Not Feeling Good Enough to Pray? Try This.

Written by Kathy DeVet 

Have you ever thought: “I can’t pray because I’m not worthy.”? Or “I can’t serve at church because I’m not good enough.”?

Funny thing, when I was trying to start writing this blog post, I started to feel like I had nothing to say and no business saying anything anyway. What was I thinking? I felt totally inadequate.

We can be tempted to feel inadequate by the enemy who doesn’t want us to follow God or be connected to God or be happy with God.

Providentially, I recognized that temptation to give up and the lie the enemy was trying to make me believe about myself, a friend sent me a wonderful text pep talk, and I took it to God. He gave me the grace to see the truth and to remember that I can rely on Him, and here we are!

In one of my favorite books, (Searching for and Maintaining Peace), Fr. Jacques Philippe says, “If we wait until we are saints to have a life of prayer, we will wait a very long time… to appear before the Lord in our state of sin that we will receive healing and will be transformed, little by little, into saints.”

That made a huge impression on me! When I turn to God when I sin or fall, I allow God to work in my heart and help me change. Fr. Jacques Philippe says that a sign of spiritual progress is how fast we get up and run to God after sin.

That’s when we need Him the most. And that’s when His mercy and love are most available to us.

I think about when my sons were young—my preschooler threw a block at his older brother and hit him in the forehead. Blood everywhere. Tears. I yelled, “Go in time out!” as I washed the injury. It turned out to be a tiny dot, but, as you know, head injuries bleed like crazy. Meanwhile the miscreant threw a fit in time out. Ten minutes later, for him, it was as if nothing happened. He was all smiles, “Mom! I love you!”

That’s what God wants for us. He wants us to run to Him—Father!  I love you!

You know what? My sons eventually learned to not throw blocks and obey me (at least most of the time!). And by turning back to God in repentance and love, we allow Him to change our hearts so that we eventually learn to obey Him better.

God said: “Fear not, you shall not be put to shame…My love for you will never leave you.” (Isaiah 54: 4,10). I can count on His love for me and His welcome of me no matter how worthy I feel. Because pretty much, I’m just never worthy of God and He knows it. That’s why He sent His only Son to save me.

True repentance is gentle, peaceful, trustful.  It is not by our own efforts that we succeed in becoming good enough; it is only by the grace of God. Rather than troubling ourselves, it is better to regain our peace and let God act.

Here is a prayer I like to pray: O Jesus, I surrender this to You. You take care of it. (It’s from another favorite book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitely.)

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