Why Don't I Feel Like Praying?

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I once heard that, “there are some people who feel better after they prayed and some people that pray after they feel better. Both are aiming for the same target, but the latter option will leave you feeling completely lost.” And I could not agree more. Before I start with this series, I want to clarify that I’m not looking down on anyone, just merely explaining my experience and journey to get from wanting to pray but just can’t vs having the NEED to pray alhumdulillah. We’re all at different phases in our lives that bring a whole different set of challenges and struggles with our iman (faith). People stop praying/never start for a lot of reasons. It could be that they’re having a hard time managing their time, dealing with depression, they’re not fully present in prayer so they start cutting off slowly from it, or they want to pray but simply don’t have the willpower to. Human beings are lazy when it comes to doing actions they don’t know how they can benefit from.
To deal with this problem, you have to understand what YOUR reasoning is. Do you feel you’re filled with too many sins to pray? Do you think you’ll lose time for other activities if you pray? Did you pray for something but it didn’t turn out the way you wanted, so you stopped? Or maybe you do pray but don’t feel like you’re fully in it because you’re thinking about other things/daydreaming? 
Whatever it is, figure out what your reasoning is for not wanting to pray. 

Prayer is one of the most important pillars of Islam. I know that. All Muslims knows that. Then why don’t we all do it? This problem differs from person to person, but I want to focus here on WHY we pray. Besides it being a main pillar, we do it because we love God. When I had felt as if there’s something missing inside me, I realized for me to pray because I want to pray, I had to build a relationship with God first. Think of it as any other relationship in your life, why do you do things for other people? It’s because you care about them, you love them. You wouldn’t go out of your way for a stranger the same way, would you? Same thing here. 
So how do we build this relationship?
Get to KNOW God. A huge issue I always had was we were all taught how to pray but not always why or the love for who we pray to. Whenever references to Islam were used culturally, it was used as a scare tactic. “If you don’t do this you’ll go to Hell.” “The punishment for so and so is this.” And the list goes on. But no one talks about His Mercy, or very little if they do.
Alhumdulillah (Praise be to God) became my favorite dhikr. I would sit each day thinking what I was grateful for, and recite Alhumdulillah each time I thought of things. Even as I moved throughout my day, or saw someone less fortunate than me, I thanked God each time. This increased my love for Him. Soon, it wasn’t hard to want to bow down in prayer because I would just be so overfilled with gratitude and love for all that I have, I WANTED to pray to give my thanks. What’s on your mind and tongue, is what’s going to be in your heart. 

Sins keep you away from prayer. When you commit a sin, you’re not thinking about God or His blessings. And after committing them, we either move on like nothing happened/justify to ourselves why it was necessary OR we feel the need to turn towards God but this doubt inside you will convince you that you don’t deserve mercy. Our access to prayer isn’t based on our sin level. God doesn’t weigh our sins and decide whether you’re worthy of approaching Him. If sin level mattered, no one would seem worthy. Lastly, beware of your company. Being around people who don’t fear God and encourage you to commit sins is not good for you in this life nor your hereafter. I remember the type of people I used to hang around, the kind that’d give you weird looks if you mentioned praying. They had convinced themselves and would try to convince me haram was halal if just looked at with the right perspective. Yes, they were Muslim. And yes, they were struggling. 
I get it, some things in religion are hard to practice and one may not be there yet; however, we must learn to admit that we’re learning instead of saying it isn’t haram because of an opinion. Who knows how many may be misguided this way. When I started feeling less and less guilt about doing wrong, I knew my heart was going in a very dangerous direction. I honestly don’t know how I ever expected to be successful without salah (prayer). To have the urgency to pray, the NEED to pray. My faith has had its highs and lows, but Allah swt truly guides whom He pleases. It’s true what is said, take a step towards Him and He’ll take two. If you walk towards Him, He’ll come running. Prayer is the first thing you’ll be asked about in the hereafter. Even if you don’t feel like it, pray. Take that step. Pray and build that connection. I’d be lying if I said I don’t struggle with my prayer time to time anymore, but nothing comes easy or else everyone would be doing it. And Jannah definitely isn’t going to come easy. I hope this series has helped you iA. Keep me in your duas. Salam. 

“As much as you fix your salah, your life will be fixed. If you are wondering why there is a delay in your sustenance, in your marriage, in your work, in your health. Look into your salah: are you delaying it?” - Hasan al-Basri



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