Morning prayer is one of my favorite times of the day. I love the peace and solitude it brings, and I often feel that it helps me get through the day.
But still, there are times in my prayer life when I’m just not feeling it. I fall asleep when I meant to stay awake. My prayer journal sits empty, and I walk away feeling more discouraged than encouraged.
One failed prayer attempt builds on another until I’m tempted to avoid it all together. I hit snooze and fall back asleep, telling myself, “Just for today.” But today turns into tomorrow, and slowly I drift away from my prayer time.
But when we drift, we don’t have to wait for our boat to happen upon some distant shore. There are ways — ways we can paddle back to that prayer life we love so much:
- Persevere. Whether we feel God in the seat next to us or find ourselves wondering if He even exists, we can keep showing up. There is great significance — I believe even more than we know — in our conscious effort to continually choose God, even when we can’t feel Him.
- Increase our prayer time. When it’s not going well, more prayer is the last thing we want to do. But pushing against the tide that is carrying us away from God is exactly what we need right now. It’s a powerful way to get headed back in the right direction.
- Ask God for help. Duh, right? But sometimes we need to be reminded — especially when prayer isn’t going so well — that we can tell God how much we are struggling. We can ask Him to give us the strength to persevere, and confide in Him about our weaknesses.
- Be assured God has not moved. Even though it can feel like God pulls away from us, especially when our prayer life feels blah, the truth is, we are the ones who are moving. It is natural for our awareness of God to ebb and flow throughout life. Understanding this can give us hope and help us feel better when the changes happen.
- Try something new. Like anything in life, when we do the same thing day after day, year after year, it can start to feel redundant. Sometimes it can be helpful to pray in a different place, try a different prayer routine, or take the 7-Day Prayer Challenge to put a new twist on the time we are spending with God. (Click here to take the free 7-Day Prayer Challenge.)
If you are struggling and feel like you have drifted in your prayer time, be assured that you’re not alone. Everyone, including the most spiritual person you know, goes through ups and downs. We all drift, but it’s time to start paddling: Click here to take the 7-Day Prayer Challenge for free.
Jenni DeWitt is a fun-loving contemplative who is discovering the value of rest and silent prayer in the midst of this rushed society. She is the author of two books — Forty Days and Why Won’t God Talk to Me? Surprising Ways He Already Is Jenni lives in Nebraska with her husband and two young sons. She loves to help people in their daily prayer time at Genuflected.com.