Dean and Faith: Praying
1x12 "Faith / 2x13 "House of the Holy" /
4x01 "Lazarus Rising" / 4x06 "Yellow Fever" /
4x18 "The Monster at the End of This Book" /
5x14 "My Bloody Valentine" / 5x16 "Dark Side of the Moon" /
6x03 "The Third Man" / 8x02 "What's up Tiger Mommy" /
8x16 "Remember the Titans" / 9x01 "I Think I'm Going to Like It Here"

Let’s talk about Dean and faith. Let’s talk about how he grew up being told that angels were watching over him and his brother and how he most probably stopped believing in angels, in good and in heaven when his mother died and along with her all normality, safety and the belief that "good things do happen".

Let’s talk about how Sam found a faith healer to save Dean from certain death and how Dean back then already didn’t think he deserved to be saved. Let’s talk about how he openly said to Roy that "he isn’t exactly a believer" and Roy just replied "You will be" and how in a way he was right. Let’s talk about Dean and Leyla and how they get to know each other in the first place: Because Sam tells Dean that maybe “it’s time to have a little faith”. Let’s talk about how guilty Dean feels when he realizes that Lelya won’t be saved by Roy and how he tells Leyla, “that he ain’t much of a praying type”, but that he "is going to pray for her" and she tells him "Well, there’s a miracle right there".

Let’s talk about how Sam has no problems believing in angels and gets really emotional when Dean tells him "that there is no such thing", that he "believes in reality", in what he can see and that he cannot believe, in angels or god or destiny, because they never crossed path with any of those things. Oh no, they hadn’t yet, but they would and one particular angel would end up their closest friend… Let’s talk about how in the very episode Sam wants to believe so bad that there is something bigger out there that could save him and he ends up being let down, that Dean for the first time starts taking into account that maybe there is something like “god’s will”.

Let’s talk about when Dean came back from hell and learnt that an angel - Castiel - had rescued him from hell, he would just say “get out of here, there’s no such thing” and Castiel was able to see right through Dean immediately knew that Dean’s problem was that "he has no faith" and that "he doesn’t think he deserves to be saved".

Let’s talk about how from that moment on and even though Dean continued to think that “angels are dicks”, that maybe Castiel sparked something within him, that has always been there, but has been buried: a tiny flame of faith.

let’s talk about how Dean starts praying. Not really believing in it, but doing it nonetheless and how his prayers are getting answered - by Cas - almost every single time. Let’s talk about how at first Dean was praying jokingly, how he didn’t truly ~mean it and how him saying "I’m not much of a praying type" turned into "I prayed to you Cas, every night".

Let’s talk about how he starts turning his face towards the sky and asking for help when he is at the end of his rope, despairing, crying. Opening up, making himself vulnerable, not liking it, because "to him it’s the same as begging", but doing it nonetheless. Let’s talk about how Joshua knew that Dean was losing faith, indicating that Dean did have faith all along, but was never okay with admiting it to himself, because it would be too painful to be let down.

So Dean continues praying, finds solace in it, a weird sort of relief and comfort. Let’s talk about how he prays to keep his brother save and how he prays, because he needs his best friend by his side. No matter whether in purgatory or on earth.

Let’s talk about all of this and more and then let’s talk about how Dean’s newfound faith doesn’t have anything to do with his outlook having changed and him suddenly believing in heaven or an absent god or in angels. No, he doesn’t believe in any of that, doesn’t have any faith in either of those things. No, the tiny bit of hope, the tiny bit of faith he carries within, close to his heart comes down to only one person: Castiel.