Prayer when praying is hard

We are called to pray, prayer can be a great help in our daily life, but sometimes prayer feels like hard work, we find our minds wander, we don’t know what to say, we struggle to get the right words or sometimes because of guilt and sometimes other emotions we struggle even to start praying, feeling unworthy to come. Here are some notes from our #AfternoonTea discussion on the subject. There is a link to the facebook conversation at the end too.

  • Prayer starts with listening. We listen to God through Scripture. Allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us.
  • We may find it helpful to listen to Christian songs to help give us a sense of worship and to provide us with words to help praise God.
  • Pray Scripture. We learn how to speak to God from God himself. The Psalms and epistles contain lots of prayers
  • Books of prayer can be helpful. The Church of England Common Worship provides structures for morning and evening prayer which draw heavily on Scripture. Many have also found the Valley of Vision book of Puritan prayers a great help.
  • Some people use prayer books. Take  notepad and divide each page in half. Write down what you are praying about in the top half. Record answers to prayer in the bottom half. This will also help you go back and revisit what was happening in your relationship with God in the past to see progress and growth.
  • You can also divide up your week with things to pray for on each day. Some people take time to pray through a list of family, friends and neighbours or the church members’ list over a week.
  • There are no right words and it is better to have lots of people praying even if their prayers are stumbly than one eloquent prayer. It is the heart orientation that matters.
  • Sometimes when we are low and finding it hard to pray, the best thing is not to try and make it happen and feel guilty but to be with other believers as they pray. Get to home group or the prayer meeting.
  • Romans 8 points to the Holy Spirit who helps us in our prayer life, interceding for us. He cries out to the Father when there are no words left but there is still much on our hearts.
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