Every year I used to create a New Years Resolution to develop a prayer life.
And every year I would fall short on that Resolution.
Don’t get me wrong, I was a pretty good “Christian”. I knew the Word, and I accepted Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior. But it didn’t stop me from picking and choosing when I wanted to be close to Him.
Prayer to me felt intimidating. I never really knew what to say.
I knew the basics of prayer– you know, modeling your prayers after “The Lord’s Prayer” from Matthew 6:9-13, where you give thanks, confess your sins, pray for others, and yourself.
But still, I never really felt Jesus in those prayers. It was more like I was just going through a list of things I needed to say in order to be right with God. So because of that, I never really valued prayer and how it could impact my personal life.
Then I got dumped during a family vacation. I immediately went to God in prayer. To be honest, I had no one else to turn to. And even then, I still didn’t know what to say other than, “I trust You.” But I did feel like that was comforting so I left it at that.
I sought God out through prayer and developed a pretty good prayer life afterward and it actually did help me during that breakup season.
But after a while, I stopped going to church and began to go to clubs and bars instead. I was talking to multiple men at once and was very confused as to which one was actually worth dating and loving.
Not to mention, I was still hurting from my breakup, so every guy out there was being compared to my Ex, which wasn’t fair to them or myself.
Rather than to turn to God for my healing and restoration, I turning to men.
During that season I got burned more times than ever before in my love-life. I made poor choices. There were relationships that should have never happened. Only I allowed them to happen simply because I was tired of feeling alone. I grew desperate and needy.
Eventually, I came to a point where I knew that I needed to change my ways. No matter what I did or where I went, I kept feeling this desire to seek God. I knew it was time for me to reconnect.
But it was pretty awkward. Almost like you had this really good friend and you ghosted them for no reason, then you randomly run into them at the supermarket or gym. Like, how do you even begin to have a conversation with that person? Let alone, God?
I knew that I needed God, but I was so ashamed of myself for ignoring Him that I couldn’t even muster up the courage to face Him again.
And this has actually happened to me multiple times in my life. But with every situation, the shame and awkwardness remained the same.
When I first got married and thought that life was grand, things became a little hectic. I felt like I couldn’t keep up with life and I was constantly falling behind. I had to learn so much about myself and my new husband! It was exhausting! There was this huge sense of overwhelming pressure that lingered in the air that I had to be perfect and happy and content and I just couldn’t shake it off.
Or when I was a first-time mom, trying to adjust to another new role, while caring for a tiny human who is totally dependent on me. Without much sleep, you tend to go into a bit of survival mode, and it often leaves you feeling lost. And let’s not forget to mention the bouts of postpartum depression.
Take a wild guess at what was missing in my life during those crazy seasons. Yup. Prayer. Connection with God. Some substance of a prayer life.
So what’s the secret? How does one get back into the swing of things after it’s been a while and you’re feeling a bit rusty with your relationship with God?
Three things: Humility, grace, and faith.
Let me break this down for you.
Remember when I mentioned that friend that you ghosted? Yeah, reconnecting with Jesus through prayer is kinda like that.
We know that God did nothing wrong. We know that we made the first move. And because we know this, we think it’s our fault and God is gonna feel some type of way about it.
But God isn’t our old best friend. He isn’t one of our Ex’s waiting to get our love and attention again. God is always there. Even if we choose to look away, He’s still right there.
We need to develop a sense of humility because it gonna take some to swallow our pride and to meet God where He is. But not only that. We don’t need to “get our life together” to meet Him. Remember, He’s been there all along.
God wants us to draw close to Him just as we are! That’s the reason why He’s there! He doesn’t care about your sins– He already took care of all that. He just wants us to reconnect.
But we also gotta be willing to connect with Him as we are. We gotta humble ourselves to go to Him in our mess, in our stress, and in our weakness. And it’s gonna take some humility to do that.
Which leads me to this. Cut yourself some slack. You’re not perfect and you never will be.
When you try to do something good, you may be all in at first, but then after a while, it gets tough. Your willpower isn’t as strong as you thought it was, and the excuses start to make more and more sense to you.
👏🏼Do 👏🏼not 👏🏼fool 👏🏼yourself!
A lot of times, we never tend to reset our prayer life because we think that we failed at it once so what’s the point?
The point is that you were never meant to do this alone! God is the Giver of Grace and He will give you the strength you need to press on and show up.
If you’re willing to show up,
So at the end of the day, after you’ve humbled yourself to make the decision to reconnect and restore your prayer life, then all that’s left is your faith.
Mind you, you don’t need a certain amount of it. All you need is to have some.
Faith that God will show up. That you can get back into having a healthy prayer life. Faith that things will be ok and that you will not be judged in your circumstances by God.
And most importantly, faith that God will love on you regardless of how long it’s been, what happened during your absence, or what words you choose to say.
You might not even have any words to say! But just knowing that in your heart, you are going to God, that’s still a prayer that God will hear!
When it comes to your prayer life, there are only two directions that it can go in: either you’re drawing towards God or away from Him.
If it’s been a while, then hopefully these tips will get you past your thoughts and judgments. If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your relationship with God so that no matter what season you’re in, you can connect with Him, then check out my online class, “How to Strengthen Your Relationship With God”! It was designed to help you create a structure to meet with God in every season, whether it’s super busy or not.
At the end of the day, the key to getting back into a prayer life after it’s been a while is that you go back. Just as the prodigal son came to his senses and returned home, you gotta make the choice to also return. Knowing that you need to reconnect with God isn’t enough. So pray today. Pray right now!
And if you need some help, start with this simple prayer to get you going:
I need You. I want to feel close to You. Though I don’t really know what to say, I do know for a fact that I need to feel Your love, peace, and goodness in my life again. Come into my heart to stay for good. Show me Your love and allow me to feel it all around me. Here I am, God… I’m ready.