I don’t know about you, but I have often found that distracting thoughts bombard my mind when I’m praying. I’m going to share some things I do that help me to stay focused. Perhaps some of these ideas will help you.
- I ask God to protect me from demonic influence and to focus my attention on Him.
2. I use the Psalms to guide my prayers. (I might only select one verse, or work through the whole Psalm.)
Example: Psalm 1
(verse 1) “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked nor stands in the way of sinners nor sits in the seat of scoffers.”
Lord, help me to seek Your wisdom and the wisdom of Your people rather than listening to what the world has to say. Help me not to hang out with the wrong kind of people (but to pray for them.)
(verse 2) “But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Lord, help me to read, understand, memorize and think about Your Word (the Bible) throughout the day.
(verse 3) “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
Lord, help me to yield good fruit for Your glory (Galatians 5:22-23). Help me to be patient and wait for You to work things out in Your time frame. Fill me with Your life. Replace my selfish desires with Your desires, so You may bless me as I serve You and others.
(verses 4-6) “The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
Thank You, Lord, that someday the wicked will be dealt with and I will not have to be with them anymore. Thank You that You know the ways of the righteous (those saved by faith in Jesus). Please help me to walk righteously (obeying You) and please work in the hearts of those who don’t know You to draw them into Your kingdom. Thank You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
3) I can pray through a proverb.
Example: Proverb 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Lord, when someone speaks harshly to me, please help me to hold my tongue until You are in control of it. May my response be respectful and loving.
4) I can personalize prayers from Scripture.
Example: Ephesians 3:16-20 personalized
Lord, out of Your glorious riches, please strengthen me with power through Your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith. Root and establish me in love and grant me (and all Your children) power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is Christ’s love, and help me know this love that surpasses knowledge–so I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Please work Your power in me, Lord, to bring glory to Your name. You are able to do immeasurably more than anything I could imagine or think to ask for. I put my trust in You. Be glorified.
5) As I go about my day:
a) Thank Him for every blessing I see (large or small).
b) Lift up my concerns to Him (concerns about others or myself), reminding myself that He already has the answers and I just need to trust Him, pray, and wait expectantly.
c) Continually seek His guidance: What do You want me to do right now, Lord? Please help me to do it.
My prayer life is far from perfect. But I’ve found these tools to be helpful in battling distractions. May the Lord continually help us to stay focused on Him!