Prayer Pauses

Have You Ever Felt Like You Put God on Mute?

Prayer Pauses

Shanna D. Gregor

Prayer, the whisper of your soul, reaching out to God, is a tender, ongoing conversation with God, an ever-unfolding dialogue that nurtures our relationship with Him and guides us gently through the ebbs and flows of our faith journey.

In spite of a very turbulent and traumatic childhood, I began to pray at a very young age. My mother would tell me, even as a toddler, “Shanna, pray for someone to come and help us,” when my mom ran out of gas or broke down on a country road at night.

My mother and my maternal grandmother modeled prayer for me. I remember waiting in the hallway outside my grandmother’s bedroom when I stayed with her, listening to her talk to God. Every single morning, she got up, made her bed and then knelt beside it and prayed for what seemed like a very long time to a child waiting for her grandmother to finally be available to start their day together.

Prayer is such a significant part of our lives as Christ followers, and yet we sometimes struggle to pray – no matter how long we’ve walked with God or what position we have (or don’t have) in life.

The relationship you have with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is deeply personal. Just fingerprints, every believer’s story is unique. We go through  our ups and down in our relationship with God, like we do with friends. Just as we grow and become better friends, we come to understand ourselves and also the character of God in deeper ways.

Prayer is a profound way of growing in your faith and in companionship with the Father and yet, at times, you might find it challenging to reach out in prayer. When my mother died unexpectedly in January 2022, I felt numb. And in my grief, even when I wanted to reach out to God, I just couldn’t pray.

God is the closest friend, a never absent father and the one you can always depend on, but sometimes, you may find yourself drifting for many different seasons. Here are just a few examples:

Shadows of Doubt

Belief is the foundation of prayer and the core of your relationship with God. In the Garden, the serpent came to Eve and asked a simple question, “Did God really say not to eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1 paraphrased). He cast a shadow of doubt with his words, and Eve explained, adding her own interpretation to God’s words: “If you touch it, you will die” (Genesis 3:2 paraphrase). To which the serpent says, “Oh, you won’t die!”

How many times have you had that thought, Did God really say? Whether it was whispered to you by the enemy or it came from your own thoughts, either way – it was an attempt to cast a shadow of doubt. And doubt hinders your prayers.


You’ve most likely felt distant from someone you were close to whether you really had a reason to feel that way or not. It’s not uncommon to feel distant from God or even feel like your prayers aren’t reaching Him because He seems far away.

Even though Jesus promised to never leave or forsake us, we sometimes let our feelings tell us differently or follow negative thoughts that are contrary to so many of the promises in the Bible (See Matthew 28:8, Micah 7:7, Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:8, Genesis 28:15.)

Lack of Intentionality

Perhaps you’ve had one of those friends who refused to let a relationship dwindle. They reached out to you over and over again, even when you moved away or seldom had time for them. Maybe you are that friend. Your relationship with God is also that way. He is always there waiting, but you have to discipline yourself to invest in the relationship.

Conversations with God take time and effort on your part.

Feelings of Self-sufficiency

Pride and feeling like you can handle whatever is going on in your life, can also hinder your prayers. We were not created to do things on our own. We were made for partnership with God.

He desires to do life with you. And even though He knows everything about you, He wants to hear your voice, and share your life with Him.


Life is so busy! And while some of it is necessary, the enemy wants to clutter your day with unintentional things that distract you from spending time in prayer and in fellowship with God.

Prayer helps us order our lives according to His purpose. The Psalmist prayed, “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (Psalm 86:11 NIV).

Low Fuel

Normally whatever you feed, grows and anything you starve dies. That can be said about your relationships too – even your experience with God. If you give time to feeding your soul (your mind, will and emotions) with His truth, then your connection with Him will become stronger.

Think about a fire. You need something that will burn to feed the fire, but you also need oxygen. When a house is on fire, you close all the doors on your way out to keep the airflow down.

Many times in Scripture, the Holy Spirit is referred to as a gentle wind or a fiery flame. The father sent Him to be your helper (John 14:26). Time in prayer (along with reading Scripture) provides the fuel needed to nourish your soul.

God’s Family

In addition to God’s promise to never leave you, He has given you something else – a place in His family. You belong to Him, and He will take care of you.

If you’re in a difficult season, finding it hard to pray, God’s got you covered. You can reach out to others in your family of God and ask for prayer.

Sometimes I’ll dream about someone I’ve not seen in a long time, and I’ll take that as an invitation to pray for them. God can even put you on the heart of someone who doesn’t even know you and compel them to pray for you.

When I was struggling after my mom died, I knew that people were praying for me. Many reached out to tell me so, but I also let a few close friends know I was struggling. It’s nothing to feel embarrassed or guilty about. It doesn’t make you less of a believer. You’re just in a hard place, and you’re not alone.

Reach Out for Support

And you can always reach out to Family Life Radio and post prayer requests on the FLR prayer and praise wall. Your FLR family is happy to pray for you.

Shanna D. Gregor


Shanna D. Gregor

Editorial Content Manager, Family Life Radio



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