I was feeling quite accomplished! I was on a roll! I just checked another thing off of my list – that list tends to get pretty long, doesn’t it? However, my satisfaction was incredibly short-lived. That happens sometimes when I think I’ve mastered something and then God says, ‘uhh…nope!’. And He was saying that to me in that moment. I was convicted. I had turned my prayer time into something that had to be checked off of my list. I never meant for it to be that way. It just kind of happened. I am so thankful that God, in His infinite mercy and grace, sent His Holy Spirit to lovingly convict me and bring me back to His arms. I want to share with you about When Our Prayers Are Meaningless and what to do about it.
Making My List, Praying It Twice…
Do you keep a list of people and situations you pray about? I do. I love using my prayer journal.
It is good to have requests documented and written down. Having a list keeps me focused on prayer. But I have found that my lists can hinder my prayers. I used to become bound to my prayer list. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that I had forgotten which room my prayer journal was in and I thought, “Oh, I can’t pray because I do not have my journal!” Thankfully, I took hold of that thought and put it under the authority of Christ. I did not need my journal to pray!
What happens when prayer becomes a list of things to check off instead of fellowship time with our Father God?
We read through our list, checking off each item just as we do when we go to the grocery store. As soon as we cross off the last item, we check out in the express lane.
Let’s look at this another way.
What would happen to our relationships if the only time we spoke with our children or husband was when we had things to check off of a list? What would happen to our marriages if we methodically went through our special list of items to mention and when we were done, we carried on with our day without another word to each other? Our marriages wouldn’t be very healthy, would they?
And our children? What would happen if the only time we talked to them was first thing in the morning, with our trusty list in hand? Well, it wouldn’t take long before the rapport with our kids fades away.
If this kind of communication is not good for our family interactions, why would it be good for our walk with God?
Our relationship with God will begin to waste away if the extent of our interaction with Him is a prayer list.
Prayer Au Naturel
Quality conversation is a natural result of interacting with someone you love. It is about purposefully seeking out the other person to connect with them. 1 Chronicles says we are to seek His face continually.
Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
Can you imagine how our relationship with God would change if we went beyond our prayer list and sought His face often throughout the day? If we made sure our prayers did not become rote and meaningless? If we understood that sincerity was what mattered with our prayers instead of checklists, posture, time, star alignment or whatever else we conjure up?
How Not To Pray…
Isaiah gives us an idea of how our prayers should not be. We can give Him lip service through our prayers but our hearts are far from Him.
Oh, friends, may our hearts never be far from our Saviour. May our communion with our Heavenly Father never be based upon human rules or checklists. May we never have any part in simple lip service to our King. May we continuously seek His face and have our hearts woven into His.
Can this be our prayer today and every day? Are you ready to pray this with me? Believe me when I say that this is a prayer He will never ignore.
Back On Track
Maybe your prayer life turned into lip service already. Perhaps you have lost your passionate heart of prayer. Like many of us, you may have found your prayer has been reduced to a list of things to check off every day. If so, ask God to revive your prayer life. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you pray.
If any of this is true for you, please do not condemn yourself. Seriously, I am confident it has happened to all of us at least once…many of us several times! Simply ask God to revive your prayer life and invite the Holy Spirit to help you pray.
A simple way to get back to a heart of prayer can be posting small notes of His attributes throughout your home, car, workplace, etc. When you see them, thank Him for being that particular character. Meditate on the truth of that attribute and be specific on how He has shown that attribute in your life. I have made a printable of 8 attributes of God that I will be including in my “Meeting With The King” ebook and printable packet.
My Meeting With The King: The Ultimate Guide For Prayer is now available! The price is $16! Get yours now! PS – subscribers get this resource for FREE. Sign-up for my newsletter below to get yours!
Grateful For Grace
I think about that moment I thought I needed my journal in order to pray. I contemplate how silly it sounds now. After all of these years, I should know better, shouldn’t I? However, this struggle is a very normal part of the Christian walk.
Through the experience, I also saw the wonder of our Father in His correction. How He welcomed me into His presence once again. Isn’t that what a loving Father does? Show you where you’ve gone wrong and then allows you to come running into His comforting and safe embrace.
My prayers had turned meaningless and just as I didn’t want that, neither did He. He doesn’t want my time with Him to be meaningless and void. He LOVES to be in a relationship with us. He LOVES to spend time with us. He LOVES to talk with us. This is truth, dear sister. Remember this when you question your prayer life.
May your heart never be far from His.
What has helped you in preventing lip service to God? What do you do that continues to ignite the passion for prayer in your life?
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