When you don’t feel like praying, how can you still savor God’s presence?
One of the most challenging tasks as a parent is asking a two-year-old to pray.
Close your eyes.
We’re talking to Jesus now. Come sweetie, close your eyes.
Wiggles. Shaking the head.
We pray anyways. Amen.
My five year-old-son asks, “Why do we have to close our eyes anyways?”.
I stop to think. Of course, we pray in all different ways: sitting, standing, walking, singing, driving too.
Why do we pray with our eyes closed?
The best thing I could think of at the time was this : kissing.
Do you notice something, TJ — when Daddy and Mommy kiss?
We close our eyes.
To Let Our Souls Breathe
I didn’t say this to TJ at the time, but we also close our eyes —
— when we cry and tears run down,
— when we bite into a crisp strawberry and savor summer sweetness,
— when we laugh so hard our belly aches and we can’t remember when we last did.
When we want to remember a tender moment and lean into a friend’s embrace, we release ourselves in that moment.
And let our souls breathe.
Savoring God’s Presence
We can still savor God’s presence even when we don’t feel like praying.
One way I do this is by the simple act of closing my eyes — whether for a fleeting moment or longer.
I breathe, “Oh, God” and close my eyes in frustration. Without any words, I am stepping into God’s presence.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8
I whisper his Name, “Jesus, you know me” and close my eyes to lean into the arms of Him who loves and understands me.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way (including the difficulty of prayer), just as we are–yet was without sin.” Hebrews 7:25 (parenthesis mine)
I rely on the comfort that God hasn’t left or forsaken me. Even in my silence.
“If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
I sink into the couch or lie on my bed with my hands open and close my eyes. I circle my thoughts to one thing: God is praying for me.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26
When you don’t feel like praying, all is not lost.
Jesus doesn’t hold it against you.
In fact, He is carrying you close in His heart — whispering with eyes closed — more tenderly than we may dare to believe.
He is praying for you and for me.
How is God encouraging you in prayer?
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