4 Steps for When You’re Bored with Prayer
Want to know a secret? Sometimes I struggle with feeling like prayer is boring.
It almost seems blasphemous, and at the very least doesn’t feel like something a good Christian girl should say. I co-host a podcast about prayer, so prayer is obviously something I feel passionate about. But although I have seasons in my prayer life when talking with God is the most exciting thing I do on a given day, there are also the dry seasons when taking time for prayer isn’t top on my list of things I want to be doing. I think it’s really important to be honest about our struggles, which is why I love the Candidly Christian community so very much. Because being an amazing woman of God doesn’t mean you don’t have struggles. Likewise, struggling in areas of your life (even prayer!) absolutely doesn’t discount you from being a world-changing prayer warrior…and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
So the bad news is, most of us will struggle with being bored with prayer at some point in our lives, if not regularly. But the good news? There are several steps you can take to get out of your prayer rut and back to the powerful, vibrant prayer life we all want to have!
4 Steps for When You’re Bored with Prayer
Step 1: Admit It
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.James 5:16 (NIV)
The most powerful thing you can do when you realize prayer is feeling dry and boring is to admit it. When you acknowledge wrong thinking in any area of life, you rob the enemy of His power over you, and over that area of your life. Don’t be afraid to admit this struggle to God. How crazy is that – when you feel like prayer is boring, talk to God about it!
Confess the struggle, and ask God for help. This can be a short, to-the-point prayer, taking up all of five seconds. Prayer is nothing more and nothing less than a two-way communication between us and God. When you feel shame over your feelings about prayer, it can drive you away from the very relationship you’re longing to restore. When you invite God into this struggle – like any struggle – prepare yourself to see Him move!
Step 2: Ask Questions
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
This step can also be done prayerfully, either thinking through some questions or writing them down in a journal. Ask God to reveal the root of your feelings about prayer.
5 Things To Ask Yourself When You’re Bored with Prayer
Here are some possible questions to ask yourself:
- Do I have a belief issue, like thinking God is angry with me, or that my prayers won’t make a difference?
- Do I feel like I should be “doing” and not praying?
- Do I just not know where to start, or have I not found my prayer “voice”?
- Am I comparing myself to the prayer lives of others, or making assumptions about what prayer should look like, when really I need to discover ways of praying that suit my unique personality?
- Have I forgotten who God is and how powerful and magnificent He is? Have I lost sight of the privilege of communicating with the Almighty God?
You can ask yourself any or all of these, and you will most likely come up with others as you go. Keep a running list for the next time you get into a prayer rut to make it even easier to figure things out then.
Step 3: Embrace the boredom
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…”Psalm 46:10a (NIV)
Sometimes being bored with prayer has to do with our minds being so over-stimulated all the time that creating quiet, meditative space is virtually impossible. So maybe you need to train your brain and spirit to be still. This will take time and work, but instead of looking at boredom or your mind wandering as failure, embrace each feeling of boredom or each wandering thought as an opportunity to bring your focus back to God.
Timers are a great way to help work up to longer prayer time. Starting with as few as 30 seconds each day, set a timer and commit to praying for one person or issue during that time. After a few days, increase the timer to 1 minute, then 2. Every time you feel distracted, write down the distraction on a piece of paper and get back to prayer. You’ll be amazed first at how much prayer you can accomplish in just a minute or two, and second at how this kind of exercise can literally train your brain to pray for longer without becoming bored or distracted.
Step 4: Pray Outside the Box
Many times when we’re feeling bored with prayer it’s because we are stuck in a prayer rut. Maybe you pray over the same list, in the same chair, over and over again. Or maybe you’re a “shout out” prayer kind of person who just prays here and there when you have a need, but you haven’t taken time for longer, deeper prayer times. Or maybe you’re trying to pray like someone else, when really you need to pray like you!
6 Things To Do When You’re Bored with Prayer
Here are some ideas to try to shake up your prayer life (in a good way!):
- Pray outdoors while hiking, walking or biking.
- Pray on location – pray through your home, in your church, walk around the perimeter of your child’s school.
- Pray through art: while you’re painting, doodling, drawing, or playing an instrument, pray for people and issues that come to mind.
- Grab a prayer partner, or join a prayer group. There’s nothing like praying together to give your prayer life a boost!
- Sing along with worship music – singing praises to God is prayer!
- Create a prayer scrapbook with pictures of people you want to remember to pray for.
You can add your own ideas to the list; the possibilities are endless. The important thing is to remember that your prayer life is as unique as you are, so don’t be afraid to try praying in new ways.
Alana and I created a fun prayer quiz that can help you find out your unique prayer personality, and reports back to you with some great tips for praying like you…and nobody else!
What Do You Do When You’re Bored with Prayer?
So what about you? Do you struggle with feeling like prayer is boring? What are your tips for getting out of a prayer rut?