What else gets in the way of praying? Two things.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What else gets in the way of praying? Two things.

So far we’ve looked at finding time to pray. We’ve discussed our feelings of inadequacy. Today we will look at where to begin, and our feelings of unworthiness.

Even now, after years of praying, I sometimes don’t know where to begin myself. Just this morning I was having a hard time. Sometimes there are just so many needs. I flounder trying to find the words.

There are times we don’t have to know where to begin. In fact, those might be our best times in prayer. Let me explain. Sometimes it’s when we are questioning, that if we just sit for a while, much will become clear. We can do that in two ways.

Two ways to begin our time in prayer

Sitting and listening

First, we can just sit and listen. This works if we are truly focused and free from distraction. It means really quieting our troublesome thoughts. Not an easy task. But I have found that just sitting quietly allows my mind to wander.

Reading scripture

So I prefer adding this second dimension. I’ve found that the best way to listen is to “listen” after I’ve read some scripture. Then I can look it soak into my mind, and my thoughts have somewhere to go. If I focus on a verse, words just start to form. I will be sharing how to pray scripture in detail in a later post.

For now, read some scripture and then perhaps think of a person or circumstance in light of those verses. Let the words flow. This particular aspect of our prayer life is just a matter of taking some time. But this next area can present larger problems.

Feelings of unworthiness

Some are to be expected

Firstly, some feelings of unworthiness are to be expected. After all, we are engaging with the creator of the universe. When I really grasp that myself, I feel unworthy as well. But God understands that. This is why he states so often in Scripture how much he loves us. He doesn’t want these feelings of unworthiness to get in the way of approaching him.

Some feelings live deep within

Secondly, there are the feelings of unworthiness that live deep within us. They can often surface when we are in God’s presence because we feel personally unworthy. We are reminded of our past mistakes. Sometimes, we question how God can overlook our history.

Any Christian worthy of the grace they have received should feel that way at times. It means we truly understand the sacrificial gift we have received through the death of Christ. Those kinds of feelings of unworthiness on occasion keep us humble.

But too many Christians struggle too much with past mistakes; they can’t see themselves as God does, beautifully redeemed, and beautifully restored. Consequently, as long as they feel that way, they will struggle to be comfortable in God’s presence.

So how do we get beyond our feelings of unworthiness?

Believe what God says about you

I only know of one way and that is to believe what God says about us. Here are some verses to start:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only son. Whoever believes in him won't perish but instead have eternal life." John 3:16

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”  Psalm 86:15

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”  Psalm 107:8-9

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.”  Psalm 36:5-6

“But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love…” Nehemiah 9:17


Accept God’s forgiveness for past mistakes

We have a choice whether we believe any of the above verses. It’s that simple. You can either believe what God says about his love for you or not. You can believe he doesn’t see you as unworthy or not. When we accept God’s love, we accept all the rest. We accept that this same God who loves us wants to communicate with us.

When we dine with someone, we talk with them. Maybe that imagery will help you.

two bistro table sets/what else gets in the way of prayer


Don’t let either of these two reasons we’ve discussed today get in the way of initiating a time of conversation with God.

God bless and have a good day.