How to Pray When You Don’t Want to Pray

The same is true of our prayer habits. If you find yourself legitimately wanting to pray but can never find the time, it can’t hurt to try Miller’s simple suggestions for beginning a prayer time in the morning:

  1. Get to bed. What you do in the evening shapes what you do in the morning. “Morning J.D.” is amazing. He’s focused. He gets things done. He can pray for nearly 30 seconds without distraction. “Evening J.D.” is nearly worthless. The best thing “Evening J.D.” can do is set “Morning J.D.” up well.
  2. Get up. Praying in bed is wonderful. But you’ll never develop a morning prayer time in bed.
  3. Get awake. Maybe you need to make a pot of coffee or take a shower to wake yourself up. Go ahead and shake the cobwebs off.
  4. Get a quiet place. There’s a reason Jesus told people to go into a room and shut the door to pray. It may not be a room for you. Maybe you do better going for a walk. The key here is to find a place without interruptions.
  5. Get comfortable. That is, don’t feel like you have to pray on your knees. Miller points out that, for a while, he thought he needed to pray on his knees. But he would soon start aching and couldn’t focus.
  6. Get going. Five minutes today is better than 30 minutes tomorrow—mostly because that “30 minutes tomorrow” may not materialize. Start with a small goal that you can actually attain.
  7. Keep going. Consistency is more important than length. Praying five minutes a day, every day, will have more of an impact than praying for an hour today and then not coming back to it for another three months.

What about you? What has helped most in your prayer life?

This article about how to pray originally appeared here.

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J.D. Greear
J.D. Greear, Ph.D., is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastors the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past 8 years from 400 to over 5,000 each weekend. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to plant 1000 churches in the next 40 years. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code and the upcoming Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.