Enjoying the Journey

What I Do When I Don’t Feel Like Praying

People imagine that preachers jump out of bed every day with a strong urge to pray. Nothing could be further from the truth! We all battle flesh and flesh doesn’t like spiritual work.

There are times when I just don’t feel like praying. It is then that I most need to pray. Prayer is not a discipline of feelings – it is a discipline of faith.

  • Begin with praise instead of prayer. If I begin naming the blessings of God and blessing Him my heart begins to warm toward the Lord. Meditating on His goodness increases my faith to ask for more.
  • Get outside. There is something sweet about sitting or walking in the world that God created. This helps me to think about the greatness of the God to whom I am talking.
  • Pray out loud. When my mind is sluggish it is easy for my thoughts to roam. Verbalizing my prayers to God like I would to any other friend helps me to concentrate on what I am doing.
  • Meditate on a definite prayer promise. My favorite is Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” The Bible is full of them! I have been convicted recently that I have not given enough attention to the promises of God. What a resource we have!
  • Read something on prayer. I keep a number of helpful devotional books at hand. When I read truths regarding prayer or the story of some praying person it stirs me to think of what a privilege I am neglecting!
  • Pray the Scriptures. Turn the very Word of God into a conversation God. This always helps me when I am dull. In a sense you are allowing the Lord to begin the conversation and this brings great substance to prayer.
  • Begin. Don’t wait until you feel like praying to pray. Start by telling the Lord you love Him. Tell Him that you don’t really feel like praying and that you need Him to help you. Share your heart with the God who loves you and is listening.

Exercise your will over your emotion. Choose against yourself! Pray when you don’t feel like it. Often the feelings will follow, but always the Lord will lead. He will help you pray.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

You don’t have to impress God or anyone else with your prayers. You just have to come into His presence. He will meet you there.


Our current Enjoying The Journey podcast study is on the subject of prayer. Join the study at scottpauley.org/broadcast or on your favorite podcast platform.

6 Comments

  1. M. Elizabeth Patton on September 12, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Thank you for your comments. They are helpful to make prayer time more effective. Your comments are always good but I do not always take the time to answer.

    Great to have seen you and your family in AUg.
    In Him and content,
    Elizabeth PAtton

    • Scott Pauley on September 12, 2018 at 11:56 am

      Thank you so much. It was a great encouragement to see you and Dr. Patton. God bless you both!

  2. Tim Hammond on September 12, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. Very good advice! I’ve neglected a few of these as of late. Thanks for the friendly reminder and for always being an encouragement to me. God bless you Scott.

    • Scott Pauley on September 17, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you, Tim. Always good to hear from you!

  3. Bo Burgess on September 13, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Thank you preacher for this great thought on a very neglected part of most christians lives, mainly me!

    • Scott Pauley on September 17, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Preaching to myself! God bless you.

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