When Your Prayer Life is Stuck-Try Something Different

QuietPlaceMy prayer life has long been a source of frustration. I can’t count the number of days I fall into bed, and realize I haven’t spent even 5 minutes talking to God. So I look at the ceiling, take a deep breath to pray at the end of the day, and the next thing I know my alarm goes off and a new day begins, yesterday’s opportunity to talk to God is gone.

So I decide to pray in the mornings… I bought a journal, and with coffee in hand, bible on the table, I was determined to succeed in this new method of prayer. I read 10-20 verses and start to journal. One or two days go by and all is well, then my journal starts to look more like a “to do” list. I start missing days because I get up late or have an early meeting and the house of cards comes down.

How about praying while I walk? Great idea, except rain for 3 days straight and walking no longer happens daily.

You see why I’m frustrated, right? It’s humbling to say I’ve been a God follower for 40 plus years and still have not mastered the most basic of Christian disciplines, prayer. I envy those who have that deep, intimate, daily time with the Savior. And if I’m being honest, sometimes I give up.

It was a couple years ago I had a life changing, guilt lifting, eye opening revelation! (At least it was new to me. I’m confident people much wiser than I have been telling me this since I was in middle school). Here it is: When I talk to my husband, I do so in many ways, we talk face to face, we text, I call him, he writes notes, we walk and talk, drive and talk, sometimes we even communicate in silence.

If I use all these ways to communicate to my husband or mother or father or friends, why do I think there is only 1 way to pray? Why am I constantly trying to corral God and confine Him to only one method of talking with me?

That one thought, prompted by the Holy Spirit released 40 years of guilt, and put me on a path to discover new ways to “Pray without ceasing”.

So now I mix it up and I try to look for new ways to pray. In that search, I’ve come across one method I’d be honored to share with you over the next weeks. It’s called Visual Prayer.

Sometimes I go through periods when I don’t know what to say. There’s not necessarily anything wrong in life, I simply am at a loss for words. Visual prayer uses art like painting, coloring, photography, sculpting, or even scrapbooking to help me focus on connecting with God. Now, before we go any farther I AM NOT AN ARTIST. In fact, sharing what I’ve done will be embarrassing, so please extend the cover of grace. You see, it’s not really about the product, it is about the conversation with God that happens during the process.

As we explore visual prayer, I try to give you some tips about how art can help your prayer life. I’ll interview a friend or two to gain some insights into art and prayer. Along the way, we will share some pieces, and I hope you will share too.

 

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2 thoughts on “When Your Prayer Life is Stuck-Try Something Different”

  1. I am right there with you! I have not found a time that I can make a habit. I always let something get in the way – sleep, work,school, kids, “me time” etc. I think of the retreat with you at the cabin years ago and the time we spent in prayer. I have never been able to duplicate that in my own personal life, at least not consistently. Sometimes I just can’t find words to pray. Sometimes it is because everything is going good. Other times life is a real struggle but I know God knows my needs and doesn’t need me to remind him what to do. And yet other times amist life rough roads my heart axhes and I just don’t have words to cry out to God. I look forward to joining you on this journey! Hope you and Gene are doing well. We were in Ohio last weekend and I thought about you guys.

    1. So wonderful to hear from you, Sue! We all have seasons like what you’re describing. Just don’t give up! It’s less about getting prayer perfect, and more about never giving up. Romans 12:12 says “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. It’s kind of like us… we don’t talk as often as we want, but when we do get to, the fellowship is so very sweet. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insight.

      We think about you guys regularly, and wish you well.

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