On the days when my heart feels dull, dry, and drowsy, I turn to one simple prayer from David in Psalm 51:12 —
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
This verse is easy to memorize and helpful to focus my prayer when my soul is dozy. The natural outline is my plea for the three things I need every day.
Refresh my joy — God, I need you to remind me again of the lengths in which you have gone to save my sinful soul. Remind me again of the holy wrath I deserve, so that I can rejoice again in the precious mercy that has saved me. Cause this joy to overpower the dullness I feel right now.
Restore my allegiance — God, my heart is dull because my loyalties are wrong. I long for ease and comfort and for human praise, which empty my soul. As I acknowledge my sin, re-align my allegiances to your name and re-commit my devotion to your glory. Give me a “right spirit” (Psalm 51:10).
Grant me willing obedience — God, help me obey you today, not compelled by obligation, but willed by your Spirit within me. I desperately want to obey you and to experience the joy of obedience. I need a free and willing spirit — I need your free and willing Spirit. Uphold me in this, I pray.
In my own words: God, refresh my joy, restore my fidelity, and grant me the freeness to obey you today.
This is a very short prayer I return to on my dullest days.