I love to pray; not something I would have said last year but since rediscovering my faith I realise how much I like to pray. Before I get out of bed in the morning I thank the Lord for the night’s sleep and the bed I have slept in whilst amongst other things asking him to bless my day ahead. I will pray before I do my morning bible study as well as after, I will pray as I walk along the street thanking God for the beauty of his creation. I will pray for the safety of a car driver who goes speeding down the road as well as those he speeds past. I will pretty much pray about anything and anyone and that includes prayers for myself from asking for restored health and finances to patience so that I will not be disheartened when something I would like to happen sooner rather than later doesn’t happen.
And I encourage others to pray as much as they can because it really changes your attitude when you try to be in conversation with God at all times. And don’t worry about wasting his time with what you might think are insignificant worries or prayers as God knows our hearts and he wants us to talk to him, he cares. Come on if he didn’t care would he have sent his own son to die for our sins.
You don’t even have to pray in one of those long worded, overly holy ways if you don’t want to because I was taught that we are God’s children and that makes him my father and so I talk to him with respect but also as a friend who loves me and wants the best for me.
The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children – 1 John 3:1 (NCV)
But here is the thing I have noticed now that I have reached my mid 40’s; when I pray last thing at night my ability to stay focused on talking to God is hit and miss. It can start well enough but then, for example, I can start praying for the pastor of the church for health, rest and wisdom but before I know it my mind has gone off on a tangent and I am thinking about a conversation I would like to have with him on Sunday. And yes I have asked God in Prayer to help me with my concentration problems during prayer.
Now I am sure there is an explanation as to why at the end of the day my ability to concentrate is disappearing over the horizon, I am sure sitting at a computer staring at screens all day must contribute to this issue. But I have found something which helps and it is something which I have to admit I never did when I was a child and that is to get down on my knees by the side of my bed to pray. It doesn’t always work but I have certainly found myself having much stronger prayers and more often than not I finish them having not gone off on a tangent when I kneel to pray. The only trouble is that once I am down on my knees it is hard work getting back up. But I encourage anyone who finds that they are having trouble staying focused whilst praying to try the simple act of getting down on their knees to pray as it has certainly helped me.
On a side note, for anyone who is a parent and doesn’t do this, encourage your children to not only say their prayers before they go to bed but also to do so by kneeling as there is something about doing so which takes you out of every day actions and focuses your mind on prayer.