The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is praying on our behalf. The Message version puts it like this: ‘God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in us and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves…and keeps us present before God’ (vv.26-27 MSG). Sometimes we struggle to be ‘fully present’ in prayer. Sometimes when we pray, we’re not really focused. Maybe we’re just repeating words, or listing things off that we always pray about. Our hearts are not really in it. One of the main things that stops us from praying is distraction. Someone might interrupt us and need our attention. Our thoughts might wander off, and we find ourselves thinking about something completely different and forget we were praying in the first place. We might even get a notification on our phones and we become tempted to check that rather than carry on in prayer. We’re not alone when it comes to struggling with distraction in prayer. The disciples struggled with staying focused too. When Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked the disciples to keep watch but they fell asleep. So Jesus said: ‘“Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”’ (Matthew 26:40-41 NIV). But when He returned, they had fallen asleep again. When we’re praying, let’s try and put away all things that would distract us, and ask God to help us keep our minds firmly fixed on Him.
Try writing down what happens while you’re praying. Write the things you’re bringing before God, and write anything you feel He is saying to you.
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