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STAYING FOCUSED IN PRAYER STEP 4: SEEING THE DISTRACTION DISAPPEAR

I wrapped my arms around my sister and kissed her on the cheek. I knew she had enjoyed our day together, she said so. And, I had enjoyed it, too.

I’d texted to say I had a table in the lobby of the hotel. As we waited for the coffee to arrive, my sister handed me some old family photos she had found. “Perhaps I’d like them?” she enquired. I nodded. I always liked to keep memories of home alive being 3,000 miles away.

We’d wandered around the British Library, just next door to the hotel where I was staying, looking at letters written by Shakespeare and an open Gutenberg Bible.

We’d lingered over salad and soup, talking about our families and the distraction of the sudden downpour outside. Then suddenly we realized the time. “Where had the afternoon gone?” we exclaimed.

As I watched my sister walk through the barriers to the Underground and disappear into the rush hour crowds, I felt grateful. Our relationship could have been very different. But, because I had prayed, all was good.

Prayer changes things. It can be the same for you, too.

Change happens when we’re mindful of what’s distracting us in prayer. If I had not spent the time praying about my feelings, I could have ended up with the disastrous relationship of my named counterpart in the Bible. Rachel and Leah is a story of rivals. (link to post)

So, think about what’s distracting you when you pray. Is it your day-to-day work — the job you have to do each day? Then pray about that. Is it concerns over money? Then bring your worries to God. Is it your “to do” list? Then write down what you have to do and pray through your list. Is it what you have coming up tomorrow? Then take a mental step through your day and tell God what’s on your mind.

If you’re just plain too tired to find the words to pray, then tell your heavenly Father you’re exhausted. Come to him and ask him for rest and to restore you. He promises to give us an oasis.

If you feel your mind is cluttered with thoughts you don’t want to have, then lay them at the feet of Jesus and ask him to change your thinking.

We don’t want to get stuck in our distractions. We want to be freed from them. There is good news if we follow through on acknowledging our distractions, even if it is painful and hard work.

See your distractions as an opportunity to discover what better thing God has in store for you and what freedom he wants to give you.

What feelings, reactions, or actions have you asked God to redeem so you can be freed from them?

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