With all of life’s responsibilities, ups and downs, and the constant need to adapt and readjust, it can all be a little overwhelming sometimes. It’s far too easy to lose focus and lose momentum in our prayer lives, especially when we’re feeling overrun by life. We’ve talked a little before about how to fuel your faith and what you can do on a daily basis to make time and space and bring meaning back to your prayer life. But we’ve all had those moments when you’ve cleared your calendar, gotten away and have a heart full of things to talk to God about… but you’re still stuck. It’s a miserable feeling, but it comes around more often than we care to admit.
Sometimes it’s all I can do to find the words to pour out my heart to God. And sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. Sometime I just sit there. And while I know He knows my heart, there’s just something about being able to openly communicate with God- it’s fulfilling, it’s refreshing, it’s what we were made for. But to get unstuck and regain focus can seem out of reach sometimes. Here’s how I’ve managed to get through in my times of struggle:
For a moment, embrace the silence. You can hear God’s voice the loudest when you’re the quietest. Often in prayer we can get so caught up with bringing our needs to God (for ourselves or for others) that it becomes a monologue instead of a dialogue. Effective communication is a two-way street; we have to give God a chance to speak to us, too. Focusing on hearing God’s voice is a great way to quiet our minds during prayer.
Focus on who He is. If you can’t think of what to say, just turn your mind to who God is. Start to thank Him for all He’s done and who He’s been to you. There’s no better way, in my mind, to begin prayer than with praise. It’s the model that Jesus established in Matthew 6:9. Beginning prayer with acknowledging the greatness of God is a sure-fire way to get His attention and immediately engage in connection with Him.
Recall what He’s done and what He’s said. When you’re feeling overrun by life’s demands, worries and challenges, take some time in prayer to remind yourself- and God- of what God has promised and what He’s done for you before. Now of course, God doesn’t really need reminding; but speaking His own words in prayer is a powerful thing! I encourage you to find, highlight and pray the promises found in the Scriptures. Read them aloud as affirmations of your faith and as a reminder to yourself that you know what God said and that His Word will always prevail. Recount the victories He’s previously won in your life, and remind yourself that if He’s come through for you before, He can make a way for you now all over again.
These are just a few things you can do to help get yourself unstuck and refocused during prayer. Your prayer life is your lifeline. Don’t give up on it! Always fight through the resistance, the distractions, and the struggle to focus or articulate what’s in your heart. God is always right there, wanting to hear from and speak to you. Don’t ever fall for the enemy’s lies that there’s nothing to be said or heard in prayer because of where you are. You’re never too far away to call on God! He hears you wherever you are; you just have to take the time to get focused and call on the name of Jesus. He ALWAYS answers!