The last day of prayer of the Divine Mercy Novena is dedicated to “Lukewarm hearts.”
And sometimes I worry that it’s referring to me.
It comes and goes, stays for different lengths of time – days or months. There doesn’t seem to be any rhythm or particular trigger. It just appears on my heart without warning. A prayer desert.
A prayer desert for me is when I’m just not “feeling it” when I pray. My prayers feel rote, my imagination wanders, and there’s a lack of connection. And it’s miserable.
Mother Theresa famously had a thirst for God that she couldn’t quench.
Can you relate? If so, here are a few tools I use to find an oasis in the desert.
- Recognize where you are, and where you want to be. And tell God. And keep telling Him. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” Be explicit in what you are experiencing.
- Go to confession/Adoration/Mass – Immerse yourself in spiritual experiences offered by the Church.
- Try a different form of prayer – The rosary, pick a novena, Lectio Divina, sing, silence, read the Psalms.
- Adult religious education classes/bible study – I love the adult education at my church because it not only gives me a chance to ask [dumb] questions, but I can surround myself with other people who are yearning to learn more. If your parish doesn’t offer classes, perhaps a nearby parish does.
- Get out of your comfort zone and serve. Soup kitchen, litter cleanup, retirement home, Big Brothers Big Sisters. Put yourself in situations to see Jesus in other people.
- Rinse and repeat – just do it. If worse comes to worse, slog it out. Don’t give up!
Have you ever had this experience? What do you do?