Home > Brian's Blogs, Prayer > Prayer: Dealing with Distractions, part 5

Prayer: Dealing with Distractions, part 5

I want to offer one more post on dealing with distractions in prayer.  If we are honest with ourselves, sometimes the biggest distraction is God and prayer itself.  Sometimes we are simply bored with God and prayer.  So what should we do?

Mark Thibodeaux’s Armchair Mystic provides two chapters titled, “When I’m Bored with God: Dealing with Dryness.”  In these chapters he offers a lot of good insight on this reality.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

First, sometimes prayer seems pointless.  “The problem with dryness is not that something bad happens in prayer, but rather that nothing is happening at all.  I just sit there by myself with no sign of the presence of God…The vast majority of beginners quit praying at this point.  Most do not consciously choose to stop praying, they just gradually pray a little less and a little less until one day, they look back and realize that they hardly pray at all anymore.”

This is where we need to understand something very important.  Even though we do not feel God’s presence, “God never abandons his children.  I may go through times when it feels as though God is not present.  But it is just that: a feeling.  God is ever present in every atom of the universe.  If he truly abandoned me for even a moment, I would cease to exist.”

Here is where it is important for us to remember that prayer is a discipline:  “For every minute a professional athlete spends actually performing, she must spend hours and hours practicing.  The ratio of practice to play time of a typical athlete is astounding…Any player who is in the sport for the glory of it will not last; there are simply too many inglorious hours…Likewise, a professional musician spends countless hours alone in his room laboriously practicing one small but very difficult piece of music he hopes to perform someday.”  Everything we do in life that matters take discipline and time.  Prayer is no exception.

We must also remember that prayer is a relationship.  God is described as a parent, a teacher, and a friend.  Every relationship we have in life takes discipline and time.  Prayer is no exception.

Finally, Thibodeaux makes the point that prayer is an experience of death and resurrection.  He continues, “If this is true, then these dry periods may, in fact, be the most important moments of my prayer life.  For it is in these times that God is doing his mightiest work within me.  These painful periods are as essential to my prayer life as the Crucifixion is to the salvation story.”

So there isn’t always something to “do” to overcome this other than what we do in other relationships and situations in our lives: continue on.  Dryness in prayer can’t be resolved over night, just as a tense marital relationship can’t be resolved over night.  It takes time, a commitment to do what is right, and a humble dependence upon God to make it through.

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Categories: Brian's Blogs, Prayer Tags: ,
  1. Ken England
    April 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    You know I never get bored of tired of prayer but I do admit I do loose focus very easy. And I don’t remember what I just done.

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