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3 things Keeping Joy from your Prayer Life… and 3 ways to bring Joy back.

Common joy blockers in prayer and what we can do to overcome them.

A divine appointment. Coffee with my Creator. Touching Heaven.

Prayer has the potential to be the most significant, joyful and powerful activity in my day. So why do I so often feel rushed, agitated and restless when I take time to pray?

In the story of the ‘woman at the well’ in John 4:1-42, we can identify three behaviours or beliefs that stop our prayer life being joyful. Under each of these is an idea to bring joy into your relationship with God.

1. Shame: When this woman initially meets Jesus, she can’t believe that Jesus would want to talk to her. Her sense of personal identity brings a shame that stands in the way of relationship. The antidote: Jesus demonstrates that there is NO cultural norm or social convention that he won’t break for the sake of love and relationship. God does not shy away from you, he is proud to be seen with you. Jesus is the safest person in your life.

2. Swirling Thoughts: When Jesus starts revealing spiritual truths to this woman, all she can think about is what is immediately in front of her - physical water. The same goes for us. We are easily overwhelmed by the noise of kids, worries and concerns that keep popping up in our minds, dirty dishes, overflowing laundry…

The antidote: Get a pen and some paper, and write. Let your writing be a prayer. When concerns pop up, don’t try to ignore them, just write them down, then get back to writing your prayer. Or try praying out loud. As evangelist Dawson Trotman said: “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips.”

3. Not being real and true: Jesus teaches this woman, that the kind of worshippers God is looking for are those who will worship him in Spirit and in Truth. People who bring their whole selves to God. The Antidote: God is not looking for perfection, he is just looking for you. Stop judging your own prayer life and start praying. Write out or speak out what you really think and open up your heart for God to change what he wants to change.

“God, we are fragile and weak. But we can come and talk with you. You promise to listen, and you often speak. Teach us to pray in spirit and in truth. Amen.”

Written by Andrew Mellor


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