Prayer: Empty Routine or Meaningful Practice?

Let’s get this out the way early, I believe in God and I believe in prayer. With that out of the way, my journey to GOD and my relationship does not look like everyone else’s. My husband and I go to church however we do not have a ‘church home’ for reasons I may discuss in another post, maybe, but not here. I’ve always been a person that as I lay my head down for the night I tend to reflect on the day which leads me into prayer and thankfulness.

Recently a friend of mines introduced me to the idea of writing down my prayers. This I’ve never done. I’ve tried many forms of prayer but for some odd reason I never thought to take pen to pad and actually write them down. So I decided to try it. There’s some sort of rule that it takes 21 days to make/break a habit right? So I decided to write my prayers every morning for 21 days and see how I feel about it.

I’m at the end of week 2. For the first week or so I felt really good about it. I had so much to pray about that every morning my prayers just seemed to flow directly from my conscience, down my arm, into my hand, and out of my pen without thought. NOW I am experiencing something different.

Previously, Joel Olsteen delivered a sermon (yes I listen to Joel!) around prayer. Basically his message centered around the idea that GOD heard you the first time. Once you pray, there is no need to continuously pray for the same thing because God heard you the first time. He equated it to a teenager asking for a car.

Example: So your 16 year old comes and asks you for a car for their birthday. You heard the first request right? Is there now need for that teenager to come back daily and ask you for a car? As a parent, you heard the request and will determine when the right time is to honor the request right? There’s no need for the constant, daily reminder from the teenager, is there? Of course this is my interpretation and summation of Joel’s sermon, he said it more concisely and eloquently (at least in my opinion) but you get the gist.

Basically his point was once you send your prayer to GOD, claim it. Change your view from asking to claiming. For example, your initial prayer may be, “Lord, please heal me of this ailment.” Once those words have left your lips, it has been received by GOD. Now change that prayer to a claim, “God, I know you are the ultimate healer and I thank you for healing me totally and completely.” For me, this sermon hit a chord and really stuck with me.

Taking it back to my prayer journal. I’m struggling! I feel like I am approaching a point where I’ve prayed all I have to pray (for now) and I feel like it’s becoming redundant. As a result, I feel like some of my prayers are empty. I am at a cross roads. One toe is on the path where I can continue to pray empty prayers. Try to press through it and hope that the feelings of passion and conviction return. The other path in front of me is ‘change’. I feel like I may need to change-up my prayer routine. I think maybe re-incorporating mediation before prayer will help evoke clarity and distinction of what I need to talk to God about.

I do not want to abandon my prayer journal before my 21 days are up but I also don’t want to waste time and energy on empty prayers. I don’t know what’s going to happen but these thoughts and feelings have been swirling around in my mind so I decided to write them out and expose them here. Can anyone else relate to this? Is it just me? Has anyone reading this experienced something similar?

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3 Comments

  1. Sherri Richardson

    Nikita, it’s serendipitous that I ran across your post tonight. I have heard of people writing their prayers out, and I have also heard others echo what you are feeling in this part of your journey. I wonder if we tire of our own prayers, how must God feel about hearing them? Sunday I was cleaning house and heard Charles Stanley say, we must learn to pray and then listen. Making listening a part of our prayer time. It struck a chord with me, so perhaps it will speak to you as well. ❤

    1. M.Morris

      Thank you for reading. I agree that listening may be the missing part of prayer that I may need to incorporate.

      I also think I was putting too much pressure on myself and my prayers. How I should pray, what I should say, how to structure them to sound more ‘religious’. Ever since posting and getting wonderful, helpful feedback like yours and simply knowing I’m not alone has helped a lot. It feelss like a weight has been lifted.

      Thanks again for riding and I will definitely add the listening to practice.

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