If you are like me, you have times of prayer where your thoughts are all over the map! “Our Father, who art in heaven,... what should we have for dinner tonight? hallowed be your name... oh, I have to get that contract signed...” Prayer distractions seem to be a chronic issue in the prayer lives of many.
As discussed in other articles, simply allowing those prayer distractions to flow on through can be an effective way of dealing with them. However, what do you do with the pesky thoughts, the most troublesome ones that keep invading your prayer time?
You may want to make the prayer distraction a friend! Huh? It may be possible to befriend the distraction and turn it into an opportunity for God to do something in your life! Often, the nagging thought with a twinge of anxiety may just be an opportunity inviting us to explore the issue, situation or circumstance a little deeper with the Holy Spirit. In prayer, you and the Father can explore the issue, and find some insights, freedom and resolution in it.
Remember - the presenting problem is usually not the problem, but a symptom of a deeper issue God wants to explore with you. We can do this with confidence and security knowing we are safe with God - we are loved and not rejected. With this in mind, take a deep breath and ask God what He may want to say to you through this distraction. Is there an area of hurt? Is there a foundational fear? A control issue? A bit of direction? Is there a lie He wants to free you from?
Relax. Share your feelings with God and wait to see what He may say. Listen to what you say and how you say it and allow God to highlight keys words, sentences or emotions and then simply ask Him to help you understand. When you get some insight, thank God and respond to God by asking for the grace to walk in this new understanding, healing or whatever gift He may give. God will never tell you something contrary to His word nor does God use shame or belittlement or intimidation - His heart is to see us free in love!
Often after giving these prayer distractions to God, they lose their steam and at the same time you have used them to grow a little more - closer to God and a little more whole!