How to Pray When Prayer Seems Unremarkable

As a small child, I remember saying my nighttime prayers with my mom each night before I went to bed. When I became a little older, the words became more personal. Yet, for years, I would end each prayer with a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. For the longest time, my prayer life sounded more like a one-sided telephone conversation. Thank you God for today…thank you for my family…Thank you for…etc. I might throw in some confessions. I would then pray for other people’s needs. My prayer life was rote and ritualistic for years.

Then I read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and the thought of praying continually seemed exhausting. I realized I must be missing something in my prayer life.

Jesus and prayer

Prayer was vital to Jesus’ ministry while he was on earth. The Gospels show how Jesus prioritized prayer throughout his ministry. He prayed before making important decisions and before many miracles (Mark 7:32-37; Luke 5:16, 6:12-13, John 6:11, 11:41-42). He utilized prayer to understand the will of the Father Jesus also prayed to God in thanksgiving as well as on behalf of others (Mark 8:6; Matthew 19:13).

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