Slogging through the Junk for Prayer Sake

Fifty thoughts assail me as I open my eyes: my to-do list, I need to read my Bible, what time is it, what about my phone, my computer is acting up, I hope the kids sleep in…..My mind flits from one idea to the next not accomplishing anything, but leaving me exhausted before I get out of bed.

I attempt to gain control of my rolling mind, but focus doesn’t come easy. My prayers reflect my distractions. I flit from one request to another without really asking God for anything. Be with me…Help VBS…Help me mother…Be with my family…The junk in my mind stops up my ears and I don’t listen to God. The ideas flipping through my mind in rapid-fire succession keep my from really praying…

“…You do not have, because you do not ask God…” James 4:2

I pray, but I don’t ask God. I don’t ask for God to change hearts and lives at VBS. I don’t ask that He make it easy for families to get their kids to the church at 9AM. I don’t because my mind is filled with junk.

In order to pray clearly, I need to think clearly. I need to pray God opens my mind to specific needs I would otherwise miss.

Clearing my mind also helps me know how to pray better for my kids, my husband, my friends (single and otherwise), and my church. Suddenly the world does not revolve around me. I get glimpses of what it would be like to face issues from a different point of view. When this happens my prayers move away from only “small-talk prayers” to deep intimate conversations with God.

Isn’t that what we want–intimacy with our Creator? Soul-baring communion with our Father God is the result of clear-minded prayer. Perhaps that is why Satan wants us distracted. He wants us to stay in the “small-talk” phase of prayer rather than the deep intimate prayers that bind us ever closer to God.

How do we slog through the junk to get to the deep prayer we long for? Here is a list of things God brought to my mind.

  • Ask God for a clear mind.
  • Focus first on who God is and what He has done.
  • Keep a prayer journal or list to help you focus.
  • Wait in the quiet to hear from God. Don’t be tempted to cut the quiet time short and go do something. This time is important.
  • Spend time in prayer in a space with few if any distractions.

What are some ideas or tools you have used to help you slog through the junk in your mind so you can really pray? Can’t wait to read your ideas.