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Asking Questions


What holds back a thriving prayer life?


What holds back your prayer life? by Valerie Woerner, prayer journal, women's ministry, prayer, refresh, meditation, how to make a prayer journal, praying for your kids, husband, prayer warrior, war room, Bible study, tools, prayer notebook, how to prayDoes your prayer life feel heavy? You know the feeling. You long to just run unencumbered. You desire these mountain-moving conversations but instead, it feels more like that time you attempted to go for a run and got out of breath before the block ended. It was as if weights were pulling you down and slowing your pace. 

If you could just shed them, you might just run as if your toes barely touched the ground. This is the vision I have for my prayer life. Running unencumbered by the unnecessary weights that have held me back like Hebrews 12:1 mentions.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

As discouraging as weights can feel, the great news is we can remove those things that are hindering us from a fruitful conversation with God Almighty! (All the praise hands that is even possible, no?) We just have to understand what those weights are in the first place. 

Today, my new book, Pray Confidently and Consistently, releases! In it, I dive into 15 weights that are holding our prayers lives back. Today I want to share 5 of those with you to get you started. Take a minute to say a quick prayer before you read them and let the Lord know you are all ears for what He wants you to grasp from this. There is likely one that weighs the heaviest.  

1. A false starting point

What we believe to be true about God will completely alter how we pray. Do we believe God is unloving but powerful? We’ll be terrified of messing up with God. Do we believe God is loving but has no power? We’ll share things with Him but rely on Him for our greatest needs. Do we think he’s loving and powerful but doesn’t actually hear us? We’ll never make time to pray because why waste the time? Take time for an assessment of what you know about believe about God and study His Word to get to know who He is.

2. Focusing on the formula

What if we mess up? The New Testament seems pretty specific with how NOT to pray, right? I’m a big believer that God’s “formula” is far less rigid than we assume and that if we can come humbly, confess often and have faith, we can pray with confidence. 

3. Holding the thing we love most back 

I tend to think I’m pretty generous with God, not when I surrender all, but when I surrender to most. So much for Him to work with! I’ll just keep this one measly request and work really hard to make it happen instead of trust the Lord’s plan for it. What’s that one thing that feels scary to give up control of? That makes us feel we aren’t just releasing it into God’s hands, we’re releasing it over the pits of hell. Maybe it’s a future spouse or child or the career we desperately want. Going back to #1, what we know of God, will help us release that one thing into our loving Father’s safe hands. 

4. Fighting the wrong battles

Most of the time, I choose to battle my kids or some sassy commenter on Facebook instead of my real spiritual enemy. When we’re fighting the wrong battles, we’re neglecting the actual battle which happens in prayer. If you want to pray more today, simply recognize that there is a spiritual world that is at war and our prayers affect it. It’s a crazy thought but instead of getting upset at that person who shares opposite beliefs, what if we recognized the war taking place for the Kingdom.

5. Giving up before things get good

Some prayers feel like the goalpost keeps moving. We eventually give up because it’s hard to imagine why God would wait so long to answer us. Surely if it was a yes, He would have answered by now, right?  What I often have to remind myself in moments like these is that God is outside of time. What feels long to us, God sees the reality. In fact, He’s likely working behind the scenes right now. In Phil Wickham’s song “Battle Belongs”, the first line says, “When all I see is the battle, you see the victory”. What a beautiful truth to remember when we’re in the thick of it!

Did anything resonate? Maybe some hit home but you know there’s more holding you back? 

Get the book!! 

These words are what I would share with anyone who wanted to get unstuck in their prayer life (if we had 6 hours to chat ;). This is what I would go over with a mentee each week who wanted to keep learning about prayer. This is it. And if you’ve got our online prayer course, this isn’t just that content rehashed into a book. It’s actually very different, some basics the same of course, but the book covers more on the mindset of prayer that needs to shift while the course is more step-by-step practical. 

You might be so sick of hearing me share about this book but I really hope you get it. This is the best I have to share and we will be pointing others to it until the end of time. 😝 I set out to write a classic book on prayer that wouldn’t be outdated in 2 years and let me tell you, I was so grateful to hear what Lara Casey had to say as she read it.

If your prayer life is cruising along nicely, this might not be the book for you but if you are wanting something more in your relationship with God, what do you have to lose?? 

And if you’ve already gotten the book and have been able to see some, would you review it on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you ordered your book? Reviews are basically what video content is to the Instagram algorithm! 

FOREVER GRATEFUL and SO EXCITED to see what God does next!!


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