How Do I Pray When I Feel Stuck?

Have you ever felt like you don't know how to pray? You sit down or kneel beside your couch but you don't know where to start. You're in a spiritual rut and aren't sure how to break free. If so, here is something you can do.

How Do I Pray When I Feel Stuck?
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Have you ever felt stuck in your personal prayer life? You want to pray and you know you should pray, but you don't pray. If so, you're not alone.

But rather than make you feel more guilty, let me just share something that has been helpful for me.

Last year I went to a men's retreat and listened to a man named Tim Keep speak about the importance of prayer walking. In fact, Tim shared it was his goal to prayer walk approximately 25,000 miles (the distance around the world) over the next few decades around his community.

That got me thinking.

And then, I had my friend Trevor Seath on the podcast to talk about how prayer-walking has changed his life. As someone who lives in the inner city of Toronto, Canada Trevor enjoys walking around his neighborhood and talking to God in the process.

Both Tim and Trevor challenged me to start my own prayer-walking journey. No, I'm not planning to walk around the world, but I've found personal strength by taking walks in the morning or afternoon around my neighborhood. It's helped me concentrate and break free of some spiritual ruts.  

And when I talk with God on these walks, I follow a simple PRAY pattern you might find useful. It looks like this.

Choice #1 | Praise

Nothing crazy here. But some days I might meditate on a passage of scripture. On other days it might be a song. The point is to worship God for his goodness in your life. If you don't know where to start, try a few "breath prayers" like:

"God, I thank you for being good."

"I worship you for being present in my life."

"Thank you for being enough."

Choice #2 | Release

This is about taking your hand off the wheel and acknowledging who is in control. Your life is not about your job, your health problems, or your financial situation. It's about God. So bring your fears and concerns to him, but release them to him in the process. Allow him to carry the weight of your problems with short prayers like:

"Lord, help me to let go of bitterness."

"I give you my concerns about this job I'm doing."

"Rid me of any feelings of superiority I have over others."

Choice #3 | Ask

Then be direct in how you talk to God. Don't beat around the bush and use fancy rhetoric. Just talk to him as you would a friend. In my case, I'll often use statements like:

"Lord, be my provider today. Bring me the right clients for work."

"Strengthen my friend X who is going through a tough time."

"Be near my family today. Help my kids to know you for themselves."

And sometimes, I'll text my friends I'm praying for in the process.

Choice #4 | Yield 

Then, at the end, I've always found it helpful to re-submit my way to God. After I'm through telling God how I think he should act, it's time to reaffirm my trust in him with prayers like:

"Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done."

"I will trust you today, even if I don't see the answers I want."

"I will rest in your faithfulness, regardless of my circumstance."  

Praying this simple pattern doesn't have to take long. But I'd recommend you take at least twenty minutes. Being in a prayer rut is tough. But taking on a new spiritual discipline like prayer walking can help you get back on track.

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