If you saw my post on Monday, hopefully you were inspired to either start a new devotions routine or add new elements to your current routine.
As I shared in my previous post, my Bible reading and reflection time takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on how much I have to process that day. After finishing, I spend 5-10 minutes in prayer. Sometimes more, if my kids cooperate. 🙂
If you’re anything like me, you’ve attempted to pray at times, but next thing you know, your mind is wandering to the grocery list, the kids’ schedule for the day, and what you’re going to make for breakfast.
I’m not saying I have this thing mastered by any means, but I recently realized my prayer life has been much more focused lately. When I looked closer, I discovered some patterns that have helped me stay connected during prayer. So I thought I’d share them today, along with a couple other suggestions that friends have found helpful.
5 Easy Ways to Stay Focused While You Pray:
1) Write down a brief agenda before you start. I know, I know. That sounds so boring and un-spiritual-like. But if you at least have a few things written on paper, you can check in if you find your mind wandering other places.
2) If you follow the journal ideas I shared on Monday, you can use it as your blueprint for prayer. This is something I love to do! I start out looking at my victories from the previous day and praise or thank God for His attributes that I saw at work or answers to prayer. I then move on to the Bible Takeaway section and ask for wisdom and guidance related to the challenge I’ve been given in God’s Word. Then I move on to my goals for the day and pray through them, getting specific wherever possible.
3) Pray for yourself and your family by walking through your days in prayer. I’ve started praying for my husband and kids this way and love it.
For example, I might pray specifically for my kids’ days at school, starting with their morning work and asking God to help them concentrate. Then I might move on to lunch and recess time, praying that they’ll find good friends to play with and set a good example for others in their classes. I do a similar prayer exercise for my husband and then myself.
One thing that’s fun about this is I like to share at breakfast how I prayed for each person specifically. I tell my kids, “This is what I prayed for you today. I want a report after school about how it went.” This gives them something to keep in mind throughout their day and is a sneaky way to give them goals to work towards.
4) Pray through the alphabet. I don’t do this in my morning devotions as much as at bedtime–especially if I’m having a hard time going to sleep–but it can be a great tool any time of the day! I’ve heard this idea from a couple different sources–one who recommended praising God for his attributes from A to Z. For example, “God, I praise you because you are awesome.” Then B might be His beautiful creation, and so on.
You can also pray through the alphabet by lifting up people’s names who start with each letter. Pray for whoever comes to mind first with an A name, then a B name, etc. It’s an easy, simple way to get your prayers going if you feel stuck or don’t know where to start.
5) Light a candle and place it on your table while you pray as a visual reminder of God’s presence. One of my friends said this is one of the key ways that helps her stay focused during her prayer time. It serves as a reminder that God is right there with her.
As you can see, this list offers something for everyone, from the free-thinking visual learner to the linear thinker. Hopefully you’ve picked up some ideas to take your prayer life to the next level and stay focused while doing it!