‘When you pray, go into your room, close the door.’ Matthew 6:6 NIV
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a toddler? When you’re in the middle of a sentence, they figure it’s a good time to play with their toys or chase the dog around the house. Sometimes that’s how we treat God. We give Him a few hurried minutes and scattered thoughts, but we don’t set aside a time and place to give Him our full attention. We forget that the place of prayer is also the place of answered prayer! Our problem is ‘the war of wandering thoughts’. Things we’ve forgotten suddenly ‘parade’ across our consciousness, demanding our attention. And as James says, if we’re ‘double–minded’ we don’t get answers to our prayers (James 1:8). What can we do?
(1) Pray aloud. This makes it difficult for your mind to wander. You may feel awkward at first, but you’ll soon get comfortable with it.
(2) Jot down distracting thoughts. When the ticker tape starts running, write each thing down and forget it until later. And if you still can’t help thinking about it, take it to God in prayer.
(3) Keep a diary. Sometimes we don’t really know what we want or how we feel about something until we put it in writing. Then, like a mirror, there it is: your deepest needs and yearnings in front of you—and God. Tell Him your longings and let Him purify them. Tell Him your temptations and let Him strengthen you. Tell Him your resentments and let Him forgive you, and empower you to forgive others. There’s no greater privilege than the privilege of prayer, so don’t neglect it.
SoulFood: Dan 1-2, Luke 3:11-20, Ps 81, Prov 2:11-15
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2015
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