Different Ways to Pray (4)

Different Ways to Pray (4)

When we try to spend an extended period of time in prayer, our minds tend to wander (Oooh, I wonder who won the finals…shucks, I’m kinda hungry…I have a test to study for…). When that happens, is God upset with us?

No, when your mind wanders—God’s Spirit is still with you. Sometimes your wandering thoughts can actually guide you into prayer. One author writes: ‘I begin praying, and then I imagine myself being wildly successful at something. Or I replay a conversation with a person I’m upset with. Or I try to figure out how to solve a problem I’m worried about.

I used to think of those kinds of thoughts as obstacles to prayer, but I’ve come to think of them as prayers waiting to be offered. Maybe the reason they pop into my mind isn’t simply my short attention span, but rather what my mind is really concerned about. So instead of trying to suppress these thoughts, it’s better to begin to talk to God about them. And just like that, I’m back in the flow of prayer. Indeed, we are free to pray in ways that will best help us live in the joyful awareness of God’s presence.’

Obviously, things like getting your hair done or your car fixed are distractions. When these arise, just write them down and say, ‘I’ll get to that later,’ then get back to prayer. Developing a rich and rewarding prayer life isn’t something you accomplish overnight; you have to work at it. But the rewards are more than worth the effort. You’re not unique; everybody battles distractions in prayer. Those who succeed are those who learn to deal with the distractions.

‘He will call upon Me, and I will answer him…’ Psalms 91:15 NIV


Psalm 66:16-19; 67:1-2; 69:32-33; 70:1, 4

Come & hear, all you who fear God, & I will tell what he has done for my soul. I cried to him with my mouth, & high praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer! May God be gracious to us & bless us & make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. You who seek God, let your hearts revive! For the Lord hears the needy! O Lord make haste to help me! May all who seek you rejoice & be glad in you!
Proclaim & sing of His saving power today! He has promised you so much! He hears when you cry! Seek Him today! Never delay!

Bob Gass

September 9th, 2015

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