Prayer Life in a Rut?

PRAYER LIFE IN A RUT?   (Praying Scriptures 1)

Do you ever feel like your prayer life is in a rut?  You pray about the same old things using the same old words.  You have a hard time focusing on what you are saying and your mind wanders.  You want to connect with God but it seems you are not really making contact.  You’ve even tried some new programs or gimmicks to wake up your prayer life, but nothing seems to work for long. In all honestly, you feel your prayer life is boring – and you feel guilty about it.

If so, then try this.  Try praying God’s Word back to Him.  Turn the words of Scripture into your words to Him.  It’s almost like having God sitting with you, leading you in prayer.  Read a verse then talk to God about it.  Turn it into a prayer of praise, intercession for others or apply it to yourself.

For example, you could try using Psalm 23.  You read, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”  Then you say something like, “I thank you that you are always looking after me as a shepherd watches sheep.  You protect me, guide me, nurture me and never leave me.  I need Your shepherd direction in my life today when I ______. Help me know what to do about _____.  In the past I see your shepherd care when You ______.”  You can pray about others, too:  “Can you please shepherd _______ today because they are going through _______. “  Sit quietly and meditate.  Let God’s Spirit talk and minister to you.  Pray about other shepherd-related thoughts that come to mind.

When nothing else comes, move on to the next verse. “Lord, I thank you that I’ve never really been in want.  You give me so many blessings, even ones I am not aware of or don’t thank you for.”  Pause, meditate about this, and think of some things God has provided for you.  “I thank you for providing for my financial, health, spiritual and relational needs (name them specifically).  Forgive me when I get greedy and think my wants are needs.  Help me to trust your provision and be content with it.” Then pray for others:  “Lord, ______ seems to have many needs.  Can you provide for them (be specific – pray the problems, not your solutions.  Let God decide what is the best solution).”  Then pray for needs for your church, those who have experienced a disaster in their lives, etc.

Don’t rush.  Take your time.  Better to just do a few verses thoroughly than to rush through a lot of verses.  Make sure you spend time listening and don’t just do all the talking.  That’s not a conversation. If a verse doesn’t seem to apply or if you don’t understand it, ask God to help you see it’s truth and if nothing comes to mind move on to the next verse.  You can also use books like Philippians, Ephesians, even Romans.

Praying this way can help you carry on a real conversation with God.  He speaks to you in His Word and you speak to Him in prayer.  After all, isn’t that what communication really is?  Two people talking back and forth to each other?  It sure beats giving God our daily To-Do list of what we want Him to do for us and then wondering why He doesn’t do it, why He doesn’t answer our prayers.

George Muller, the great man of faith, prayed the Bible daily.  The early church prayed the Psalms (Acts 4:23-31).  Jesus, on the cross, prayed two different Psalms (Matthew 27:46 and Luke 23:46).  A great place to start is with the Psalms.  They were written for the purpose of communicating with God.   Next blog will be about how to pray the Psalms, but don’t wait until then to get started.  Start right now.

Luke 11:1  “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Open your Bible to Psalm 23 and start praying through it verse by verse.  Take your time.  Ask God to help you learn how to talk with Him.


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