I hope this post does not get lost in the shuffle, because as I read the responses my heart went out to the ones on this board who have been so hurt and feel lost.
I have been out of the Borg for 7 yrs now. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with nostalgia for the things I have forgotten(I never thought it would leave me so quickly!) and i still find myself humming some unidentifiable melody that I know must be a 'Kingdom' song from long ago(I remember the old green paperback sonngbook BEFORE the fuschia one!) Instead of all the anger all the time, now I feel some sadness, piqued by anger--but not so intense as when I first left, betrayed by faith.
I cannot use the name Jehovah after my search for MY truth led me to gnosticism and William Blake. And as far as YHWH, well in the 2nd chapt. of Genesis, this YHWH is the one who screwedit all up. In the first chapt. it talks about ELOHIM and gives a totally different and more believable account of creation. Elohim being a sexless plural who creates humans, male and female at the same time, and does not limit itself to just Adam and Eve, who does not condemn, but sets in motion human evolution. This concept I can accept much more readily than YHWH. I feel that YHWH is the god for a particular group of humans, who became the mediterranean/middle eastern peoples. And they are not my ethnical ancestors.
Isn't it funny that Jesus of the NT, who says he came to make God's name known to all, neveronce called his Father by the name of Jehovah? And the JW argument for that about the Jewish superstition is alot of rot since Jesus never had a problem rebelling against and teaching against with other Jewish practices he did not agree with. Something so important(atleast as stressed by JWs) would not have been compromised!
Other things that I found out in these last few years that even the Jews did not all see YHWH as one god, atleast not in the beginning. Not until they were exiled to Babylon and influenced by the new montheistic religion of Zorastrianism. In fact YHWH is a quadrinity. Yod He Vau He is male/female + male/female, a sort of Father/Mother + Son/Bride thing. which is the only connection I can find between the OT(YHWH) and NT(Trinity plus Bride of Christ) in Christianity today.
Even JWs, and most religions that I know, when pressed with fudge over the concept of 'god' being sexless or hermaphrodite. Using the maleness of authority but having the female aspects of the holy Spirit as a Comforter, Dove, Gift-giver, etc...
I look at it in more of a Taoistic way now. Male/Female are not opposites but the flip sides of the same coin. So when I am outside looking at the stars or the moon I generally feel more like I am communing with the feminine, while during the day-at sunrise and sunset I am in communion with a masculine energy. Kinda like a child in the night calls for 'Mommy' but when the day dawns we must all get up for work or school and do the 'Daddy' things of mundane life... Just my take on it.
The one thing I do want to say about all the people who say they either don't pray anymore or feel lost and don't know if they are talking to themselves or not....so what if you are talking to yourself? are we not all divine animals? did you ever think that the god you prayed to in the past EVER answer you? What does it matter if it was real or imagined? And what does it matter if you got it by the wrong name? I don't believe in the gods that christianity or most other religons tout. I do however believe in higher beings. I think they were at one time just like us, but have evolved and moved on. I think we can communicate with them. And I think they communicate with us in whatever way we are aboe to understand, have you ever heard of a Buddhist getting the Stigmata? But I do not believe hey want or require our worship or sacrifice. And I do not believe they can interfere with our evolution--like the Prime Directive in Star Trek. So if you EVER felt that cosmic connection when you prayed--what has changed? I still pray and I still get answers, maybe even more so now, since I am free of some of my delusions. I can't do this human thing on my own. It is too painful and hopeless. so whether the personages I speak to are outsideof me or inside of me--what does it matter if it contributes to my progress? same thing with ritual. Humans NEED ritual. Some more than others. Oneof the most spiritual experiences I ever had was the first time I actually took communion. I don't care about the metaphysical claims of the groups who perform the rite---to me I felt as if for the first time I was speaking the language of divine. and it felt good. There are currents of spirituality in every group--find where it feels good for you and stay there until you leave(LOL--didn't Jesus say that to the ones he sent out?)
In summary, if you NEED to pray, PRAY! Ask the one you are talking to who they are. Some names that I feel a connection with are Bel, Luce, Woden for the male energies and Anat, Tana, Erys, Hel for the female energies. I also pray to mainstream 'saints', Martin of Tours and Margaret of Castello being two of my favorites right now. Life can never stop existing, so the energies that those real people had as humans will still be in existence when they have finished their earthly incarnations and go on to bigger and better things! Speak to a friend or family member who has died---if they don't answer, perhaps they have already returned to start a new lesson in evolution.... The possibliities are as endless as the Life energies all around us. If sentient beings bother you, pray to an elemental. Heck talk to a tree or a rock! But if you are so inclined, do not let one very bad experience with religion obstruct your spiritual evolution!
The veil is thin at this time of the year. Now is the perfect time to start praying again if you have stopped because you did not know who was listening.