Are my praying habits sinful?



I use to pray every night, to make sure I have a connection with the Lord everyday. But a question that I have, is what you should do when you need to pray, but you don’t feel like praying. Is it a sin to pray and not be focused and not really putting a lot effort and meaning into it. Because I remember someone telling me that we are not supposed to be praying like that, but for me it also feels wrong to choose not to pray. But sometimes I feel like I don’t have energy to put a lot of effort in it. Maybe it’s just me being scrupolous, but I feel like I need to know.

So what do you think is the right thing to do? Is it a sin?


Praying doesn’t have to be with words. It could be as simple as asking the Holy Spirit to be with me for the next 5 minutes when I sit on the sofa in silence and do nothing else but sit. Thank the Holy Spirit after the 5 minutes for being with you.

A very vise old priest said to me when I was super stressed and needed to relax to do this. If I was really tired and needed a nap then to thank the Holy Spirit for letting me sleep for a while. I was always more relaxed and aware of God´s presence after inviting the Holy Spirit to be with me then if I went for a “normal nap”.

There are different ways of praying. Maybe it is time to look into a different kind than what you have done before. Praying with Scripture, sitting in silence in front of the blessed Sacrament, go for a walk and meditate on the mysteries of the rosary, walk in a garden or nature and thank God for the beauty He created. There are many more ways of praying.


Some days I can pray with passion and some days I can’t, I ask to be forgiven and I know that it’s fine. As long as you pray with respect, that’s important because you should always remember to whom you speak.

Scrupulosity, how many of us can honestly say that we haven’t glimpsed his anguished face at some time or other. Isn’t that just wanting to please God to the point of obsession! Our Heavenly Father needs us to be well and healthy in this way and so we must keep scrupulosity at arms length, maybe further.


Thank you all for good advice. Since I have only been a catholic for one year, I struggle sometimes dealing with sin, and which sins are mortal etc. I’m happy I found this page so I feel like a can finally get some answers to my questions.

God bless you and thank you! :slight_smile:


Praying is a conversation and you can choose to speak or listen when you want. Out Lord will always be waiting to answer any call you make :slight_smile:


St Teresa of Avila said prayer is the greatest of all blessings of this life, the channel through which all the favors of God pass to the soul, the beginning of every virtue.


I’ve come to realize that singing can also be prayer.


Thanks! God bless :slight_smile:


Praying with voluntary distractions is a sin.


It’s mainly not like that. It’s more like I don’t always feel like praying or puts enough meaning into it. But I tend to pray anyway even though I don’t always feel like I mean what I say. It’s sort of a list of things that I try mentioning in prayer every night, but sometimes I just pray it like it’s meaningless for some reason. I feel like doing that is not really ok, but I feel like I should pray also, so I were in some kind of dilemma, trying to figure out what is right and what is wrong.


I’ve been married for a long time, my kid is a grown man.

I love both my husband and my son.

When I leave in the morning, or when my son stops by, we will take our parting with “love you!” “Love you too!” It is habit. That does not make my love for them any more real or earnest, every time we do not have to give a big speech proclaiming our love.

If I die tonight, I would much rather my husband and son had heard “love ya” spoken out of habit than they have not heard it from me at all.


I think it might help to pause and try to put some meaning in your prayer. It is the fervor of the prayer not the quantity that makes it efficacious. It is important to have a constant prayer life even when we don’t feel like it.


I guess you both are right :slight_smile: I just feel so insecure about what is sinful and what is not sometimes.


Sorting that out can be difficult! But I have learned that for me, it is important to focus on the relationship with God rather than on whether or not I am sinning. Naturally, I try to avoid sin, but more by growing in virtue for the love of God, out of a desire to please Him.

Now, that is the ideal, and I have by no means reached it!

As to your original question, praying badly is better than not praying, but improving in prayer is better.

When you are not feeling great about prayer, if you give in to that voice that says, you’re not going to do this well, or for the right reasons, so why not wait until you are more into praying?-- if you give in to that voice, who are you going to please: God or the devil?

(I heard that on the radio and it is very handy! I wish I could attribute it properly!)

About improving in prayer, what you need to so first is apparently to work on your distractions. Ask for God’s help first of all :slight_smile: Then each time you notice you are distracted, just gently lead your mind back to where it is supposed to be. If you persevere, the distractions will diminish. They may come back time to time, but overall, they will reduce.

You may be ready for Catholic meditative prayer:


Some people don’t really start praying until they run out of words.


Spiritual dryness or burnout is very common. The greatest saints had it. We just do the best we can and try to work through it.

Someone better versed in theology can probably explain this better than I can but it’s my understanding that prayer can actually be more efficacious and have even more power when we do this through times of spiritual dryness and aridity, because it’s easy to pray when things are going well and we feel spiritually consoled, but not so much when we don’t.


I’ve never heard this before, can you explain this and give me an example? Thank you!



Thank you all for good tips! I feel like I’m more sure that praying even when I don’t feel like it is way better than to choose not to. God bless you all!:heart:


There’s no sin, so don’t worry about that- but you have the same problem that I do. My mind wanders often and I don’t give it my full attention. It’s not ideal.

That being said, I’ve heard that it’s better to pray to God all the time, even if we don’t do so very well, then it is for us to pray to Him very little yet have those few “discussions” be incredibly fruitful. Certainly do whatever you can to make the most out of your prayer, but don’t sacrifice a regular prayer schedule in order to do so.

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