Have you ever been in a situation where you really want to pray but you are not just in the mood?
Better still, let me put it this way: you mostly find ‘prayer time’ boring and burdensome and you don’t know why?
There are several reasons behind your ‘I-don’t-feel-like-praying-feelings’ which may be unknown to you!
Some quick questions before we proceed to the reasons behind your feelings and the PRACTICAL STEPS to OVERCOMING these feelings!
My questions are: How do you see prayer? Why do you even think you should pray?What is your perception of the One you pray unto?
The truth is, the way you see any thing is the way you treat that thing and ‘thing’ here can be people, money, or even PRAYER (Which is our focus in this article!)
Let me tell you something…
If you see God as a distant king whose only reason for existence is to point out your errors, judge, and condemn/punish you when you make mistakes or fail to pray to Him, there’s no way you won’t get tired of praying because you’ve subconsciously forgotten the sacrifice made for you on the Cross of calvary and are trying to ‘work out’ your righteousness.
If also, you see prayer as a must-do religious activity or the only time when you tell God about your needs or even ask for forgiveness, you won’t be able to enjoy intimacy with Him and there’s no way you won’t find prayer uninteresting and tiring. This is because your reason for prayer isn’t God’s main purpose for prayer and your perception about who you pray to and what prayer is, is definitely wrong!
On the other hand…
if you see God as a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 8:24, 2 Corinthians 5:18), as a loving Father who truly cares about you, desires to have a close relationship with you, truly cares about you and is always ready to shower His love and blessings on you (1 peter 5:7, Jer 33:3), as the one who’s always ready to listen to you even when you make mistakes and wants rub minds with you (Isaiah 1:18), and certainly as the one who chastises, not condemns, with the intent of making you a better person and more like Him (Heb 12:6), there’s no way you won’t find prayer interesting and refreshing. Even in times when it seems like He’s far away and life’s situation seems dark because He—the Light—seems absent, you’d be rest assured that He’s with you due to the trust you have built from having a relationship and intimacy with Him.
“What do you mean?”, you might be tempted to ask…
The point I’m trying to elucidate is that for you to have a stable prayer life, your perception of what prayer is and who God is, has to change! You should also know that God isn’t an Atm even though He has true riches in abundance and He’s always ready to bless, and that prayer isn’t only the time you withdraw from God’s account!
Below are some major reasons you might not feel like praying:
- You have the feeling of condemnation which may be as a result of ‘unconfessed’ sins/mistakes or even a lack of belief in God’s mercy after the confession of those sins or mistakes.
- You haven’t seen manifestations to the last prayer(s) you offered up unto God.
- You are angry or seething (which might be unknown to you) at God or people due to some things that happened to you or someone close to you which you aren’t satisfied with.
- Your unrealistic expectations haven’t been met. You might be praying just to see an angel, Jesus, or any other ‘unusual miracle’ and once these things don’t occur, you get tired of seeking God’s face. You might even not feel like praying because you decide to pray for 3 hours when you haven’t consistently prayed for 30 minutes and as a result, prayer gets burdensome to you.
- You think that you have to ‘feel like’. (If you are the type that always prays when you feel like, you’ll never cultivate a healthy relationship with God because God isn’t ‘Omnifeelings’, He’s Omnipresent! He would always be with you but you may not always feel His presence.)
- You constantly have mood swings which might result from the fact that you haven’t attended to your physical/mental health or even some situations in your life.
- You don’t know what to say or how to pray.
- You aren’t convinced about why you should pray or you don’t just see a need to pray maybe because people (your parents mostly) pray for you or you don’t have any problem or need to pray about.
- You depend on your strength, wisdom, and power to pray.
- You are busy with other activities in life, which aren’t bad in the real sense, and as a result of this find it hard to create time to talk to God. Maybe you are like Martha in the Bible (Luke 10:40).
There are many reasons (other than the ones which we’ve stated above) that make prayer uninteresting to you. You need to find out the reason you don’t feel like praying by studying yourself, asking yourself a series of questions, and most importantly praying to God to help you in your walk with Him and He should open your eyes to the BENEFITS that comes from having a relationship with Him.
What do you do when you don’t feel like praying?
Here are some practical things to do when you don’t feel like praying:
1. If you don’t know what to say or how to start, just praise. Thank God for your life, your friend’s life, the air you breathe, the food you eat, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Practice thanksgiving and listening prayers_ Shift the focus away from you or your needs!
