When I make the "Sign of the Cross" before praying, I feel so blessed 'opening' and 'connecting' myself to God and all those in Heaven. It is very uplifting. However, when I make the "Sign of the Cross" finishing the prayer, I feel I'm closing myself off, away from God, until I pray, again. It gives me a feeling of disconnect! Please advise as to how to feel 'connected', even when closing with the "Sign of the Cross."
Thank you and God Bless.
The Bible says nothing about making a sign of the cross before or after prayer. It is simply the innovation of the Catholic church. It has no biblical basis.
Notice that throughout your note your entire emphasis is on your feelings. Should a person be happy (which is the meaning of the word "bless") to have an opportunity to talk with God? Absolutely! But God says He is with a Christian at all times -- not just when a Christian prays. "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him" (I John 4:15-16). The idea of "abide" means that the person has a close relationship with the one they are abiding with. When a Christian loves God and stands up for (confesses) Christ he has a close relationship with God and God has a close relationship with him. It is not a momentary thing. The relationship becomes a part of the Christian's life.
How do you get a close relationship with God? "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6). It is what you do, not what you feel that is important. When you do the commands of God, the feelings follow along. But feelings alone will not connect you to God.
Thank you so very much for your answer. Now when I read my question it seems I was forgetting that because of my love and dedication to and for God, He lives in me, always! I compare it to, say, my husband, of course, lives with me in our house. There isn't anything I can do to make it feel like He isn't there!