Derailed in Prayer

prayerA couple of days ago as I was praying, a fog came over my mind. I had to pace the floor and pray out loud just to keep my mind focused. Through sheer determination, I continued praying until I came to the very end. As soon as I was finished, the fog lifted, and my mind was clear. Don’t tell me prayer isn’t like doing battle.

I’ve been a prayer warrior for six years now. There was only one day that I forgot to pray. (I’m not talking about the short prayers throughout the day, but a chunk of time set aside for prayer.) I was at Cub Scout camp, and I hadn’t slept hardly at all. During my normal time of prayer in the morning, I was required to do other things. By the next day, I had the shocked feeling that I had forgotten to pray the day before.

If you know me and prayer, you know what a disaster this was to me. My prayers move mountains. My prayers save souls. My prayers sustain people in time of need. I felt that I had let down the over 100 people that I pray for. I am NOT boasting. Many times I have wanted to be rid of this burden. Like during the whole slander issue. I felt like the people who I had been praying for were vicious dogs attacking me, and I just wanted push the dogs out with my foot and slam the door shut. I wanted to be done.

During those days right after the slander, I prayed for my family and close friends. I prayed for the people in the church of the Czech Republic, because I feel a huge spiritual burden for them. I prayed for the pastor that cried when I told him I had prayed for him every day for years, and that I would continue to do so. (His wife also cried, and I said to them, “Far be it from me to sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.”) In other words, I prayed for the people that were grateful. Then I felt apathy. I didn’t feel like praying. I said, “God, only You know who has been prayed for and who hasn’t. Bring the people to mind that I need to pray for, and then I want to be done.”

So an image of a person came to me, and I prayed for that person. I continued this way for maybe 20 people. Then I asked God if there was anyone else He wanted me to pray for. I waited. A couple from church came to my mind. I prayed for them. Then it was over. Instead of taking a huge amount of time, it only took about 10 minutes. (This is why I’m telling you. If you don’t want to commit to praying for an hour or whatever, for sure you can pray for 10 minutes for whoever God brings to your mind. This is not hard, and it is quite fulfilling.)

That’s how I got through those days when I didn’t care; when I felt total apathy. Apathy scares me more than anger, because if I’m angry, then I can pray with passion, because I can beg God to help me. But if I feel apathy, my heart isn’t in it. “The effectual fervent prayer” is what makes a difference, not “the perfunctory prayer done in apathy.”

If you want to know my entire journey through prayer, I have many prayer articles on my website. They were the foundation of my website. Before I even started writing, I got on my knees and asked God what He wanted me to write for my website. Five prayer articles came out. Those five prayer articles have spread like wildfire: people have asked me permission to use them for women’s Bible studies, and other people have asked to print them on their websites and blogs. I’ve gotten more syndicated hits on those articles from article directories than any other articles I’ve written. I’ve been floored at the response. I wept as I wrote those articles, just remembering God’s faithfulness to me.

I guess what I’d like to say is, don’t give up in your prayers. Mighty things happen with prayer, impossible things that you could never even dream of. Maybe some day I’ll write more about it. But for now, I’m back on the rails, and I care again.

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2 Responses to “Derailed in Prayer”

  1. Lynda says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been struggling with my prayer list asking God for help in getting through it each day. I am either so busy or exhausted from caring for my mother it hasn’t felt like my prayers have been worthy of the effort. I will try your suggestion of asking God to bring those to mind and “be done.”

    I was raised knowing the power of prayer, so I have never taken it lightly when I say, “I will pray for you.” It does move mountains.

    Thank you for linking to Women of Noble Character. Prayer warriors are noble.

  2. I enjoyed your thoughts on prayer. I learned to pray very early in life and my grandmother told me to always carry a prayer in your heart. I petition my Heavenly Father often and I know I can pray anywhere at any time. However, I do have my regular prayers and I too have had experiences of knowing that I needed to pray for others.
    Blessings to you! LeAnn

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