2. If you don’t feel like praying; Ask yourself ‘why’? You might not feel like praying because you haven’t attended to some underlying needs, fear,s or emotions_Trace your emotions by writing on a paper or asking yourself a series of questions; He who seeks will find (Matthew 7:7). Don’t ignore/subdue your emotions. Instead, tell God exactly how you feel. If you don’t present your weakness to God, His power won’t be made manifest (2 Corinthians 9:12).
3. In cases where you don’t know what to pray for, depend on the Holy Spirit for utterance (Romans 8:26) and thank God in understanding. You can also take the focus away from yourself. Pray for other people, thank God for their lives. Intercede!
4. Start with worship/spiritual songs. You could listen to worship songs to charge your spirit.
5. If you are hurt by anybody, forgive the person by praying for the person. (Mark 11:25) and confront them if you can. Don’t keep hurt in your heart, they prevent you from seeing the opportunities in your environment and what God is doing.
6. If you feel condemned after confessing your sins or owning up to your mistakes, tell God you feel condemned and declare your righteousness in Christ Jesus.
7. When praying, your focus shouldn’t be to have encounters with God, your focus is to seek God truly and worship Him for who He is and what He has done, with an open heart.
8. Don’t depend on your feelings: We walk by faith not by feelings!!! The Bible says we should pray at ALL times (Ephesians 6:18). It didn’t say we should pray when we feel like! Remember, that we walk by faith and not by sight (which maybe feelings). Pray when you feel like or not. Faith > feelings
9. Start ‘small’ but don’t remain ‘small :It’s not actually about having a long prayer duration, even though spending time with God is very important, it’s about how open you are and how consistent you are in prayer. It’s better to start with 20 mins and be consistent and fully active in the place of prayer than praying for 2 hrs but not being consistent and active. When you pray consistently for a certain duration, there is a possibility for growth through the help of the Holy Spirit.
10. Observe natural laws:There’s no way you’d stay late till like 2 inge watching a movie or playing games and feel very strong to pray very early in the morning. Know the time you want to fellowship with God and work towards it. You shouldn’t forget also to take care of your mental and physical health by eating healthy, exercising, meditation,n,g, and resting when needed.
11. Depend on God’s power and strength when praying. Don’t depend on your willpower or physical strength to pray. There are many unseen forces that fight against your prayer life! (Ephesians 6:11-12). So, acknowledge and depend on God only and do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).
12. Be connected and accountable to a church and praying partners/friends. You can’t grow alone! You need godly people and mentors!
13. Remove all distractions. Your phone shouldn’t be with you while praying!Give God your full attention, He deserves it!
14. Study the Word of God more. Study the Word of God thoroughly in order to really know who He is, know His will for you, and pray His will for your life (which is His word) so you don’t pray amiss. The more you study His word, the more you become more like Him, and the more you know His thoughts concerning you!
“You will never pray effectively until you study Scripture and listen to God. The more you know the Bible, the more effective your prayers will be.”Pastor Rick Warren
There are countless benefits that come with having a relationship with God. You shouldn’t miss out on any! Having a relationship with God doesn’t come by wishful thinking, it comes by a conscious effort and the help of the Spirit of God.
Let me also remind you that you won’t always feel like praying and you won’t always have time. You have to go the ‘extra mile’ to seek the One you love and you’ll find Him!
When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else (Jeremiah 29:13, MSB)
Find Him, please…
You should also know that God isn’t an Atm even though He has true riches in abundance and He’s always ready to bless, and that prayer isn’t only the time you withdraw from God’s account!
The bottom line is: when you don’t feel like praying, don’t condemn yourself. Be open to God and just talk. Your words don’t have to be perfect, God is not an English teacher; He’s a heart checker.
“Don’t worry about how ‘bad’ you’ve prayed but worry that you didn’t pray at all.” Dr. Tony EvansDr. Tony Evans
One quick fact before I drop my pen: Of all the relationships in your life , it’s only your relationship with God that gives life the most and would last forever!
You should be ready to invest in this relationship, with rapture!
So, tell me: What deliberate effort are you going to take today to cultivate your relationship with God?
Don’t forget to drop your thoughts, lessons, questions in the comment section.
If you still need more help/clarity, feel free to send an email to me at @[email protected], I can’t wait to hear from you and be of help in the little way that I can
See you soon!
Your special friend, wunmi
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We can’t wait to have you in our midst!