God. [God must heal me of cancer in order for him to be worthy of my bended knee. God must take away this itch so I can sleep at night before he is to be acclaimed as God. God must do what I want him to do for my benefit and then I will bow before him.] It would appear, therefore, that is is we ourselves who set the conditions which God must satisfy in order that we may proclaim him God. We are God's masters." (Helmut Thielicke in Between God and Satan.)
I ask God for things, and they don't happen. I am not yet healed of cancer. I can feel the cancer lump in my abdominal region. I ask God to take away the itch so I can sleep at night. I itch and don't sleep. I ask God to heal me of cancer. I still have cancer.
God is not answering my prayers and so why pray!
If only God would leap off the blasted pinnacle of the temple already!
And then what? And then what?
And there comes Satan. "Chuck, you have been asking for physical intervention in your life, and it's not happening. You still itch. Chuck, forget asking God to take away the itch. It's not going to happen. Chuck, God has abandoned you. You are getting worse, you still itch, you still have cancer. Chuck, forget praying cause God ain't answering your prayers."
You know what, Satan has at times almost convinced me he is speaking the truth.
And my prayers stumble.
Back to Satan's lines: "Chuck, you know God can do anything. You know he could easily just snap his fingers and the itch and cancer would be gone. He could have jumped off the pinnacle of the temple. He didn't and he is not going to take away your itch. He is not doing it. He does not care."
Those are the lines I deal with. God can, but isn't. God could jump off the stupid pinnacle already. He could turn the lousy stone into bread. Why don't you just do it already? What's the silly idea of having stones around when they could be loaves of soft, fresh delicious seven grain bread?
Are my prayers treating God like a magician? Are my prayers asking God to jump off the pinnacle of the temple? Are my prayers- "Lord, please take away this itch." "Lord, please heal me of cancer." "Lord, please help my sex to be good tonight." "Lord, please give me a good crop this year." "Lord, give me a good job." "Lord, give me, give me, give me, give me... Lord, just jump already!"- are my prayers basically reduced to trying to get God to make bread out of stones?
Do you get what I am trying to say?