Dry Prayer And Monkey Chatter

Hi, there!

We all have had those times in prayer when we felt like nothing was accomplished, and even felt somewhat guilty because of our seemingly fruitless effort. We couldn’t “get spiritual” in our frame of mind and/or there was that constant bombardment of unsolicited thoughts. This is abundantly true especially in the early stages of our Christian journey.

If we are persistent in a faithful walk, these problems will be taken care of by the Holy Spirit….not only in time, but at the present:

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness ; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”. Romans 8:26

Even if we struggle often in prayer, rest assured that what is necessary and has to be said to the Father and Christ Jesus on our behalf is ALWAYS automatically taken care of by the Holy Spirit within us (again, Romans 8:26!!). Never feel as though you have to “perform” in any prescribed manner when praying formally or informally. The MOST IMPORTANT consideration here is that we are going to Them, however feeble our efforts may be.

And, Christ Jesus, Himself,  is ALWAYS there making intercession (“pleading”….Concordant Literal New Testament) on our behalf on every front. Romans 8:34

Let’s not forget Matthew 6:8: “for your Father does know those things that you have need of before your asking Him.”.

Finally, a prayer of thanksgiving is an excellent approach when coming before our Father and Christ Jesus. Just start thanking Them for any and everything that comes to mind….not only the “good stuff” they give us but for our least and worst trials, as well as our failures. Those failures should lead us to depend on Them more than ever!

Sometimes, as brought out in the Post on “God’s Silent Treatment”, it is good that we just come to Them in silence. If monkey chatter persists, usually repeating in our minds or verbally “Lord”, “Lord God”, “Father”, “Jesus” or similar words will keep the intrusive thoughts at bay.

And, your position in formal prayer should not be an issue: my favorite is lying in bed where I am very comfortable. (You might want to reference the Post “Pray On The Potty”)

The most important consideration is that we are coming to Them, giving Them our attention….as such, They and the Spirit within us will take care of the rest!

I would like to leave you with these words about prayer from Oswald Chambers that can be found at http://utmost.org/thinking-of-prayer-as-jesus-taught/, along with his other 364 daily entries. Here goes:

“The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops.

Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. “Pray without ceasing…”— maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.”

End of excerpt. The “pray without ceasing” quote came from 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Later, in Christ,



2 comments on “Dry Prayer And Monkey Chatter

  1. Anonymous says:

    May I suggest that, from this Catholic’s perspective, prayer can be many things. It’s much more than falling to our knees and silently bringing our petitions to God (though a very good thing). Sometimes it’s listening in silence or learning to listen in silence. Pray can be absolutely everything we do if we do it with Godly intentions. A few examples, it can be our work, reading the Bible (Lectio Divina: read, meditate, pray, contemplate), talking to someone in spiritual need, listening to someone express their sorrows and worries, the cloths we wear (modesty), the places we go and the places we avoid, remembering those who have nothing, being a timely word of encouragement, encouraging those without hope.

    In a more general sense prayer is the humble submission of our minds to Divine things, not merely to acquire a knowledge of them but to make use of such knowledge as a means of union with God. Sometimes our prayer life may seem a bit arid, be encouraged, this has happened too many including the Saints. But when your awareness of God’s presents seems distance, just keep doing the holy things you previously learned. They in themselves give us encouragement, because they are good, are of God and we have been given the grace to do them. And when you’re doing good things you’re doing God’s will and he is aware of your actions. The aridness of your prayer life will be watered once again in God’s due time (in the interim we learn faith and patients).

    A few verses to contemplate:

    25:37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
    25:38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
    25:39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
    25:40 and the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.

    JMJ / OSB

    • Thanks very much for your good thoughts. Some of your points are brought out in my other Posts at “Pray On The Potty” and “Practicing The Presence Of God”.

      All the best.

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