I hope you always feel like praying, but here are five things to remember in the times when you would rather not pray.
- The Holy Spirit Helps (Rom. 8:26-27). While I wish I knew more about exactly how this happens I am content to know that it takes place. The Holy Spirit helps us to pray when we struggle with groanings that are too deep for words. We may bow our heads and believe we are on our own talking to the heavenly father, but the Bible says the Spirit aids us as we pray. He helps us, especially when we do not know what to say and he intercedes for us. The next time you do not feel like praying, remember that God’s Spirit is interceding for you, and he is even helping to form the words you cannot say perfectly.
- You are not alone (Psa. 39:2-3). There was a time when David did not open his mouth and say the good things that he should. His silence did not help him in his time of grief, but it intensified his grief. Even people in the Bible struggled with prayer and engaging in service to God on occasion. We need to see their struggle, but also that they persevered and did not give up.
- Borrow words from Scripture (Luke 11:1). When you feel stuck or find yourself saying the same things about the same things; pray the scriptures. Take a psalm, read it, then pray the words back to God. For example, take Psalm 23 and thank God for being your shepherd, for supplying your needs, and apply the words to your life specifically. This can be done with many of the psalms, adding variety to our prayers but also a spiritual depth that may have been absent before.
- Feelings are not sovereign (Psa. 42:5, 43:5). Our feelings are not the ultimate standard for what we should do or how we need to respond. Many times, we must act our way into a better way of feeling and not the other way around. Just because we do not feel like praying does not mean we do not need to pray.
- God needs to hear that too (Psa. 62:8, 142:2). When we do not feel like praying, we should tell God that too. When the Bible says we should pray about everything, that is exactly what it means (Phil. 4:6-7). When we are honest about our lack of desire in prayer God will revive our souls and renew our zeal to approach him. Do not let a lack of desire in prayer drive you from God but closer to him (Psa. 145:18)