I used to feel a burning love in my heart whenever I prayed in a state of grace and having received communion, but now regardless of whether I’m in a state of grace or not, my relationship with God feels cold and impersonal. I feel like my prayer life has recently become an empty routine of sorts. I pray the Angelus 3 times daily if I’m able, pray the morning offering and daily consecration to Mary, pray the Rosary daily if I’m able, pray the Divine Mercy chaplet and Litany of the Sacred Heart every Friday, and examine my conscience before bed. I enjoy these prayers, but lately I’ve felt that I’m just going through the motions instead of doing them out of love for God. Do I really love Him, or am I just praying like a pagan or a Pharisee? How can I refresh my dry prayer life?
My thoughts for what they are worth are that a prayer such as Our Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father are only words which with repetition over time can be repeated without any feeling whatever, almost possible to say them whilst thinking about something else! If I think about the words I’m saying it makes a big difference, for example, lately I’ve been saying “thy kingdom come…” and imagining Gods kingdom being around me, imagine that! What an amazing difference that has made to the Our Father, and that’s just one small part of it. So I’d recommend perhaps slowing down a bit and feeling the ideas behind the words.
I have a long term relationship with a small tribe of sparrows in my garden. I feed them seed and give them fresh water and though they fly away and hide every time I go out into the garden that’s fine because they’re not pets and I don’t want them to be totally reliant on me. But I digress, sometimes I see them bathing in the water, once there were ten of them in a ten inch plant pot base! I watch them and they are so cute, so small, fragile yet feisty and I feel a real affection for them. So sometimes when I’m trying to feel love I kind of restart my love by using the image of these innocent sweet creatures whilst praising God for having created them and that helps put me in the right frame of mind to feel love. So maybe something like that could help restart your love and appreciation for God prior to prayer? Then give it to Him. Maybe look at the prayers again with fresh eyes and gain some new insights from the meanings behind the words and feel them when you pray.
And remember God hears and loves like no other. Peace.
Ps, I also remember being told that it’s better to say for example one decade of the rosary well than the complete rosary badly. Sometimes quality is definitely affected by quantity.
Everyone goes through dry spells in their prayer life. Sometimes it can be a testing…“Will you still follow Me through the desert?”
Mother Teresa felt no consolations from the Lord for over 50 years but stayed faithful despite her loneliness.
Everyone’s emotions come and go…just don’t give up on praying. It sounds like you have a beautiful routine.
You can also try something new to shake yourself up. Try reading more Scripture or spending more time before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration. You could pray the Stations of the Cross, or spend time reading some good homilies or The Imitation of Christ. Perhaps a long hike outside. Just something new to get out of the rut.
If possible, try to attend daily mass.
In times of struggle, I observe the problems people are facing in large groups, and unite the issues with a patron Saint. Perhaps a group of people I feel bad about are undergoing a crisis. It could be romantic love (Saint Valentine), or maybe drug addiction (Saint Kolbe) and I relax and allow them time and space to heal others. All the while, faith that it will get better for them provides me with grace in their progress.
Search your feelings and “let go and let god.” I suggest doing this until all are prayed for. There is a directory online for patron saints you can reference and bookmark in times of need. After you feel all the faith (as small as a mustard seed can move mountains), your prayers will become stronger. Search out your entire life and see “trends” which stop them from living a good life.
33 Day consecrcation to Jesus throguh Mary.
All good contributions.
Additionally, prayer is more than consolation. it’s the building of relationship. even when that initial passion is gone, married couples can enter into a deeper communion with each other. That may be what God wants from you.
The fact you wish to refresh your dry prayer life means you recognize your thirst and actively wish to approach it. As St. Augustine has said “Our Hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” So you are far from being either a pagan or a pharisee hypocrite.
That being said, don’t punish yourself or let yourself fall into despair when you feel this way. Deserts appear for God’s children in scripture multiple times for a reason. Even Jesus had to walk through a desert for some time. This, it seems, is simply a way for you not to feel complacent and actively approach the Lord however you can.
The best advice would be to persevere in prayer, ask others to pray for you. Don’t let yourself down when you feel this way. Read some good books and surround yourself with good company and offer whatever sufferings you have to God, to pray for the Church and for others in their spiritual lives
I will offer a Divine Mercy chaplet for you.
Maybe just talk to Jesus. Adore/meditate on his Sacred Heart, his compassion, his power, justice, and mercy.
Admire your guardian angel - a divinely made being who glorifies God by looking out for your interest.
@giuseppe96 , you can rely too much on feelings.
Persistence in prayer when one feels devoid of consolations shows more love than praying when one feels over the moon .
I would also give more space to be silent which may give God a better chance to speak to you .
What God has to say to us is more important than what we say to God .
‘When consolation is taken away, do not at once despair but wait humbly and patiently for the
heavenly visit, since God can restore to you more abundant solace.
This is neither new nor strange to one who knows God’s ways, for such change of fortune often
visited the great saints and prophets of old. Thus there was one who, when grace was with him,
declared: “In my prosperity I said: ‘I shall never be moved.’” But when grace was taken away, he
adds what he experienced in himself: “Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled.” Meanwhile
he does not despair; rather he prays more earnestly to the Lord, saying: “To Thee, O Lord, will I
cry; and I will make supplication to my God.” At length, he receives the fruit of his prayer, and
testifying that he was heard, says “The Lord hath heard, and hath had mercy on me: the Lord became
my helper.’ - The Imitation of Christ
Thinking about the words EACH TIME is very important. As someone said above, put yourself in the attitude of mind that you are speaking TO somebody – certainly not “reciting” such and such a prayer.
In a Jewish book about prayer, they made the point that some prayers in scripture are very short. When Moses prays for his sister who has been struck with some disease, he prays “LORD, heal her.” And, also remember that God hears the softest prayer that comes from our lips and heart.
In the Eastern rite, rather than the Hail Mary, the most popular prayer used to be “the sinner’s prayer” LORD, have mercy on me a sinner. Surely you notice this is a short prayer, too.
The Catechism has an amazing 60 or so pages on prayer. I haven’t absorbed that yet.
Right now, it’s hard for me to focus on forgiving those who have caused scandal in the Church. It distracts me a lot, it makes me very angry. We KNOW that there are other abusive priests and bishops out there. We definitely need to pray for the Church. If nothing else takes away our dryness for prayer, this international crisis should work.
Just cry out to God directly. Don’t worry about which prayers you have to recite and whatnot. Let Him know that you’re feeling overwhelmed. You’re making it unnecessarily complicated. Just pray to the Lord and tell Him everything that’s on your heart. Don’t stop praying until you’ve mentioned every single thing that’s bothering you.
Besides, He knows what you’re going to say, so you won’t be surprising Him.
This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.