Difficulties With Focussing on Prayer

“For your heart will always be where your riches are.” – Mathew 6:21

I’ve done this, day after day. I’ve sat myself down, and began to pray, but something always popped in my head. There was always something to do, always something to take care of instead of just praying.

So, in my dedicated time to pray, I found myself fighting off the temptation to focus on anything else but my prayers.

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Praying seems to be the easiest and yet hardest thing for us to do these days. In an age where we want everything now, some of us convince ourselves that we just don’t have time for it, or that it just doesn’t do anything (that needs it’s own post!).

But how hard is it to set aside a moment and say a prayer? Not hard at all.

However, it is in that moment during prayer that we find out what is truly important to us. When we dedicate time to pray, and we cannot let go of the world, we have to come to terms with ourselves of what is the greatest pull at that moment in time.

When our mind is constantly drifting to something, or someone during our prayers, we are distracted. We know by our heart (what our mind if choosing to focus on) is the object of our true desires.

It’s hard to say that God comes first in our lives, if He is the last thing that is on our minds when we pray.

Staying focused then becomes the challenge.

The habitual difficulty in prayer is distraction. It can affect words and their meaning in vocal prayer; it can concern, more profoundly, him to whom we are praying, in vocal prayer (liturgical or personal), meditation, and contemplative prayer. To set about hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap, when all that is necessary is to turn back to our heart: for a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should awaken our preferential love for him and lead us resolutely to offer him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve.  (Catechism 2729)

Do you get distracted when you pray?  How do you turn off your mind to focus?


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