When Your Prayer Life Feels Dry
Does your prayer life feel completely dull and dry like you are just wandering in a desert with no way out? When you try to pray do your thoughts just go somewhere else?
If so, you are not alone, we have all been there at some time or another. This is a warning sign telling you that something is not right in your spiritual life. All relationships require communication, so wouldn’t you say communication with our Lord and Savior is the most important out of all our relationships?
If you are a believer, you have the Holy Spirit indwelling inside of you. Yet, sin causes you to feel distant from the Lord and makes it very hard to pray. Psalm 32:2-4 is an example of this,
“When I kept silent about my sin my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever of the summer heat.”
However, when you confess your sin in prayer and draw near to the Lord, the Holy Spirit awakens you to spiritual things and prayer will begin to feel joyful again. We see this happen to the psalmist after he confessed his sins to the Lord in Psalm 32:5,
“I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the guilt of my sin.”
So how do we fight to get our prayer life back when it feels dry? Here are three practical steps:
01 CONFESS SIN
“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” - John Bunyan
You must first turn to the Lord daily and repent of any known sin in your life. Evaluate yourself by asking, “what has kept me from praying?” Get even more specific and ask, “what unloving thoughts, attitudes, desires and actions have I been entertaining today?” Pray and ask the Lord to convict you of your sin. Then confess your sin to the Lord. 1 John 1:19 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
John Piper puts it this way, “be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.” How true this is. Sin must never be taken lightly or ignored, because it is a spiritual life killer. Sin will leave you dry and weary wondering why you can’t pray.
02 PRAY WHEN YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE IT
Therefore, it is especially important to pray even when you don’t feel like it. Try scheduling out some time in your day for prayer and then cry out to the Lord for help, ask Him to help you want to want Him more.
Corrie Ten Boom, a great woman of the faith, talked about the importance of making prayer a priority in life and not just praying when you feel like it:
“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” - Corrie Ten Boom
03 READ SCRIPTURE
You must remember that Scripture is God’s way of speaking to us today. He uses it to convict, encourage and to save. When you are not in the Word of God your desire for prayer will dwindle and you will live your life trying to be dependent on self.
Therefore, you need to be in the Scriptures. For God’s Word is “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Choose a Psalm right now to read and as you are reading, pause throughout the verses and pray. For example, if you were reading through Psalm 32,“How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Psalm 32:1)," you could pray something like this: "Lord, thank you that in Christ my sins are covered, please forgive me for my sinful thoughts and attitudes today, convict me and change my heart.”
Everyday will be a new battle with new challenges, but you must fight sin. Christ alone is the “living water” (John 4:7-14) and He can make your prayer life alive again. So confess your sin, ask the Lord for His help and draw near to Him by reading His Word and praying the Scriptures even when you don’t feel as if you can.