Three Steps to a Ruined Prayer Life

By Carol McClain: @carol_mcclain

There was a time when I knew prayer.

The Bible describes prayer as wrestling  or striving or fervency or laboring… and lots of other words implying working hard at it.

I used to rise before my daughter woke so I could have at least and hour in prayer. I picked up my guitar and sang until I felt the Spirit move. Perhaps I’d kneel at my window. When a breeze caressed my face, I felt God.


Three or four friends and I would meet once a week. We’d lock ourselves in a small room and for at least two hours, we prayed together.

Then things cooled down. Excuses wormed their way into life. Laziness demanded to have its way.

I forgot the admonition, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:16).

Today, my prayer time is only a shadow of what it once was.

Three Steps to a Ruined Prayer Life

  1. Time. Short on time, I hurried through prayer. “Lord, I love you. Please bless…. Amen.” My hour prayer became a half-hour which became fifteen minutes. With the rush, anxiety, worry, and earthly cares prevented me from reaching the mercy seat of God.
  2. Not a priority. Being late for work, or a text message pinging my phone or company visiting, I set prayer aside, and I promised I’d get to it later. I always did, but it lost its sense as a priority.
  3. Crowded into fragments. Once the above excuses wormed their ways into my prayer life, I began to pray only in fragments. Driving along in my car, I’d utter a, “Keep me safe, Lord.” Then I turned on the radio. Before a meal, when I saw an alarming clip on the news, I whispered a quick prayer. After this step, all prayer will cease.

God doesn’t demand a set amount of time, but we need to wrestle out the cares of this fleeting life and set our eyes on the eternal.


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  1. Cynthia says:

    Painfully true…thanks for the reminder of how important prayer is from day to day.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Very well said and very encouraging to really live by Colossians 4:2.

    • Carol McClain says:

      Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;–always we must remember our attitude of thanksgiving–for a yes answer, a wait answer or a no answer.

  3. Tina says:

    Oh yea,have been there .I have been enjoying the aspect of having more unstructured time in this season of life for refocusing on prayer. Not having as many times pressures is nice!

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