“I Think I Have a Relationship with Christ, but I Can’t Feel Him! Am I Still a Christian?”

    I say that I have a relationship with Christ and I try so hard. I read the Bible and I pray all the time but I don’t feel anything. I have never had “a moment.” It makes me feel sad a lot. Does that mean that I am not a Christian? Or that I am not saved? What do I do?

    Girl, I know being a Christian is hard, especially when you’re surrounded by other Christians who talk about their personal experiences with God. It can be so discouraging when you pray and feel nothing, or listen but hear nothing. Well, there are a couple of things you should know.

    1. Each relationship with God is different. Everyone has their own personal relationship with Him. And He interacts in our lives in a way He feels is necessary. He may whisper to you, speak to you through a dream, answer a prayer, bring someone into your life, or He may remain silent so that your faith is strengthened.
    2. Your relationship with Christ is reflected and strengthened in how you live your life. How you act, speak, treat others and so on.

    When it comes to salvation, Christian denominations differ to some extent. All agree that God’s Grace saves, but some Christian denominations believe that the act of accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is enough to save you. Other denominations believe that salvation is an ongoing process that begins at baptism, so you have been saved, are being saved and will be saved.

    Anyway, here’s what I think you should do.

    1. Talk to your priest or pastor about salvation so you can get a better understanding of it.
    2. Understand that your relationship with Christ is expressed throughout your life. So go to church, take part in youth group, the sacraments, missions and anything else your church has to offer. This way you are learning more about being a Christian while surrounding yourself with like-minded people who can help you strengthen your relationship with Christ.
    3. Live according to scripture. So when reading your Bible, relate the lessons to your life, such as the way you treat others, act, give, love, marry, everything. Christ calls for you to mimic Him. And in doing so, you’ll understand Him more, and this will draw you closer to Him.
    4. Pray constantly. And I’m not just talking at meals and at bedtime. Constantly! Prayer can be an ongoing dialogue in your mind. It can occur whenever it feels right and necessary. When you’re stressed, talk to Him. While you’re in school, during a test, taking a walk, and so on. Christ is with you for as long as you ask Him to be there. And just knowing He’s with you always is an amazing comfort, isn’t it?
    5. See Christ in everything. I mean, everything! See Him in the sun, the rain, the snow, the flowers, babies, love, friendship, silence. He’s in everything. He created everything. And if you see Him in it all, you can make every second a “moment.”
    6. Don’t compare yourself to others! I know it’s hard. But if you focus on others and their relationships or “moments,” you’re not focusing on yours, and you’ll likely miss them.

    God bless and good luck!

    Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!

    Ask Olivia
    Got a question about boys, your besties or God? I'm here to help! As the girl all my friends always came to for advice, I've turned my girl talk, level-headedness and love of Jesus into a job -- one I love because I was a teen not long ago, too! Click into Ask Olivia in our Girl Talk Forums to ask me a question!


    1. The Bible is the Truth! Some churches have kinda twisted scripture so before you ask you pastor interpret it for yourself and read Romans 5:8-9 as long as you know that you are a sinner and jesus died for your sins becuase he loves YOU! Then he rose again proving he was christ, You have been saved! If you have excepted this and want God as part of your life You have become part of the kindom of God! Your in his family! But grace alone has saved you, good deeds only taint this amazing thing if you think it compares to what jesus did for you. I’m right there with ya girl sometimes I can’t feel him but then I go out side and look at everything, beautiful sunset, just how far the universe goes and all this crazy stuff no one can explain but I know god can! I hope this can help someone!

    2. I’ve had times when I do not feel very close to God at all, even when I am praying and reading my Bible every night. Other times, I feel really excited about my faith and close to God. It’s kind of like a rollercoaster: sometimes I’m close to God, and other times, I feel like no matter how hard I try (pray and read the Bible), God remains so distant. I’ve tried praying constantly, but that’s been hard for me too because I get so distracted. How can anyone pray constantly? As soon as I start a conversation or try to pay attention in class, I lose the prayer. When the Bible says to pray constantly, does it really mean non-stop constant prayer from the moment you wake up in the morning until the moment you fall asleep at night? I have found listening to Christian music has helped me feel closer to God when I’m feeling distant, but that still doesn’t always work.

