An Eternal Struggle?

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues
Hi everyone!

I recently renewed my relationship with God after a lengthy period of distance. I am now struggling to stay consistent in prayer and other spiritual activities that I have scheduled for myself, and in turn I feel very distant from God and just terrible overall. Even though this is happening, I have an inclination to distract myself from such feelings rather than fix the obvious problem. This is obviously a very silly thing to do.. but it's what I end up doing time and time again. Every time I kind of pick up some momentum, I come back to this place. I used to think it's because I am just starting my relationship with God, and I am not used to it.. But now I'm starting to think this is just something that I will always continue to struggle with. I'm not referring to struggling with long hours of prayer here, just simple open communication with God and allowing Him to communicate with me throughout my day.

I suppose my question is this: Will this be an eternal struggle? Or is more like a temporary but necessary rite of passage?

Please pray for me!


  • It will remain an eternal struggle unless you do something drastic to change it. Many people (myself included) are in your position.

    You can liken it to someone who works out. Say I want to lose weight. I am very excited because I sat with a fitness trainer and developed a routine and diet. I started doing cardio 4 days a week and eating healthy. My stamina started to improve. I started off being able to run 1 mile and ended up being able to run 2!

    After two weeks, things came up and I became busy. I stopped going to the gym for day, a day become 2 days, 2 days became a week, a week became a month . . . Eventually I was worse off than when I started. When I decided to resume going to the gym my stamina was low and I had to start the process all over. I had to begin with the mile to build up to being able to run 2. Had I continued without stopping I might have been able to run 3 miles by now!

    The problem with our spiritual life and relationship with God is similar. We start off and start growing. Things come up and we lose focus. What we gained we lose and it is difficult and frustrating to start the process all over again.

    The solution is simple: Don't let a day go by without working on your spiritual life. If you let one day slip it will become 2 days, and 2 days will become a month. Eventually prayer and reading the bible, etc. will be so foreign to you that it will take incredible will power to start again.

    Someone once told me: "the devil's goal is to steal just one day from you. Don't let him. But if he does, steal it back the next day"

    Sometimes we schedule ourselves to pray the agpeya every morning. One day something comes up and we can't. DON'T LET THAT PRAYER SLIP AWAY! Make up for it. Consistency is key.

    God Bless you.

    Christ Is Risen!
  • I think sometimes we lose track of what the aim of praying is. We feel guilty when we go to church every week and go to spiritual meetings and attend youth meetings but we don't have a personal relationship with God.

    I know a lot of the time subconsciously with me I would want to pray out of guilt and do my personal spiritual activities so that I don't feel bad about not doing it. While that feeling will help me sometimes it will not motivate me for a lifetime.

    I think motivation is the key to making the struggle easier and lighter. What is our motivation for praying and doing other personal spiritual activities?

    I'll use the analogy of food. What is our motivation for eating? We know that when we don't eat we will feel weak, grumpy, unsatisfied, empty, tired and eventually we will get very sick and our health will suffer to the extent that we will die. So to avoid this result we eat.

    The same thing applies in our spiritual lives. We must truly feel that when we are not connected with God in our personal prayer then we will start to feel weak, grumpy, unsatisfied, empty, tired etc. We must truly feel that a day without an intimate personal relationship with God is a day WASTED. Each day is a day to grow in my relationship with God anything else is irrelevant. Without God for a day I need to truly feel as if I haven't eaten for a day physically. I can't survive without HIM.

    I think this is the beginning. And through time this thought and struggle changes to a lifestyle. The same way we eat naturally and we don't force ourselves, eventually it will become a lifestyle. We will desire to have spiritual quite time and personal time with God because we are hungry for HIM and want to feel energised, fulfilled, satisfied and strengthened by HIM. There will always be a struggle to keep up the consistency to stay focussed and to fight off the temptations of the evil one. But now that our aim/motivation is solid and we are seeing fruits for our struggle it will make the struggle easier as we can see the beauty of a life immersed in God's love.

    Praying about it is crucial too. Mark 9:24 is beautiful when the man says to Jesus “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” we likewise should say. "Lord I want to truly Love YOU with all my heart. Help me to Love YOU".

    [quote=Hinds Feet on High Places - Page 176]
    Other desires might clamor strongly and fiercely nearer the surface of her nature, but she knew now that down in the core of her own being she was so shaped that nothing could fit, fill, or satisfy her heart but HE Himself. "nothing else really matters," she said to herself, "only to love HIM and to do what HE tells me. I don't know quite why it should be so, but it is. All the time it is suffering to love and sorrow to love, but it is lovely to love HIM in spite of this, and if I should cease to do so, I should cease to exist."

    I haven't answered your question directly. But I'll pose a similar question. Is maintaining a relationship in marriage an eternal struggle? I'll leave you to think about that.

    God Bless you!
    May you and all of us grow stronger in our personal relationship with Christ.
    Please keep me in your prayers.
  • Thank you for your thoughtful responses Unworthy1 & billious!

    I'm feeling much more motivated now, and will do my very best to never let a day go by!

    Pleasee pray for me!
  • I hope this saying of the great St Isaac the Syrian helps: “It is God’s wish that each day we should be renewed and start up again with a virtuous change of will, and with a renewal of mind.”
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