What I Do When I Don’t Feel Like Praying September 12, 2018


People imagine that preachers jump out of bed every day with a strong urge to pray. Nothing could be further from the truth! We all battle flesh and flesh doesn’t like spiritual work.

There are times when I just don’t feel like praying. It is then that I most need to pray. Prayer is not a discipline of feelings – it is a discipline of faith.

  • Begin with praise instead of prayer. If I begin naming the blessings of God and blessing Him my heart begins to warm toward the Lord. Meditating on His goodness increases my faith to ask for more.
  • Get outside. There is something sweet about sitting or walking in the world that God created. This helps me to think about the greatness of the God to whom I am talking.
  • Pray out loud. When my mind is sluggish it is easy for my thoughts to roam. Verbalizing my prayers to God like I would to any other friend helps me to concentrate on what I am doing.
  • Meditate on a definite prayer promise. My favorite is Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” The Bible is full of them! I have been convicted recently that I have not given enough attention to the promises of God. What a resource we have!
  • Read something on prayer. I keep a number of helpful devotional books at hand. When I read truths regarding prayer or the story of some praying person it stirs me to think of what a privilege I am neglecting!
  • Pray the Scriptures. Turn the very Word of God into a conversation God. This always helps me when I am dull. In a sense you are allowing the Lord to begin the conversation and this brings great substance to prayer.
  • Begin. Don’t wait until you feel like praying to pray. Start by telling the Lord you love Him. Tell Him that you don’t really feel like praying and that you need Him to help you. Share your heart with the God who loves you and is listening.

Exercise your will over your emotion. Choose against yourself! Pray when you don’t feel like it. Often the feelings will follow, but always the Lord will lead. He will help you pray.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

You don’t have to impress God or anyone else with your prayers. You just have to come into His presence. He will meet you there.

Our current Enjoying The Journey podcast study is on the subject of prayer. Join the study at enjoyingthejourney.org/broadcast or on your favorite podcast platform.

Post Author

More from similar topics

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Recent Posts

Remains of Tel Motza. It was discovered by construction workers as they built a bridge across a valley. As you can see, parts of the site were destroyed in the construction process. The site is of interest because excavators found a small, fully functional replica of the Jerusalem Temple built here. Photo by John Buckner


Ruins of the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim overlooking Shechem. A massive, ancient staircase leads up from the valley floor to the temple. A small remnant of Samaritans lives nearby in a village on the mountain. They still practice their ancient religion.

The Samaritan Temple

The account of the Prodigal Son demonstrates the insanity of sin and this world.

6 Reasons the World Is Getting More Insane

Psalm 73

“Asaph’s Revival” by Dr. Bob Sanders


  1. M. Elizabeth Patton on September 12, 2018 at 11:51 AM

    Thank you for your comments. They are helpful to make prayer time more effective. Your comments are always good but I do not always take the time to answer.

    Great to have seen you and your family in AUg.
    In Him and content,
    Elizabeth PAtton

    • Scott Pauley on September 12, 2018 at 11:56 AM

      Thank you so much. It was a great encouragement to see you and Dr. Patton. God bless you both!

  2. Tim Hammond on September 12, 2018 at 8:46 PM

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. Very good advice! I’ve neglected a few of these as of late. Thanks for the friendly reminder and for always being an encouragement to me. God bless you Scott.

    • Scott Pauley on September 17, 2018 at 1:40 PM

      Thank you, Tim. Always good to hear from you!

  3. Bo Burgess on September 13, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    Thank you preacher for this great thought on a very neglected part of most christians lives, mainly me!

    • Scott Pauley on September 17, 2018 at 1:40 PM

      Preaching to myself! God bless you.

  4. Marion Harvey on January 21, 2021 at 5:26 AM

    What’s wrong with me?
    I don’t love God. I just don’t feel love for him. Ive prayed and confessed many time s “I dont love you Lord”. Please help. Change
    me. But nothing. I don’t
    understand why I’m like this. I feel so stuck. Im a failure in every sense in everything. Ive no faith it will ever change. What am I to do?

    • Scott Pauley on January 21, 2021 at 12:43 PM

      The very fact that you recognize your need is a wonderful sign – it means God is working in you! The sad reality is that none of us love Him as we should. This love is not an emotion or experience. It is rather a deepened understanding of His love for us and our response in a life of obedience to God. “We love him, because he first loved us.” My practical suggestion is to spend more time communing with Him in His Word and prayer. Like any other relationship, love grows as we invest time with that person. The more you hear from the Lord and the more you talk to Him, the more your love will grown. Meditate much on what He did for you and rehearse it regularly. I have a friend who says that he thinks on Calvary at least once every day. A good practice for us all! May God bless you as you grow in your faith and love.

  5. Thomas on May 14, 2021 at 6:46 AM

    How can you praise and worship someone you don’t really like or love? Someone you hate a lot of the time?

    • scottpauley on May 15, 2021 at 2:25 PM

      The more you come to know the truth about God (not what others say, not what we feel, not what is perceived through our limited experience) the more you will come to love and adore Him. It is like spending time with someone and growing in your understanding of them. This happens with God as we come to know Him through His Word. My advice to people who truly want to know God is to spend dedicated time in the Scriptures – especially the gospel records. The Word reveals God as He is and always leads to worship. Praying for you.

  6. Terra on June 2, 2023 at 10:47 AM

    This article has helped me. I struggle with “feeling like praying”. Thanks for reminding me about Jeremiah 3:33 and Romans 8:26. Thank you also for reminding me to simply tell God that I don’t feel like praying. God bless You for this article. You have helped me pray today.

Leave a Comment