When you’re too worn out to pray

posted in: Prayer and Virtue | 9
Christ as Savior by El Greco. You can pray, even when you're too tired to think.
Christ as Savior by El Greco (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons). You can pray, even when you’re too tired to think.

Prayer takes energy. When you are stressed, you may find you can’t use your imagination to meditate. You may be too worn out to converse with God. This was the case with me last year, when homeschooling three kids with a baby overwhelmed me.

Several times when I went to pray, I had too little strength to picture a scene from the Gospels. I could barely muster the energy to think the words, “Jesus, I love you.”

But I knew I had to pray. And I knew Jesus was there. I knew His love was constant. That meant He was loving me at that moment. So I decided just to soak in God’s love, like I might soak in the sunlight. I sat silent, reminding myself briefly every few minutes that God’s love was surrounding me. I let Him love me, and that was my prayer for half an hour.

I’ll never forget one trip to the confessional at this period of my life. I don’t remember what I said to the priest–certainly no specifics about my prayer method–but his advice astonished me. He said I should just sit and let God love me–the very thing I had felt inspired to do.

If you are too emotionally drained to pray, try this method.

Connie Rossini

Share with us: What do you do when you are too worn out to pray?

9 Responses

  1. monicaequippingcatholicfamilies

    Beautiful post Connie…
    sometimes it’s difficult to just stay still and receive God’s Love…but I’m sure it would bring peace!
    sorry to point this out…but I think you might want to change “converse with Go” to “God” =)

    • Connie Rossini

      You’re right that it’s often difficult to sit in silence. I wouldn’t recommend trying not to think as a general rule. But when you can’t think, it can be very soothing (and not so difficult) to sit silently in God’s presence.

  2. SaintlySages

    When I begin praying by speaking and end by listening, the predominant sense I am left with is a solidarity with others who pray; when I begin by listening for God and end by replying to Him, the predominant sense I feel is a closeness to God. I try to make time for each method of prayer each day. Have a great weekend. God bless you and yours!

  3. 8kidsandabusiness

    Sometimes at Eucharistic Adoration I just sit in silence. Every few minutes, I’ll say “Jesus” in my head and that is my only voiced prayer. This keeps me centered on the Holy Eucharist and calms my tired, distracted mind.

    • Connie Rossini

      That’s great. Personally, I always have a hard time staying awake at Adoration, which makes a simpler prayer more difficult, if that makes sense. I need my mind to be more engaged so I don’t doze off.

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