      Lately, I’ve also been wondering about some different issues. For one, when someone dies (assuming he/she is a Christian), does he/she go immediately to Heaven? Or is there some sort of period where he/she is just dead in the ground? This came to mind when I was reading about Lazarus being raised from the dead. He was dead for three days (if I remember correctly), and when he was raised from the dead, the Bible says nothing about him talking about having gone to Heaven. Also, if he would have gone to Heaven anyway, why would Jesus have raised him from the dead instead of just letting him be in Heaven? Also, I think I remember reading in Revelations about how in the end times Jesus will raise all of the dead and His followers will be separated from the rest and carried up into Heaven (it’s been a while since I read this, so I’m not sure if I have that right or not). I know He will separate the Christians from the non-Christians, but if He is raising them from the dead, does that mean everyone who dies will just be dead in the ground until the end times? Also, the Bible talks about Judgment Day as if it’s one specific day when everyone will be judged. If this is the case, people would not be judged and go the Heaven/Hell as soon as they die, but rather would all wait for “the” Judgment Day at the end of the world. Then again, when people die, everyone always says “they’re in a better place” or “they’re in Heaven with God.” But if Jesus isn’t going to separate the good from the bad until the end times, this wouldn’t be true. This would also disprove the stories of the people who say they died and went to Heaven and then came back to life (like the boy from “Heaven is for Real”).

      Lastly, when can you tell whether or not you are a Christian? My dance director (also a Christian) once said if you’re wondering if you’re a Christian, that’s a sign that you are one. I struggle to believe this is the case because I wondered if I was a Christian when I was in middle school, and looking back I realize how far from being a Christian I was. I wondered if I was a Christian and I wanted to be a Christian, but I didn’t want to put any effort (though prayer, reading my Bible, or even attempting not to sin when I wanted to) into a relationship with God. Now, I pray and read my Bible, and I really do want to be a Christian, but I still struggle with things I don’t think a Christian should struggle with. I realize even the most devout Christians will continue to sin after being saved, but I always seem to find myself sinning in the exact same way. One day, I’ll sin and that night, I’ll ask for forgiveness, then a few days later, I’ll catch myself doing the same thing I had just asked for forgiveness for. It doesn’t feel right to just keep asking for forgiveness for the same thing, especially when it just becomes a routine.

      • Well, about where we go when we die: all of us (righteous and wicked) go to Sheol (Hebrew term) also known as Hades (the Greek term). It’s essentially the realm of dead (containing souls not bodies, because the body is back here on earth, buried/cremated, what have you; the body is lifeless and thoughtless in this dimension “under the sun”). If you read about the other Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31—not Martha ad Mary’s brother but the one who was poor, the naked man sitting at the rich man’s gates, with open sores, dog licking his wounds—you’ll notice that when that Lazarus died, the angels took him (not his body, but him) to Abraham’s side, the place of comfort in Sheol. On the other side was the rich man who had ignored Lazarus in life; the rich man banqueted/feasted with his rich friends and family, Lazarus sitting under the heat of the sun, outside the rich man’s gate, in discomfort, craving even just a crumb from the rich man’s table. And now it’s the flip situation: how the rich man treated people in life is how he’s getting treated as he waits for the resurrection (no mercy, no sense of comfort, not a drop a water for his tongue). And neither the rich man nor Lazarus (or Abraham) are in a resurrected state yet (as evidenced by the rich man begging Abraham to raise Lazarus from the dead to warn his family back on earth so they can avoid this place, to which Abraham replies, paraphrasing, if they didn’t pay attention to Moses, they won’t pay attention even if someone comes back from the dead). Judgment day is about where we’re going to spend eternity after being resurrected from death. It’s not as simple as “heaven and hell” in the bible.

        Unfortunately, the English translators did not feel it necessary to distinguish “Hades” (aka Sheol/soul grave/the realm of the dead) from “Gehenna” (Lake of Fire) so we have both terms translated as “hell” despite being different places. The reason I say “soul grave” instead of just “grave” is to avoid confusing you with the other Hebrew word that actually gets used for tombs and literal, earthly burial places (“qeburah”). “Sheol” is always used for the afterlife, where people go on a spiritual level upon death; “qeburah” is the place for the physical remains.

        To emphasize the main point between Hades/Sheol vs. Gehenna: Sheol/Hades is a place we go to straight after death; the other, Gehenna (lake of fire), you must be resurrected first before getting cast into it). In one sense, everyone goes to “hell”, the one known as Hades/Sheol, upon death; some are in comfort as they wait for their resurrection (for judgment day), others are not in comfort (and those in torment are on the other side of the chasm). Again, read Luke 16:19-31. But you were on the right track: the resurrections that await humanity are the biggest piece of the puzzle. Notice as well how “hell” (Hades) gets thrown into the lake of fire at/after judgment day, after all the dead come out of it (specifically Revelation 20:14, but read the whole chapter, good stuff). To participate in either (A) the “Kingdom of Heaven” (or “from” Heaven) during the millenial reign or (B) the New Earth/New Heavens, both require resurrection from the dead; it’s not where we go to upon death. You need a body to participate in either. It too gets explained in Revelation 20.

