Everyone’s been there, and you and I aren’t an exception to the rule. Sometimes we get stuck in our prayer lives. They won’t move, won’t budge. They seem static, dispassionate, and plain stale. Well, I have a few simple suggestions that will help you refresh your prayer life when you’re stuck.
- Go with it. Don’t look at a season like it’s the end, because it’s not. Look at it like an opportunity for your prayer life, not an opposition to it.
- Change it up. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether routine is a friend or a foe. Often, however, it’s clearly the latter, weighing you down in the perfunctory. Change it up to get unstuck! Change the room you pray in, the time of day, or even the posture that you use.
- Develop an active prayer life. You know what Jesus said: “Pray in your closet.” But the context is privacy, not inactivity; He never said you couldn’t clean while you were in there! Try an active prayer life. Walk, ride a bike, cut the grass, wash the car while praying. As long as your prayers are meaningful and undistracted by what you’re doing, do something!
- “Whistle while you work.” If you’re praying in silence, add worship music to the background. Why not? Martin Luther said, “The Devil does not stay where music is.” So play worshipful, God-honoring music to whet your prayer palate and freshen the environment.
- Longhand prayers. If you keep a prayer journal, and a list of intercession requests etc, it’ll keep your mind focused on what you’re saying to the Lord. It also gives you a record to evaluate as answers come later. Want a good example? Read Augustine’s Confessions. Fantastic and helpful!
- Seek a friend. If you’re struggling with private prayer, switch it up and ask a friend to occasionally pray with you. Corporate prayer can help to break your stale mold.
- Don’t quit. This statement has been attributed to Chesterton: “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.” That is, even if you’re not going to get it right tomorrow, do it anyway: you’re better off doing it poorly than not doing it at all.
In the end, prayer is simply too important to ignore and shove off as “not working.” It may not work the way that you’re doing it (I know I’ve been there!), but adopting 1 or more of the above suggestions will get you unstuck!