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Can we all agree that sometimes praying is just hard? I mean it takes a lot of time and brain power–and I, for one, don’t have much of either one to spare.
And as it goes–the times during which you need prayer the most are probably the times you slip. Ugh. Please tell me I’m not the only one?!
I have this tendency to kind of fall off the praying grid when things pick up speed (either for the good or for the bad). I know it’s the enemy–that little devil (literally!)–he just loves nothing more than for me to not lean on Jesus when I’m weak or to not praise Him when things are going great. Since I realized the enemy’s tricks, I have come up with a simple list of ways to pray when I don’t feel like praying. I’ll share them here because over the past few months these simple cues have been changing my prayer life in big ways–maybe they’ll help you too!
- Sit in the quiet: You know what I do that is so annoying? I will sometimes go the entire day without praying–and then all of the sudden it’s time for bed, and I’m tired and kind of brain dead and I’m like, “Oh crap…” As we have established, my thoughts are mushy at this point so I sit in the quiet of my bedroom and wait–and no lie, sometimes I fall asleep but then other times a person or situation will pop into my head and I feel like that is one of the ways God talks to me
- Just say, “Jesus”: I use this throughout the day. When I’m stressed and I can feel my blood pressure going up–when my emotions start to get out of control. I just say, “Jesus.” It helps every single time.
- Read the Psalms: I think I have mentioned before that I have problems following through with big ideas. Well reading the Bible is one of those big ideas. Sometimes I struggle with knowing where to start because the Bible is huge–and usually when there is something big in front of me, I need to take a nap before tackling it. Haha…in other words, I quit before I even begin. Ugh! But now, when I don’t know where to begin I open my Bible up to somewhere in the middle and start reading whichever Psalms I land on and then that inspires me to keep on reading and praying.
- Write a letter to God: This is pretty much how I always pray because I find it easier to focus my mind on one topic because I have to focus on actually writing out the words. Just sit down, pick up your pen, and start…”dear God…” I have always kept a handwritten journal, but finally realizing, “Oh my gosh…this is a form of worship and prayer!! Uh Duh!” Life changing for sure!
- Make a gratitude list: Simply write down a list of all the things/people you are thankful for in your life–list every little thing–then thank God for each item. Every good thing does come from above, after all.
- Pray for somebody else: It’s not always easy to focus on my own stuff. When I’m stuck in that place, I tend to think about others that I can pray for and that helps me get started and eventually I’ll get around to praying for my stuff.
- Pray your life scripture: Do you have a go-to verse that is your jam? One that whenever you hear it you want to get up and dance like your favorite song came on the radio? I do!! Mine is Psalm 40:1-3. Over the past few months that verse has popped up during a Bible study and another time during a sermon at church–it’s like a secret language between me and God. So when I’m feeling stuck or short on time or *insert adjective here* I can turn to that scripture and it will pull me through the muck. Do you have a life verse? If not, I’d highly recommend it!
- Read over past journal entries: As I said before, I have always kept a handwritten journal and through those entries I have received many visions from the Lord. So when I’m looking for inspiration, those past writings are the first place I go.
- Ask someone else to pray for you: I have a hard time with this one. Like for real. I do not like burdening other people with my struggles. But when things get tough and you’re feeling really low–asking another person to pray with you or for you might just be the answer.
- Read and pray inspirational prayers from your Pinterest boards: We probably all have pinterest, right? Well you most likely have a board full of inspirational poetry, scriptures, song lyrics, and famous quotes? Me too. So I go to my board whenever I need a little extra encouragement. Check it out here….I’m constantly adding new pins!
It’s not that praying is always such a chore–that’s not what I’m saying at all! But there are times–stinky, stressful, and just blah times–when praying doesn’t come so easy. And really, I’m grateful for those times because they have pushed me to dig deeper and seek out the reason for my block. I think it’s all a part of God’s plan.