We all experience times of prayer that are blah. They are not really that bad, just a bit bland and dull. These blah stretches can be likened to a season of dryness in prayer. It is hard to get motivated. We may feel like we are just going through the motions. We don’t feel any consolation or affirmations and it may even seem like we are wasting our time.
There was a time in the history of Israel when the Chosen People were glum and a bit blah. It was then that the Prophet Isaiah said to them, “Be strong, do not fear!” (Isaiah 35:4). He assured them that if they hold on to their faith in the midst of the dryness, “the parched land will exult” and “the burning sands will become pools” (Isaiah 35:7).
Just as Isaiah assured the Israelites that good things will eventually come, we too need to remember that our blah times of prayer are temporary. Believe it or not, times of blah prayer can become rich opportunities. They help us build our prayer life on the solid truths of our faith and not just on our emotions, which come and go. They urge us to spend our prayer time recalling the awesome attributes of the God who loves us, whether we feel it or not.
When you feel blah in prayer try tapping into the Holy Spirit. You do not have to dig yourself out of spiritual doldrums on your own. The Holy Spirit can breathe life into your prayer. “In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8:26).
When you feel blah in prayer keep going. Don’t give up. Just keep praying and remember that no words to God are wasted. “Let us not grow tired, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
When you feel blah in prayer do something to break out of the rut. Nothing can bring about the blahs more than tedium. Shake it up. Try something new. “Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new” (Isaiah 43: 18-19a).
Jesus, thank you for those times of blah when you call me to seek you more deeply. I trust that you are using them to make me strong; turning my blahs into blessings!