What to Do When You Don’t Want to Do: Struggles in spending time with God

This post may be completely for me.
In fact, you may be able to stop reading and move to your next thing in a few lines.

BUT…

If you ever don’t feel like going to church, spending alone time with God, serving others, or praying, keep reading.

You see, I’ve noticed something.
It seems like no matter how much I grow in my relationship with God, sometimes I just don’t feel like doing the things it takes to make it further.

Sometimes, I wake up and don’t feel like spending time with God.
Sometimes, my prayer time is more of a forced effort than open communication with God.
Sometimes, the bed feels good on Sunday mornings.

A few days ago, I woke up in a terrible mood.
I had an awful headache and felt like I had been beaten up during the night (I asked Melissa and she said it wasn’t her).
I had to literally fight myself to spend time with God that morning.

That afternoon, I was thinking about the situation and came to these thoughts…

What to do when you don’t feel like doing…

1. Pray: Ask God to change your attitude. If you have a growing relationship with Christ, you aren’t looking to quit loving Him, you’re just having trouble spending time with Him. That’s an attitude problem. Pray for Him to change it.

2. Begin journaling what you’re feeling: Write down why you feel in a funk. Put your feelings on paper.

3. Begin reading a favorite scripture: One of my favorite passages of scripture is Philippians 3:12-14. Reading that always gets me motivated.

4. Praise God for His past faithfulness: Something happens during genuine praise…you become less important and He becomes everything.

5. Change your routine: Pick up a different Bible translation. Pick a new place to spend time with God. Drive a different route to church. Pray for people you’ve never prayed for.

What not to do when you don’t feel like doing…

1. Give up and not do.

2. Keep doing what you’ve always done.

3. Make excuses.

4. Beat up on yourself for feeling unspiritual.

So, am I alone in this.
Do you ever just not feel like doing?

What have you found that helps?

16 Comments

  1. You’re definately not alone. It’s like I tell my kids, sometimes we do things because they are the right thing and no other reason. We might not feel like it, but our feelings lie. We want an intimate relationship with our Father, that means we need to have one…period. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, that it always comes naturally, that we always feel like it. It just means you do what needs done to get there. Your list of what to do is a great one. I think the biggest one of all is to remember that no relationship flourishes without time/energy/emotion being spent on it. When we don’t feel like investing in our marriage, things are hard. When we don’t feel like investing in our children, things are hard. Likewise, when we don’t feel like investing in drawing near to the Father, things are hard. Those are the times we do hard things. Do not grow weary…

    Reply
  2. Unfortunately you are definitely not alone with this. I am struggling to the point of wanting to run away or turn ostrich and bury my head.
    But I always ask, at moments like this “what are you trying to teach me Lord?”
    Your what to do list is great and will most certainly be used!!

    Reply
  3. Dude..I can totally relate to this post. I’ve definitely had those days, and like you, I’ve realized that you can’t stop there. You have to ask God to move you into His presence. I’ve definitely had times where I didn’t feel like worshiping, and then God moved in a crazy way. I think the danger is getting into a routine, getting comfortable, and doing things for the sake of. I’m daily learning that, with God, there’s always something new.

    Reply
  4. Thanks for your transparency Jonathan. Moses, Jeremiah, Peter and many greats before us have felt this way. The danger comes in failing to admit to yourself when you do. Without that little arrow on the mall directory map that says “you are here” man you are lost. Blessings!

    Reply
  5. Unfortunately you are definitely not alone with this. I am struggling to the point of wanting to run away or turn ostrich and bury my head.
    But I always ask, at moments like this “what are you trying to teach me Lord?”
    Your what to do list is great and will most certainly be used!!

    Reply
  6. You’re definately not alone. It’s like I tell my kids, sometimes we do things because they are the right thing and no other reason. We might not feel like it, but our feelings lie. We want an intimate relationship with our Father, that means we need to have one…period. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, that it always comes naturally, that we always feel like it. It just means you do what needs done to get there. Your list of what to do is a great one. I think the biggest one of all is to remember that no relationship flourishes without time/energy/emotion being spent on it. When we don’t feel like investing in our marriage, things are hard. When we don’t feel like investing in our children, things are hard. Likewise, when we don’t feel like investing in drawing near to the Father, things are hard. Those are the times we do hard things. Do not grow weary…

    Reply
  7. heather

    worshipping helps first. put on some worship music that gets you going. Also, it’s ok to chat with Him in the shower, the car, etc….

    Reply
  8. You’re SO not alone, Jonathan!
    I’ve already asked God so many times to help me spend time with Him, to help me make Him my priority, to help me praying. It’s not easy, but God promised us that it would be worthwhile.

    Nice post, brother!
    God bless :)

    Reply
  9. Jack

    This has been my life for the past few MONTHS, a vicious downward spiral. I really don’t like going to church anymore. I keep hoping there is hope, but mostly I just feel like I’m going through the motions.

    Reply
  10. Carole

    Been there. I noticed that God always revives my love for Him by giving me a new glimpse of Him… And I really mean that. A real glimpse of His glory… The “manifest presence” kind, where He makes Himself real and tangible I some amazing way. God with me and not God up there somewhere. I think many real Christians forget that we are allowed to see Him, and really hear Him. Moses asked to see His glory and God never refused. We were born for it. When we lose the reality of His real existence and love for us, we lose interest. We really are like sheep in need of a shepherd. I have no problems telling Him how I feel and where I’m at. He has always been kind to give me a fresh glimpse of His realness and glory. I’ve discovered over the past ten years that He is safe. And extremely kind… That means slow to anger. It’s why I love Him. Because He knows me, and invites me to know Him. This is the gift of eternal life after all, not living forever (although that comes with the package), but knowing Him, the only true God and the one He sent, Jesus Christ (John 17, check it out, it’s good! Actually John 14-17 is amazing). So I don’t hesitate to ask for more knowing Him when I feel empty and unmotivated to seek Him and spend time with Him. He died for this… To reveal Himself to me and you, so that we would know Him and be known by Him…. That IS eternal life! Truly amazing. Be encouraged, and don’t feel ashamed. just know you need another dose of His glory, or maybe even your first one, and let Him awe you all over again! Cheers!

    Reply

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