        About sinning, even the apostle Paul, who claimed to be a slave to God (and God’s law) in his heart and mind, said he did things he didn’t want to do. Don’t sweat it, just confess it to God. (Romans 7:15-20, 25; Hebrews 8:10; 1 John 2:1; 1 John 1:9). You know what, let me just quote them since they’re short:

        Romans 7:15-20 (NIV)

        15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.


        a. Romans 7:18 Or my flesh

        Romans 7:25 (NIV)

        25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

        So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[a] a slave to the law of sin.


        a. Romans 7:25 Or in the flesh

        Hebrews 8:10 (NIV)

        10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
            after that time, declares the Lord.
            I will put my laws in their minds
            and write them on their hearts.
            I will be their God,
            and they will be my people.

        1 John 2:1 (NIV)

        1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

        1 John 1:9 (NIV)

        9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

        And about praying: I do find myself in constant internal dialogue with God when I’m not focusing on writing/reading something. There’s always something I notice that needs praying for (for myself and others, the situation around me, something reminds me of a persecuted Christian in an underground church, or injustice in the courts, or people who are totally ignorant of God, I see a downcast-looking person and I pray for them, I pray for peace, I hand over any anxious thoughts to God so I may receive that peace, protection for my family to resist the temptations of the flesh and the devil, etc…there’s so much). Pray that he keeps your eyes opened to the many things that need intercession (and physical intervention, taking the word to them, lending a hand, things like that). Prayer isn’t just at a set-time: I think that’s the point the disciples were trying to make by saying pray incessantly/constantly.

        I hope this blesses you and anyone else reading over this. And you’re totally right: there are popular “beliefs”/”sayings” amongst Christians that aren’t actually supported in the bible. When that happens, stick to the bible and stick to what Jesus actually said!

    3. This is really good. 🙂 I’m in need of this advice now cause I’m kind of feeling the same way. Thanks for this and I’m aware that God let me stumble upon this post in a purpose and I think, that it is to let me know what shall I do. Being a Christian is really not that easy. We’ve got up’s and down’s, do’s and don’ts but above all that, our life is extraordinary and precious because we have Christ and we are aware that He is in control of everything.

    4. Alright, i have a question. So im 14 years old and ive never been baptised.. The last time our church did baptising, i didnt feel like it was time to do it.. But im getting older and everyone i know has been baptised and i want to do it because its one of the huge steps in Christianity, but it doesnt feel right, yet.. Idk what to do.. I have 2 older sisters who havent done it either. They are both in highschool, so ya.. What should i do? Should i wait till i feel its right? I just feel super behind since like everyone i know has done it…

      • I’m no expert, so take my advice with a grain of salt 🙂
        I say you take your time! learn more about the faith you want to be baptized into, read the bible, and some praying about it. Talk to the faith formation director or catechist or whatever you have at your church about your worries, they may have some advice!
        That being said, really think about why it doesn’t feel right. If it is just because you are nervous, I don’t think there will ever be a “right” time, you know what I mean? Just go for it! The rewards far outweigh the nerves 🙂
        You do you, girl! Good luck, I’ll pray for you!

        • I’d say that if it doesn’t feel like it’s time yet, it probably isn’t. Listen to God, and when it’s time for you to get baptized, you’ll know because He will tell you! And it’s okay if others are getting baptized and you’re not yet. God has a different plan for each of us, and that plan is perfect, so follow it and do what you believe God wants you to do! At some point, God will tell you when it’s time for you to be baptized. Lots of people in the Bible had to wait for God. His timing is perfect. 🙂

      • Hi Taylor,
        1. Do you believe in Jesus as your savior and that he died to forgive you?
        If so yay your already a Christian its like someone I know said, you don’t have to be baptized in order to be called a Christian. Once you’ve prayed the prayer of asking him to come into your life and forgiving you then your covered.
        2. If your still not ready to be baptized pray and talk to God about it. Just because other people are doing doesn’t mean you have to do it. Do it for yourself do it when your ready. 🙂
        – hoped that helped.

    5. wow this is exactly what am going through right now its like ofcourse i believe in go and jesus and in the bible but its like i see all these people who sees him or have been transformed by him and i often wonder what about me like when is my big moment but i know he is in my life because he is everywhere but alot of the times i dont feel him although i know he is there. But after reading all these comments am starting to see why.

    6. God’s relationship with you is not based on feeling. Love is an action, not an emotion. It would really suck if God loved us only on days that he felt like it. True love is a choice, and Love Himself chooses to love you every day and give you a fresh start. 🙂

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