Have you ever not wanted to pray?
Maybe you have things to do, and you feel like you can’t stop to pray.
Perhaps you’d rather grab a few more minutes of sleep. (One of my biggest struggles.)
Or possibly you don’t think you have the right words to say. Or that you don’t deserve to speak to God, Most High.
I have struggled with all of these things. Sometimes I still do. In fact, I believe most Christians struggle to pray from time to time.
How to Pray When You Don’t Want to Pray
So how do you pray when you don’t want to pray? How do you regain your motivation for prayer?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but these are a few things that have helped me.
Remember that God Delights in You
Psalm 147:10-11 says,
He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes not pleasure in the legs of a man.
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy.
Do you really feel it? That God delights in you? That the Lord of all desires to spend time with you?
Listening to your prayers is not just something God checks off His to-do list every day. He longs that we run to him with our problems, our joys, and our questions.
You are not a inconvenience to God when you pray. He welcomes the conversation. He enjoys it.
If you’re still struggling with this concept, listen to what Matt Chandler has to say on the subject.
Read a Good Book on Prayer
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Last year I made it my mission to improve my prayer life. I still struggle at times, but I sure learned a lot!
One of the books that was instrumental in changing my prayer life was APraying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller.
I truly believe every Christian should read this book. It covers the theological aspects of prayer, and it also shares tons of practical tips and examples from the author’s own life.
A Praying Life is an easy read, too, so you don’t have to worry about being overwhelmed with big words and complicated subjects.
As Christians, we are to help each other when we’re struggling, and through reading a book on prayer you can learn more from a Christian who is farther along in his experience with prayer than you are.
Ask God for Help
I always tell me kids when they have a problem, they need to ask for help. And it’s always good to ask an expert in the subject.
God is an expert on prayer and an expert on having a relationship with people like you and me. And he’s an expert on you. And me. After all, he created us. He knows what makes us tick.
If you’re struggling in your prayer life, whether you’re angry with God, bored, overwhelmed, or any other issue, God understands. He wants to help you overcome whatever is standing in your way.
Ask him for help. You can be sure this is one prayer request God will answer with a yes! The process of transforming your prayer life may be slow, but God wants you to pray, and he wants you to delight in praying.How to pray when you don't want to pray.Click To Tweet
Just Do It
Some of you may have began reading this post hoping that I would give you the magic words that will get your prayer life back on track.
I cant’t do that.
There are no perfect words to pray. God gives us some good examples in the Bible, the Lord’s Prayer being a good one. And there are formulas, like ACTS, which kind of give you a framework if you’re stuck.
But the best way to pray is to just begin with what’s on your heart.
Are you worried about something? Pour out your heart.
Are you excited about something? Rejoice!
Are you feeling guilty for something? Confess.
And remember what Romans 8:26 (ESV) says.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
The Holy Spirit is interceding for you as you pray, even if your words don’t come out right. Even if you have no words, but only have tears, the Holy Spirit is getting your message to God.
The exact words you pray are not what’s important. The important thing is your desire to communicate and be close to your Heavenly Father. And the only way to get closer to someone is to take the time to to talk and listen.
So just pray. And keep praying. God will take care of the rest.