Monday, May 14, 2007

Undistracted Prayer

Do you struggle to stay focused when you pray? I know for me I can have trouble with that. There are many things that can cause this to happen: noise around me; thinking about what I need to get done; the phone ringing; my worries; people around me; and on and on it goes. So I want to suggest some ways we can be more focused in our prayers.
The first important step is to be alone. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:6, "But when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you..." Notice Jesus says "when you pray." If we aren't alone, then we will more easily get distracted. Find a time and a place where you can be alone to pray. This might not happen every day, but hopefully you can do it several times a week. Not only will this help you to focus in your prayer, but this spot and time will become a treasured place for you.
Second, read some scripture before you pray. Reading the Bible not only provides nourishment for our spirits, but prepares our heart and mind to spend time with God. When we read the word of God before we pray, we will be in a better place to receive what God wants to show us.
Third, use the psalms to help you pray. By praying the words of the psalms first, it will help you to move into your own words of prayer. The psalms also teach us how to pray, by helping us to see that we should share all of our thoughts and feelings with God. The prayers of the psalmist will help to excite us more about prayer as well.
Finally, don't dwell on the struggles of your life or unanswered prayer. This will only keep you from seeking God and being able to rest in God. The struggles of our lives are distractions enough, we don't need to bring them into our prayer life. Lift them to God, and then move on. Prayer should lead us to finding peace and rest with God, and should bring feelings of thanksgiving to us.
How do you get focused in your prayer life? Share your thoughts by clicking on the "comments" button below.