Lent Blog – 7: DISTRACTION IN PRAYER

Published Wed, 24/02/2021 by

I felt really distracted today as I was trying to pray.  

In many ways it couldn’t be helped.  The time I normally prefer to pray was taken up by an appointment.  By the time another opportunity came round, my head was full of a hundred and one things, important and unimportant, and I was feeling quite stressed by the accumulated busyness of the morning (much of it in the Lord’s service).  It didn’t help that noises off then began outside.

We’re told that the way to deal with distractions is not to worry about them.  Once you realise you’re distracted, the masters of prayer say acknowledge the fact, refocus and carry on.  There’s a lot of validity in that. We can’t always find the ideal time and place.  And it’s always better to pray – however poor a job you think you’re making of it – than to give up.  The best can be the enemy of the good in these matters.  

All the same, today’s experience left me feeling dissatisfied and a bit irritable.  I realise I would have done better to pause more to compose myself at the beginning; to try and achieve a little more recollection.  

Of course, if I never prayed except when I am totally composed and wide awake, a lot of praying would never get done.  (Then again, maybe less is more?)  What I have to try and remember is that it’s the disposition of the heart that counts – and the only real prayer is that of Jesus to the Father. Our prayer must be offered in and through his. His prayer – his perfect prayer – makes ours acceptable: “Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name”. (Hebrews 13:15)

MICHAEL KIRKHAM