Overcoming Distractions When Praying
Here’s a creative way to overcome distractions in prayer.
I’ve been doing some redecorating lately. It’s fun, but it can get to be time-consuming. I fly from store to store collecting swatches of fabric, bring them home and tape them to our walls and chairs for contemplation.
One morning I awoke with thoughts of fabric combinations on my mind. I went in for my quiet time, and entered a battle zone between my flesh (who loves fabric) and my spirit (who loves God). I began praying, but within a few minutes I found my mind wandering to thoughts like “do I need some more fabric samples? Should I make another trip to the textile warehouse?” I caught myself feeling guilty and shallow, and turned back to prayer. Then it happened again, “I need to head down town before the traffic gets heavy. Woops! Back to You, Lord.” Does anything like this ever happen in your prayer life?
I needed to do something about my wandering thoughts. I got up, went downstairs and gathered all my fabric swatches on a tray, brought them up to my prayer place and laid them before the Lord. “Here Lord, this is what is keeping me from You. I bring them to You as a sacrifice. I don’t want them coming between us. Forgive me.”
And then thoughts began coming to me like:
“Thank You Lord that You are the Great Designer of this universe.”
“Everything comes together according to your pattern.”
“I praise You for the infinite variety of Your design, and for choosing me to be Your own . . . perfectly coordinating my life and the people you’ve given me to fit your vision.”
“I want to invest in Your design. Would You show me today how You desire to fit it all together?”
“Your work is beautiful, Lord. Your ‘swatches’ aren’t randomly chosen, but perfectly suited to my life.”
WOW! My distraction had actually turned my heart toward God. As I brought it to Him, I received His perspective.
I did continue my project, but with the reminder that He really cares about everything in my life.
What vies for your attention when you pray? Is it a person who is on your mind? Bring them with you and set them before the Lord. Is it a situation? Bring it. Is it a re-occurring worry? Bring it. Bring the thing that is drawing you away from Him to Him. Whether your distraction is a thing, a situation or a person, bring it to Him. Casting all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
I’m grateful for the invention of Post-it notes. When a distracting thought comes to my mind – maybe it’s someone I need to call, or something I need to accomplish – I write it on a post it and “post it” on myself. Then I turn my full attention back to God.
Copyright Charlene Stamper 2012 All rights reserved.