When Your Prayer Life Has Stalled 

 In Preaching & Teaching

Perhaps there is nothing more discouraging than an engine that just won’t start.  Often it can be the result of mechanical malfunction, operator error or inactive usage.  The more you have turned the key, hit the prime button or pulled the cord, nothing seems to happen.  You don’t know much about engines, but you do know if you can just get it started, that it may produce enough power to keep running.

Many of us experience times where we feel like our prayer life has stalled.  We can’t seem to engage or reengage.  Nothing seems to work.  I, like many of you, go through these seasons myself.  Here are some “hacks” that I have learned to restart a stalled prayer season.

Read the Psalms out loud.  Psalms is the only book of the Bible where the majority of the dialog is TO God and not simply FROM God.  Psalms not only teach us how to worship God, but also to articulate to God the breath of our various emotions.  Reading Psalms out loud can often give us the ability to express things what we can’t find the words to express for ourselves.

Write your prayers out by hand. Writing out our prayers requires focus and deliberate intention.  When we write things out, we can often be more intentional and reflective.  Many of us are more comfortable writing than speaking.  These prayers can be kept as a journal or simply discarded other they are prayed.

Write a list of things of which you are thankful.  I have never done this activity and not come away overwhelmingly encouraged.  Once you get going, it is amazing to see how much God has done in our lives.

Create an ongoing prayer list as you pray. Many times, it is easier to write out the things that we want to bring before the Lord than it is to say them. Just write them out, say them out loud, and continue to go back to them.

Pray for others by sending a quick text.  Write: “Hey I am going to spend some time in prayer this morning.  Is there any way that I can pray for your today?”  You would be surprised how timely that text will be to someone.  God may choose to use your prayers in a significant way in the life of others in a critical moment.

Pick a day and pray through the groups/networks you care about or in which you participate. For Example:

  1. Monday-Family
  2. Tuesday-Son’s Baseball Team
  3. Wednesday-Bible Study Group
  4. Thursday-Mission Teams in Cuba
  5. Friday-Colleagues from Work
  6. Saturday-Friends/Social Group
  7. Saturday-Church Family

Read out-loud the prayers of a prayer hero.  Some of my favorites are:

Use Luther’s Model of Prayer.  Luther would read a passage of scripture, perhaps just simply a verse and pray in the following format.  1. Restate the truth of the passage.  2.  Thank God for the truth of the passage. 3. Ask God to forgive you for violating the truth of the passage. 4. Ask God for help in obeying the truth of the passage. You can read more about this model here. (Add link from last month.)

Since we all stall from time to time, I would love to hear what some of your “hacks” are to get un-stalled.  Please post your ideas in the comment section.

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