When You’re Bored With Prayer

| October 23, 2017

 

are you bored while praying

I find it hard to do the everyday prayers that are more or less the same.

I’ve made up prayer journals, but it’s a list and I find lists boring.

I could have written these words myself, but I didn’t. They came from a friend who had some questions about prayer. Mainly, how do you energize your prayer life when it just feels like something you’re supposed to mark off your to-do list?

I mulled over her question for days. (In fact, I still am mulling!) If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that prayer is not a formula. What works for me to make my prayer life feel energized and effective might feel like drudgery for others. What your pastor does to talk with God may work for exactly half of the congregation but not for you.

In fact, there are even seasons of my life where my prayer needs (and thus my prayer habits) seem to change. For a while, I was excited and energized about praying through lists. The more lists, the better.

I had a literal encyclopedia of all the nations of the world with prayer points for each. (The book is called Operation World, and I highly recommend it to those who want to become true global intercessors.)

But after months and months of prayer times that hardly varied from one day to another, I felt dry. Used up. In a word …

Bored.

I know that’s a big deal to admit. I’ve written half a dozen prayer guides. I blog about prayer. I host a weekly podcast about prayer.

I’m not supposed to feel bored when I talk to God.

But sometimes I do.

And even though I wish I could offer you a full-proof, step-by-step formula guaranteed to spice up and rejuvenate an otherwise lagging prayer life … I can’t.

It just doesn’t work that way.

6 Suggestions For When You Are Bored While Praying

These suggestions that follow are just that. Suggestions. Some might help you. Some might not. And what is completely unhelpful for you today may end up being exactly what you need to hear a year from now.

1.) Remember That Prayer is a Privilege

Imagine falling in love. Do you think a couple in the early stages of passion and romance look at an upcoming date with their loved one and feel drudgery, dread, or just that heavy sense of I wish I didn’t have to do this? Maybe the problem isn’t your prayer life per se. Maybe you just need to go back to square one: Jesus loves you. And he’s invited you into a relationship with him.

2.) Check Your Priorities

Is it possible that something is keeping you from your first love with your Creator? Have other pursuits claimed Christ’s spot as first in your heart?

3.) Ask Yourself: Are You Praying With Others?

Not everyone likes to pray in groups, but sometimes this can be a great way to throw some energy behind otherwise bored prayers. Call a friend, recruit a prayer partner, or show up to your church’s prayer times. The Christian walk was never meant to be carried out solo!

4.) Use Scripture to Springboard Your Prayers

I just heard a story about how giant of the faith George Mueller felt his prayer life was very mediocre (i.e. boring) until he started to meditate on Scripture before he jumped into prayer. Perhaps your prayers are dull because you’ve been spending all your time talking and not enough time listening.

5.) Are You Praying With Faith?

Let’s get real for a minute. Are you fully convinced that your prayers — not George Mueller’s, not your pastors, but yours — can change the world? If you’re not praying with faith, if you’re just praying because you feel it’s your Christian duty, it’s going to get dry and boring no matter how many other tricks of the trade you try to employ.

Remember that prayer encyclopedia I told you about? When my prayers got too rote, I started to ask myself each day, What if one person in this country will be saved just because I prayed? It’s hard to overestimate how much impact that simple question had on my prayer life. If my prayers weren’t going to do anything to save anybody, then why should I bother? But if my prayers could actually open the doors of heaven to people who otherwise wouldn’t be saved, it’s selfish of me to not pray.

6.) Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

Prayer is a journey. Some seasons of your life will look different than others. If you’re going through a spiritual dry spell, it’s possible that there’s no real reason for it other than that God wants to mature you. It’s easy to pray when you feel inspired. It takes perseverance to keep on praying even when you don’t feel like it.

And Last But Not Least… Never Give Up

Prayer takes practice and discipline and an awful lot of mental energy. There’s nothing easy about living a life of devoted prayer. So don’t give up, and remember that prayer is something we’re called to do whether we feel like it or not. It’s a privilege and an honor to be able to communicate with the King of the universe, who invites us into fellowship with Him.

Do You Have Any Prayer Tips?

Share them or your favorite from above in the comments below.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Jaime Hampton October 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I love your honesty, Alana! I definitely get to a place where I feel “bored” with prayer sometimes, too. The biggest boost for me is remembering. I go back to prayer journals from times when I know God answered prayer, and it re-ignites the urgency and excitement of prayer for me. I think the enemy would love for us to see prayer as a routine, to blind us from the truth that whether seen or unseen, felt or unfelt, prayer changes the fabric of reality and unleashes God’s power in ways our human minds can’t imagine!
    Jaime Hampton recently posted…Did we Miss the Boat? 5 things to keep in mind when leading a young child to ChristMy Profile

  • Reply Debbie Erickson October 23, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Alana, what a powerful message. I always believed that there was power in prayer, and while this may be true, the real power comes from the One who hears our prayers. I think that we all go through spells of feeling like prayer is something we must do, but I know that when I really get serious about praying, it seems like I’m being drawn in and my relationship and walk with God is closer. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Heather Hart October 24, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I have so been there!! I find switching it up and not praying just because it’s what I want to do at that time every day to be a “good Christian.” Prayer is a privilege and a way to talk to my loving Savior. It’s all about the way I go about it. Perspective is everything.

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