How to pray when you don’t feel like it…

To pray is one of the most beautiful aspects of the Christian life.

In times of discouragement or need, we find hope and increased faith as we draw close to God in prayer. Even in good times, the daily discipline of prayer is vital.

What to do when you don’t feel like it?

Can we be honest? Most of us have days when we simply are not feeling it. As much as I love Bible study, devotion, and prayer, I admit I have moments when I don’t feel much like praying.

Before I go on, let me say I’ve found the more I do it – pray, that is – the more comfortable I am. And I’m not only talking about the practice of praying, but about being comfortable with the realization there will be days when I don’t feel like it.

It might happen if we’re not feeling well, or because there are distractions around us. On these days, it’s sometimes best to simply breathe, “God, I love you and praise you…” and rest in the moment.

I’m really talking, though, about those days when you just do not feel like praying.

It happens. We all experience it. Do not feel like you are alone. But what can you do to get past that feeling?

If you’ve been here before, you know I like to say be kind to yourself. I’m not backing down from that, but I do feel those who are further along in the faith should have a plan for the don’t feel like it days.

Get a plan…

For those “off” days, I’ve found a few things quite helpful. Google or look it up on Pinterest and you’ll find good information. Here are my suggestions.

#1 – Develop a Prayer & Devotion Playlist on your phone or another device.

My current Prayer & Devo Playlist is at the end of this post. It’s something I revise often, as I hear new songs or need a change. Calmer worship songs and slower tempos are best for this Playlist.

#2 – Have a set place where you go to pray, every day.

For some of you this is a challenge, especially if you have small children or others who won’t respect your need for a quiet time. Have you seen War Room? Do you need one? I have a particular chair with a lamp beside it – it’s where I usually spend my prayer time. Some days, I end up at the dining table. Find your place.

#3 – Have tools you can utilize {daily or as needed} to inspire praying.

I have a couple of tools I use on a daily basis, but also keep alternative options on hand for the don’t feel like it days.

  1. Your own written prayer to use as a guide {here’s MY WRITTEN PRAYER}
  2. Prayer books – my favorites are The Divine Hours, Psalms, and Proverbs
  3. Prayer journal – be creative or keep it simple. {I’m more of a note-taker than journal-er, but you may find this a valuable enhancement to praying.}

How to pray when you don't feel like it? We experience times when we're just not feeling it. Here are tips to still pray even on the off days#4 – Press In

There are mornings when I have to say out loud to myself, “Karlene, focus.” Please don’t be put off by my transparency. Even though I often write on Bible study, theological interpretations, and life application, I am a woman who still occasionally gets distracted, and even lethargic, in my prayer time.

Determine to press in to prayer. Remind yourself to focus and turn your thoughts back to God. Grab one of those prayer tools to help you dig in.

And if all else fails, raise your hands to heaven and ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray. Or begin there. Yeah, I think we should move that to the top of the list.

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My Prayer & Devo Playlist

This list looks really long! It’s flexible and I never listen to this entire list on the same day. I usually turn on the playlist while I’m getting coffee and gathering my books. Some days, I turn it off after one song or I’ll let it play longer. Find what works according to your own personality and preferences.

image credit: Creative Market and ChristianPics

14 thoughts on “How to pray when you don’t feel like it…

  1. Wonderful tips for those times we just don’t feel like praying, Karlene! Thank you for this much needed encouragement! And thank you for sharing hope with us at #MomentsofHope! I am sharing this everywhere!
    Blessings and smiles,

  2. I’ve heard for my entire christian life about the importance of finding a set place for praying, but until a few months ago, never bothered to do it. I can’t tell you want a difference it makes! If you don’t have a place, find one! Thanks for your post!

  3. Great tips! I use all of them at various times and seasons. And … I definitely have those times when I’m just not feeling it! My go to’s are praying Scripture and journaling. But I sometimes read a little in a devotional book or listen to a song or two. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great list of tips, Karlene. And your playlist is fabulous!! I have a king drive ahead of me today. I think I’ll check out a few here I’ve not heard before and put them on my playlist!!

    • I’m honored you took the time to stop by, Dianne. Though worship music has always been a huge part of my life, God is teaching me to use it more in my personal devotion time. Be safe worshiping as you drive!

  5. So encouraging, I love the playlist Karlene, I have most of these on my phone that I listen to. Thanks for sharing your heart with us! Yes, laying our head on his lap and trusting he knows our heart! Love that. Blessings to you!

  6. Oh, your worship list is SO good – I have a few of these in my list too. I agree – there are some days when we just can’t even find the words. I remember someone once telling me that sometimes you just have to lay your head on the Father’s lap and trust He hears your heart. I love your practical wisdom and I agree, sometimes we can get so bound up in the “what” and “how” of prayer that we forget the sweet intimacy it allows us. So glad to visit you from #RaRalinkup today, Karlene.

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