Ten Ways to Make Your Prayer Life Even More Pathetic
So your prayer life is bad? Join the club. Most people I talk to are not where they want to be. Here are ten ways to make this part of your relationship with God even worse.
- Don’t be intentional and disciplined.
Pray whenever you get around to it. Specific times aren’t necessary and habits are overrated. Don’t find spaces where you connect with God. Any old place will do. Leave your phone notifications on too. The more distractions the better!
- Don’t practice gratitude.
Focus intently on envy and comparison. Grow awareness of what you lack. Take for granted what you have. Do discontentment. Complain frequently.
- Don’t confess a darn thing.
God already knows anyway, right? So you are wasting your time and God’s too. Being vulnerable isn’t as cool as Brene Brown thinks it is. You are already keenly aware of who you are, who God is, and who you can become. So no further discovery is necessary on your part.
- Don’t intercede for others.
It’s really not that cool of an experience. You aren’t going to change God’s mind anyway.
- Don’t run to God like an excited child goes to a loving parent.
Consider prayer just another duty. Think of God as a stern taskmaster. Grind through the motions. Pray only during emergencies or when you have some major problems.
- Don’t seek forgiveness.
You made your bed. Lie in it. Carry around guilt and resentment. Live under the law and not grace.
- Don’t pray the tough prayers.
Jesus said, “Pray for your enemies.” Don’t listen to Him. The concept of revenge is a lot more fun. Jesus also said something like, “Not my will, but yours be done.” Don’t worry about that one either. You have gotten yourself this far, why change pilots now?
- Don’t keep things simple.
Make your prayers complex. Use words you normally don’t use. Beseech, thou, thee, forsake, and thy are a good start. Continue with sanctify, atonement, omnipresent.
- Don’t go deep
Keep things on the surface. It’s safe there. Discovering God’s heart is for monks and nuns, anyway. Plus, going deep takes a lot of work.
- Don’t listen to God.
Keep the conversation one way. Don’t read your Bible. Don’t practice patience. Just give God a list of what you want and return to your everyday activities.
Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, wrote, “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather change the nature of the one who prays.” In prayer, God meets you where you are and leads you down roads of wholeness, wellness, and worship to a destination of faithfulness, fruitfulness, and fulfillment. Who wants to visit those places when you can remain in the lands of anxiety, boredom, and despair?
What would you add to my list?