Often when we actually get down to praying, your mind can begin to wander, thinking of jobs, problems and lots of other things coming to the fore. SO today, I want to share a few if my tips for helping you concentrate when you pray.
The first thing to do is identify the distraction. What is it that regularly distracts you? When you've identified your distraction you need to find a way of putting it to one side whilst you pray. Easier with some distractions than others, I've put some ideas below;
Busy mind: Use the brain dump strategy, before you start praying, try and get everything out of your mind onto a piece of paper. Sit with that page around you whilst you pray and as each thought comes, jot it don so you can forget about it.
Busy home: Maybe you're part of a large family, a noisy house, or a place where there's lots of things to do. In this case, prayer walking might be a helpful activity, get out and about and enjoy your surroundings and inspiration for prayer.
Wandering mind: If you find yourself going off on a tangent and forgetting what you were supposed to be doing, then try a prayer journal. Because you are writing you'll find yourself able to concentrate for slightly longer.
Lots of things need doing: If you find that you're doing lots and lots of jobs and running out of time to pray, then have a re-think of how you're structuring your day. Maybe, pray whilst you have your breakfast or get ready and dedicate that time on your commute to God.
Clock-watching? Set a timer on your phone so that you can immerse yourself with God and not worry about being late!
Try and get in the habit of continuous prayer throughout the day, combine longer and shorter prayers with different activities you are doing. Pray whilst you do the dishes, clean, drive (with your eyes open!) walk, when you're in a lift, on your way to a meeting. Take every opportunity to check in with God.
Journaling is a great way to go back and look at your prayers to see how God has answered and take time to be thankful!