When Prayers Get Stale

When prayers get stale

I don't know about you, but it is easy for me to fall into a prayer rut - where I find myself using the same 'ole words, to pray the same 'ole things, from day to day.  I do this when I am praying by myself, but also when I am praying for my kids at night.

I don't like getting into my prayer ruts when I pray with the kids at night, because I don't want them to get bored hearing me pray in the same way every night - and I don't like it when my own prayers start to feel stale, because then it is so much easier for my mind to wander.

I think the reason I do that is because there are a few core things that I want to pray for each night when we say our bedtime prayers, and it's hard to think of new ways to say it!  To me, it's a constant battle to keep my personal prayer time, and prayers with the kids, interesting and fresh (I hope I'm not the only one who has trouble with this).

I think this is something that is worth paying attention to, because being able to come near to God in prayer is a huge privilege - and we can come boldly because of what Christ did for us on the cross!  Something like that should never become boring, and it's something I want to work on.

I listened to a Focus On The Family broadcast the other day, and the speaker recommended trying to put theology into our daily, habitual prayers.  I try to do that when I pray with the kids, but I realized that I could do a better job of it.  I have been challenged lately to try to re-word things, and sneak more theology into my prayers with the kids.

So instead of "Please protect us while we sleep", it could be "Thank you, Lord, that you are so powerful, and in control of everything, and that You are always with us - thank you that you are able to protect us while we sleep, and we pray that You would."  Or instead of "Bless this food to our bodies", it could be "God, we know that you have made everything, including out food, and we thank you that you have provided this meal for us.  Thank you for the way you have wonderfully made our bodies to use this food for energy, and please protect us from any germs we might not know about."
Something like that.  Those are kind of long examples, but you get the idea.

Another fun resource for ideas on changing up day-today prayers is Max Lucado's "Treasury of Bedtime Prayers".  Don't let the title fool you, because there are prayers for every time of day in this book!  As I was reading through it I was gathering ideas for changing up some of my wording when I pray with the kids.

Bedtime prayers blog

The kids have also really enjoyed sitting and listening to the poems, Bible verses, and prayers in this book.  Gwen has especially liked it - this book is just her speed, I think.  I think she likes the rhythm of some of the poems, and the pictures are adorable - lots of cute woodland creatures and outdoor scenes.  I think the illustrations are what make this book special to me - these are the kind of pictures I loved to look at in books when I was a girl!

Bedtime prayers blg 2

We haven't read through all the prayers yet, because this book has a lot of them, but I have loved every one I have read so far!  I think it is a great tool to focus the kids (and myself) on God's goodness right before bed.

Bedtime prayers blog 3

I love the idea of focusing on theology and who God is during prayer, for a couple reasons - first it's a good way to sneak biblical truths into the kids brains without lecturing.  And second, when you remember how great is the God to whom we pray, it is hard to stay bored!  It is amazing that such an incredible God takes the time to listen to us.  It reminds me of Psalms 144:3 - what are we that God pays attention to us? Prayer is something special, and I don't want to forget that.

Am I the only one who gets stuck in "prayer ruts"?  What do you do to keep your prayer time fresh?

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Note: I received a copy of :Treasury Of Bedtime Prayers" for free from Tommy Nelson in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.


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Natalie@She Builds Her Home said...

Yes yes yes! I definitely go through prayer rut phases! And then usually they end in me only praying at meals and bedtime with the kids, not really digging in. I am just getting out of a rut and have started setting the timer on my phone after I read my Bible to pray over what I read and other things that are on my heart. Usually when the timer goes off I'm still in the thick of it so it has been helping a lot! I LOVE the idea of adding theology to our prayers. That is such a great idea to help kids learn more about God and His goodness! I feel like I often pray the same things for them at meals and bedtime as well...it is hard because the things we are praying for are important things but I agree with you that I don't want them to get bored of hearing the same prayers over and over, or them thinking it's just a memorized thing and not from our hearts.

Hannah said...

You are not the only one who gets stuck in prayer ruts! The same thing happens to me. I love that you wrote about this; I've never thought to add more theology into my prayers. I'll remember this and try to implement it in my prayer times. And that book looks amazing and like something my little guy would love reading and looking at, it's a book I'll have to look into for sure! Just out of curiosity, since we're talking about prayer and all, do you write your prayers down in a journal or do you just say them?

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