My prayer life sucks, but I don't want to miss opportunities for answers & growth simply because I forgot or forsook praying because I was too busy!
Faith,  Practicing Radical Faith

Does Your Prayer Life Suck? Three Things to Know

She convicted me with her very first sentence.

She wasn’t even talking about MY life…but her own. She said these words:

I confess it is my tendency to scamper about in my world like the time-driver rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. (Patsy Clairmont, Praying with Power)

(I’m having a little bit of a conniption watching this ↑↑↑ animated gif…it’s a little stressful just watching it…much less living it!!! Don’t you agree? STOP LITTLE BUNNY! STOP!!!)

Truth is…I like my hectic life.

I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

“Go! Go! Go!” Is my motto.

But oftentimes the Spirit of God is saying, “Slow! Slow! Slow!”

Before everything went to hell in a handbasket in the Garden of Eden, all Adam did was name some animals and talk with God.

And I think that’s all God really wants to get back to: communion with His creation through prayer.

Hence my dilemma, I want to be close to God but I’m addicted to the surge of endorphins that come along with the thrill of seeking ‘the next big accomplishment.’

My prayer life sucks, but I don’t want to miss opportunities for answers & growth simply because I forgot or forsook praying because I was too busy!

Maybe at one point, I was an expert…but today I think I need to get back to the basics. I need to dive into God’s Word and remind myself:

  • WHY prayer is important
  • WHAT is prayer used for
  • HOW and WHEN to pray

Anyone else?

Three Things to Know When Your Prayer Life Sucks

1. We All Need a Refresher Course

There are so many professions that require “recertification” so they can continue to practice their profession.

Why would THE ULTIMATE profession of being a Christ-follower not require some review courses on simple things like prayer?

Re-learning what, why, when and how to pray will keep us on our toes. It keeps us from misusing prayer as a means to an end, rather than a way to develop a relationship with the Creator of All.

Praying with Power by Patsy Clairmont is a great (short) fill-in-the-blank workbook on prayer. The reason I like this book is because it makes you look up scriptures all over the Bible. It really dives into God’s Word which I love to do. It’s not a lot of fluff, it gets in and gets to the point. Each section is doable and poignant.

(If you comment on this blog post, you’ll be entered in a giveaway to win not only this book but also two other books by the Women of Faith group: Building Your Strengths, Patsy Clairmont and Giving God Your Future, Thelma Wells.

2. Praying is Hard Because It Goes Against the Flow

Imagine a storm. It’s wild. Cold. Blowing you over. You can’t keep your hair out of your eyes. You see a door to a house. The lights are on and it looks warm and inviting. You can see the owner is brewing your favorite drink and motions for you to come in. You trudge. The snow at your feet is thick. You literally have to walk at a slant to get to the path of the house. But the wind picks up. Pieces of hail are starting to fall. You take cover under a nearby tree.

Knowing you’d be safer inside, you still hesitate because the house seems so far away and the weather is getting worse. You decide to make a run for it. You take the steps up to the door two at a time, almost slipping on a piece of ice on the way up, but somehow you make it.

Once inside everything is calm. All traces of the storm are left behind. You feel your body relax. You brush the hair (finally) out of your eyes enough to see your host and say thank you for the invitation. He says to stay as long as you need. As you visit with the owner of the house, the storm outside ebbs and flows. And you know whether you go back out into the fray at its height or during a lull, you are strengthened by your time at the house.

This is a picture of what spending time in prayer is like.

Getting to the house is a battle…because the storm is push against you…but the battle will revive you to get back out and fight the rest of the day in the storms of life!

3. It’s Never Too Late, Too Short or Too Small

I don’t know if you are like me…but I like to do things perfectly. Which means that I tend to feel like if I don’t pray for like…two hours with passionate prayers that include every single family member, persecuted Christians and all global events…it’s a failure of a prayer.

Obviously, I know this is stupid…but I still have to fight the temptation to think this anyway.

We don’t have to pray in the wee hours of the morning for it “to count,” we don’t have to pray for 30 minutes for it “to be enough,” and we certainly can pray about those simple things like “God, where the heck are my car keys…again? Please help me!”

Prayer is simply communication to God.

According to Praying with Power, there are many reasons to pray. Prayer:

  • Reacquaints us with our Savior.
  • Solidifies our relationship with Him.
  • Reaffirms His Lordship in our lives
  • Welcomes His input
  • Familiarizes u with His voice
  • Calms our frazzles emotions
  • Lifts our eyes beyond our daily struggles.
  • Underscores God’s omnipotence
  • Highlights His patience care
  • Acknowledges God’s wisdom
  • Recognizes His sovereignty
  • Appeals to His mercy
  • Magnifies His name

Any…and I mean ANY reason that we want to come to Him in prayer is a great reason. Big or small. Short or long. Early or Late.

No MOre Excuses

I’ve committed (and I’m a committment-aphobe…it’s a thing) to finishing this Praying with Power workbook, because even though I’ve been a Christian since 1999, I need a refresher course on prayer.

Like a high schooler that graduates and thinks they are an expert on a subject and enters college, I oftentimes have thought I was an expert on prayer just because I’d studied it a little bit here and there…but now I’m committed to “majoring” in the subject and getting a degree.

I don’t want to get to heaven and realize that I missed so many opportunities to have my prayers answered and my relationship with God and others grow simply because I forgot or forsook praying!

My prayer life sucks, but I don't want to miss opportunities for answers & growth simply because I forgot or forsook praying because I was too busy!


  • Pam G

    Wow, you’re speaking my heart! I was just thinking with a lap full of babies “when am I ever going to be able to pray ‘right’ again!?” Another timely post, thanks sister!!

  • Lauren

    Ahhhhhhhhhh I’m so relaxed and wanted to run to the secret place of prayer! Your video was a perfect and needed illustration of the attraction and need for prayer.

  • Leah

    Elaine! I love how our thoughts are in similar places. I have been looking into prayer for the last couple of years. Growing up in a Christian home prayer has always been a large part of my life, but it was very route for me most if my life, just something I did. I have been so challenged and burdened for changing my prayer life. Thank you for this post. I have also committed myself to practicing prayer more purposefully.

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