Title: When Prayer is a Struggle: A Practical Guide for Overcoming Obstacles in Prayer
Author: Kevin P. Halloran
Genre: Religious Studies, Christianity
Good For: Reflection, Worship, Prayer
In My Humble Opinion: As I grow and evolve, I am constantly trying to develop and strengthen my faith and walk with God, but admittedly, it can be very hard. This year alone I suffered one of the biggest losses in my life, and very much questioned the presence of God, and why He would allow such calamity and confusion to happen? During the two months I took off from work to process the loss of my Mom, I struggled to pray and see hope for my future. It was then I stumbled across the Wisdom for Life Prayer Room on Clubhouse one fateful morning in February, and felt an awakened spirit and purpose come over me. It was still very early in my prayer walk, but I was eager and ready to walk closer with God.
Over the next few months, I have listened in as Pastor Christopher Harris and his co-moderators lead the room in worship, devotionals, fellowship, and prayer. Every morning when I listen in during the live prayer room, or even when I listen to the replays, I always feel God’s presence in the room and a feeling of peace wash over me. It’s pretty indescribable, and one has to experience the room for themselves to witness the healing and restoration that is taking place among the listeners, but more recently, the room led a series based on the book by Kevin P. Halloran titled When Prayer is a Struggle. It came at an opportune time two months ago in midst of their series titled That’s What I Believe when the Holy Spirit caused them to pivot and focus on this text, and I am thankful I was introduced to this book.
It’s very straightforward and practical with guiding people towards a stronger prayer life, despite all the apprehension or hesitancy surrounding prayer. Halloran is empathetic in the way he approaches prayer, and has many solutions for readers to ensure prayer can easily fit into their life. Each chapter approached prayer from a different lens and had a set of great reflection questions at the end to help with thinking through our current relationship with God and prayer, and how we could start shifting the way we approach daily prayer. Some of the recommendations he offers readers is to pray using Scripture as a foundation, create prayer lists or prayer categories for each day, and setting aside time each day for prayer. These all seem so easy to implement, but it’s not always the case each day as its easy to make excuses or sometimes life just happens, and we may not even have the bandwidth for prayer, but he makes a good point that if we can make time for some parts of our life without so much as a second thought, then why not make time for prayer, even if it is just for a few minute out of our day?
Thus, I made a conscious effort that I would pray daily using prayer lists to help guide my prayers. I put the names of family members, causes, friends, etc. on post it notes, and put these into a plastic bag. Each day I pull out a post it note and intercede for whoever is listed on it, along with whatever other prayer requests I have. I find listening to the prayers from the morning prayer room have really shaped how I pray, and I really have learned that Pastor Christopher and his co-moderators pray with such conviction and faith that God will hear their requests and that His will will be done. It’s really powerful when they intercede on behalf of listeners who call in with prayer requests, just to have those same listeners come back a few days later or weeks later saying their prayers were answered.
So, when I pray now, I just converse with God, and share my genuine thoughts, lifting any prayer requests I have for myself and family, and trusting that He will answer. It’s been quite transformative approaching prayer in this way, and just making it a more common part of my every day routine. Since I’ve read the book and started praying more regularly, I am noticing changes in my life and the power and presence of God. Opportunities have started coming into my life, my overall mood has been more positive, and I feel my faith being restored each day. The little prayers I have lifted are being answered, and God is letting me know He hears me, so I know it’s a matter of time before the bigger prayers I’ve been asking for come into fruition. I don’t think this would have been the case if I wasn’t recommended this book, though, and I don’t think I would be where I am in relation to God as I am right now, so if you have any doubts in your walk with God or prayer journey, then I highly recommend you read this book. It will be so worth the time!