My Grace-Full Life

5.13.22 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Overcoming Prayer Paralysis

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Pray without ceasing… (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Good morning, and happy Friday the 13th! Because I’m a useless trivia nerd, here’s a fun fact: this is the one and only Friday the 13th in all of 2022. (I know that information adds great value to your day, right?)

Today, let’s discuss… what? No idea. I vented my spleen last Friday, and now that it’s time to return to my normal post, I’m coming up empty! But while we’re on that subject, thank you again to everyone who wrote words of encouragement to me. That was way outside my comfort zone, but I felt it needed to be said. And I appreciate you for your kind comments.

So what to write… what to write… what to… pray? Do you sometimes feel like you have no idea what to pray? Yeah — me too. 

There are times when I just hit a brick wall with my prayers. I can’t articulate anything. It’s incredibly frustrating because I want a full and active prayer life, but this happens more often than I care to admit… usually when I’ve got too much on my plate.

But here’s the good news. The more mature I grow in my faith, the more the Holy Spirit teaches me to handle those moments. He has shown me four key ways to fight prayer paralysis.

  1. God knows our hearts better than we know them ourselves. So when we’re frustrated and overwhelmed, unable to pray, or we can’t articulate our prayers — God intervenes. According to Romans 8:26, His Holy Spirit helps us. It says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Isn’t that amazing?! When our prayer life feels stuck — pray that verse! Remind the Holy Spirit that you need His intercession! He hasn’t forgotten, but He does like for us to acknowledge the promise! And let’s not neglect verse 27 — “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” So we can be confident that when the Holy Spirit prays for us, He prays according to God’s will for us. 
  1. Jesus has prayed for you, and His prayer is recorded in Scripture. John 17:20 says, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word,” and His prayer continues through verse 26. When you’re struggling to talk to the Lord, read His prayer about you and marvel… Because He’s omniscient, Jesus knew who His believers would be. He knew that 2000-some years after His earthly ministry, a 47-year-old woman named Denise would be sitting in her prayer room, wearing her favorite teal terry cloth bathrobe, and writing this post on her iPhone. He had me in mind when He prayed, and He had you in mind too. I find that so humbling. When I reflect on Jesus’ prayer for you and me, it shakes me out of my prayer paralysis and helps me to feel overwhelmingly grateful to Him.
  1. When we struggle to pray, there’s nothing like praise. Getting out of our own way to bring praise to God is a powerful way to unlock your prayer life. It’s even part of the model Jesus gave us in “The Lord’s Prayer.” Matthew 6:9-13 records the prayer, but it’s verses 9-10 that show us the importance of praise: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus teaches us to start prayer with a reverent awe of who God is… to acknowledge His holiness… to confess His supreme power and righteousness… to praise Him for His compassion, and agree that His will should be accomplished. When we start our prayers in praise, it sets the tone. It puts things in perspective. We may have big problems, but it reminds us that we have a bigger God.
  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” I recently read something in my commentary that deeply resonated with me — “Prayer is both an act and an atmosphere… it is possible to live in an atmosphere of prayer… the mood of our life should be a prayerful mood…” And when we ask the Holy Spirit to help us live with that mindset and in that prayerful atmosphere, He is faithful. And the more we pray, even when we’re stuck, the more we can come to trust that it is possible to pray without ceasing.

Today, as you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to equip you to pray. Ask Him to help you keep a prayerful heart at all times, and that when prayer paralysis hits — ask Him to intervene. And praise Him in the process. 

SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.

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