Whether you'd consider yourself to be a seasoned prayer warrior or brand new to the practice, it can sometimes be difficult to stay focused in prayer. In our busy, do more/be more centered society, we are inundated with so many distractions, and our to-do lists are long.
Often times, we enter into a time of prayer with the best of intentions, only to give up within a few minutes because, we just cannot keep our minds centered on Jesus.
We know that prayer is important. We know that, as Christians, we are commanded to pray. The Bible is full of scripture that tells us this.
And while we desire to pray, we can struggle to remain faithful. But here's the thing; even though we may struggle, our God does not. He is faithful even when we are not. And because He is faithful; because He is the One Who has commanded us, and taught us how to pray, we can come to Him for help, and He will strengthen us.
Seven Ways to stay focused on prayer.
Ask Jesus to help you.
Develop a daily prayer schedule.
Pray out loud.
Write out your prayers in a prayer journal.
Walk and pray.
Listen to music.
1. Ask Jesus to help you.
As I mentioned above, we pray because Jesus asks us to pray. He understands the importance of prayer and how it is vital to our relationship with Him. This is why He teaches us how we should pray.
We desire to pray but even more so, Jesus desires that we should pray. It stands to reason then, that one of the best things we can do to help us stay focused in prayer is to ask Jesus to assist us.
2. Develop a daily prayer Schedule.
People thrive on some sort of routine whether it be rigid or slightly flexible. Having a daily prayer routine can really help keep your mind focused during your prayer time. We are creatures of habit and, wherever you might find you fall in rigid to flexible routine, it is a good idea develop a schedule that works for you. Set aside a certain time of day and try to stick to it. And while any time will work, I do believe that if you start your morning with a time of prayer, you are better equipped to stand strong against the tactics of the enemy throughout the day.
3. Pray out loud.
This might feel uncomfortable for you; especially if you are new to developing your prayer life. It might seems like your words are mixed up and don't really make sense but the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.
Pray the words that come to mind. Don't worry if they are not eloquent or precise. Jesus sees your heart. He understands the purpose and the intent behind your prayers and they are beautiful to Him. Praying out loud can really help keep your mind on track and relegate your distracting thoughts to a minimum.
4. Write out your prayers in a prayer journal.
While I often pray out loud, there are times when I still find myself distracted by unwanted thoughts. Writing my prayers out on paper really helps keep my mind focused. And, it's okay if you write slow like I do.
I used to feel concerned that writing out my prayers took so long and I wasn't able to pray for as many things as I would have liked. But Jesus is less concerned with long eloquent prayer and more concerned with intentional prayer. Here are two thoughts I have on this,
a. You can write short prayers, or even "bullet prayers", for all of your prayer items. It isn't about your words. It is about your intention of being prayerful and ultimately, your prayer is powerful because of the One you're praying to, not because of the words themselves.
b. If you have a strong desire to pour your heart out specifically and intentionally on one specific prayer, even if you end up spending your whole prayer time writing out just that one, that is okay. And this goes for any time you are praying whether you are journaling or not.
There are times when my heart is so overcome for one specific prayer request that all the others fall to the wayside. Jesus understands. And I would venture to say that, if your heart is centered around one thing, it may be that Jesus intended that you do so. Lean into it. Pray what He's laid on your heart. It doesn't mean that you've forgotten about everything else, it just means that there are times when some things require a little more focus.
5. Walk and pray.
Walking is a wonderful way to spend time in prayer. Often times, giving our body something to do while we pray is enough to limit the distractions that keep drawing our focus elsewhere.
6. Pray Scripture.
My first experience with this came from a time of turmoil. I was struggling to pray for my son who was going through a difficult time and I just didn't know the words to pray. My spirit was filled with so much angst and I desired to pray words but I just couldn't form them on my own tongue.
This is the exact Bible I use. I love it because it has beautiful illustrations and the study portion is wonderful.
I reached for my Bible and just opened it up and began reading. But as I read, I began to read the Scripture as a prayer on behalf of my son. It was such a powerful experience knowing that I was praying God's living, breathing Word over my son and it gave me such comfort. Scripture tells us that God's Word does not return void, so praying scripture over your children, or over any situation in your life, is so very powerful.
7. Listen to music.
There are times when I find that silence itself, can be distracting. Listening to music while you pray can really help your mind stay grounded and centered on prayer. I find that listening to instrumental praise and worship is most conducive to keeping me from distraction.
I like to listen to Dappy T. Keys. Sometimes, even with instrumental music, I find myself singing along to familiar songs, and while that isn't necessarily a bad thing to do in prayer, it can keep me from praying through my prayer list. His music is soft and worshipful and while familiar, the way He plays isn't really conducive to singing through a familiar rendition. It's perfect for background prayer music. He has a YouTube channel and different videos with varying time lengths. You can choose a video for the length of time you have set aside to pray. It's great tool to help keep you focused, and because you've set aside a specific time period, you don't have to keep looking at the clock. You know your prayer time is complete once the music comes to and end.
Here is the link to Dappy T. Keys YouTube Channel.
While prayer can often feel intimidating and difficult, and we so often struggle through distractions vying for our attention, these seven prayer ideas will help you stay focused and in tune. Prayer is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. So, even if you struggle to remain disciplined in prayer, keep moving forward. Don't quit. A strong prayer life comes with effort and discipline. The Bible tells us that the prayers of a righteous person and powerful and effective, and you, my friend, have been made righteous through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Beloved, your prayers are a force to be reckoned with!
Amen to that!!!
Save this pin to your favorite Pinterest board to refer back to as you strive to develop a powerful prayer life.
And, as always,
Stay holy, Beloved.
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