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A Better Prayer Life

I don’t feel like praying. I almost never do.

This used to slow me down, but here are some principles that have greatly helped.

Why don’t I feel like praying?

I have an aversion to changes of context. If I’m doing chores around the house, I want to keep doing them. If I’m reading or typing at my computer, I want to keep doing that. When it’s time to go to bed, I don’t want to. And when it’s time to get out of bed I don’t want to. It takes emotional energy to shift your context, to drop an activity, and to orient yourself to a new one.

Find the Joy of Christmas

Jesus once said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

Do you know that feeling? When the work energizes rather than depletes you? There are days like this. But there are other kinds of days too, when the words of the old carol feel so true:

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow…

Running with God’s Word: Yielding to the Character of God

Every July in Pamplona, 200 to 300 people go to the hospital for contusions and falling injuries. It is the famous “running of the bulls.”

How would it be to stand in that narrow Spanish street, seeing the stampede come at you? There are only two choices: you hide, or you join.

That’s what God’s word is like to us. Hebrews 4:12 calls it a double-edged sword, quick and powerful.

As Christians, we face a choice: will we dodge the oncoming force of the character of God? Will we miss the whole frightening thing, or will we choose to place ourselves directly in its path?

What Did Jesus Mean By “Judge Not”?

close-up of a the eye of a person thinking

Those two words, “judge not,” can threaten to stop a dialogue.

But two more words can restart it: “keep reading.”

The “judge not” in Matthew 7:1 is not the end of the chapter.

By the third verse Jesus has pointed out that we should indeed be judging our own spiritual state:

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

By the fifth verse Jesus commands that a hypocrite ought to take the beam out of his own eye:

“And then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

He Who Promised Is Faithful

Are your prayers unanswered? Are you in a time of waiting? When you’re waiting you’re vulnerable. Doubts can grow. Especially when you’re experiencing suffering.

You begin to ask:

  • Why is this happening?
  • Why does God let it happen?
  • If God is still good, why can’t I feel it?

As a Christian, you know God is still good. But what can you do when the goodness of God begins to feel like a distant memory instead of a present reality?