Jumpstarting Sluggish Prayers – At a Loss for Words?
Key Bible Verse: Never stop praying. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Bonus Reading: Psalm 86: 1-7
Some Christians may dismiss written prayers as leftovers of a formal church style they’d just as soon bury. Yet when we feel down or dull, reading a prayer may get us going when otherwise we wouldn’t pray at all. When we read the prayer and truly pray it as we read, the written prayer becomes our own expression to God.
The largest source of written prayers is the book of Psalms. With 150 to choose from, we can always find one to start off our prayer (like Psalm 86: 1-7).
We have psalms of praise, comfort, and encouragement. Most of all we find laments—over a third of the Psalms begin with complaints. (People are often surprised to discover that God actually lets us complain to him.)
Psalms of lament start with expressing sadness, frustration, or even anger to God. Then they generally progress toward finding hope and comfort in God. They’re a great example of dumping our problems on God and turning to the path of faith and optimism.
Reading written prayers can also stimulate our own prayers when we internalize the words and express them as if they were our own. This gets the flow of our thoughts going. Then we can set the written prayer aside and go on praying.
—Peter Lundell in Prayer Power
My Response: How might written prayers enliven my own times of prayer?
Adapted from Prayer Power (Revell, 2009)
Prayer for the Week: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to pray more consistently, more fervently, and more selflessly.