praying and distraction

I’m Praying and I’m Distracted.

I'm distracted in my prayer right now, probably because I just finished watching an episode of Black Mirror which is a really intense show and sometimes even graphic, but I can’t help but think maybe it’s not Black Mirror. I started to think maybe I can’t blame my distraction on a TV show. I mean, maybe it’s because I’m actually in my living room, all the lights are bright and this is not normally the place I pray. Wait, have I become so used to only being able to divulge in prayer when I’m in my ‘place?’ Has my ‘place’ become so comfortable that anything else makes it so much harder for me to focus, to steer my gaze to God? I started typing this because that’s the only thing I can think of that I can truly focus on. I’m sitting still, music is playing and I’m typing out what I would be writing in my prayer journal. I was tempted to go on Pinterest. In fact, it’s still open in the background. I thought, “Okay, I can’t focus and maybe I should get some work done for my blog, or maybe I can pray later tonight when I’m in my room?” Yet my room is only 8 feet away from me. It was then that I realized I was giving my lack of being able to push through in prayer a name, I called it “Maybe working on my blog” or “Maybe later.”

     I wonder how God feels about that? Maybe there’s something better I could be doing with my time? Maybe I’ll give Him my time later? Honestly, this is what those thoughts were saying without saying it and I wasn’t even aware of it. It’s crazy what the enemy will do to get you to stop praying; to be content where you’re at, with who you are in that moment and nothing more. You know I’ve always believed if I had a ‘greatest downfall’ it wouldn’t be to back slide into sin but to seem good enough to just get by. That the enemy would lie in my ear and say, “You’re okay, you don’t need to pray right now.” Or “You don’t need to read your Bible, you know what it says. You don’t need to spend time with God right now, you should be writing a blog post, or helping plan this event.” It’s crazy how the enemy can turn good thing….in fact GOD THINGS (blog, and ministry work) into excuses from the right thing (prayer.)

     Then it got me thinking why does the enemy try so hard to keep us “good enough?” Why does the enemy try so hard to distract us, especially during our prayer time? What is it that the enemy knows and is trying to keep me from? Does the enemy know something I don’t? Does the enemy know that maybe I’m one prayer away, one praise away, one scripture away from my victory? My peace. My triumph. Or that prayer would lead to another prayer and another that would lead to my open door, my answer, my ‘fill in the blank.’ Or am I thinking too deep into this and need to just stop watching Black Mirror all in all? Lol, I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to try. Also my neighbors are being EXTREMELY LOUD right now which doesn’t help my case. Either way, I am typing. I am focused and no I didn’t give the enemy the finger and keep praying aloud in my apartment. No I didn’t say, “I see what you’re doing enemy, trying to keep me from my prayer, my praise, my time with God, so I’ll scream it out, dance it out, pace back and forth like a crazy person to prove you wrong.” I just sat real still and wrote out my thoughts.

     Yes, it’s less dramatic than most prayer warriors would have hoped my reaction would have been, but this is my fight. My computer, these letter buttons I’m pressing. Because for the last 30 minutes I have been typing this, I have been focused. I didn’t go on Pinterest. I didn’t let the long list of ‘to-do’s’ get in the way. I didn’t get on my phone because I’m a little jumpy from a TV show, or because right not isn’t a convenient time. And no I, I’m not saying this because I want a reward, that’s not the point. During all of this the Lord has been speaking to me. While I have been typing I haven’t had one once of anxiety, my mind is focused and my heart is at ease. Ease in every situation I’m currently in. Every stress I had just seem to fade away. Every worry I had just doesn’t seem that big anymore.

     I guess I’m sharing with you one of my prayer times because I feel that we have all experience this from time to time and I think this is my fight against distraction, my fight against excuses, my fight against my human error, my fight against comfortability, ect… Whatever it is that is hindering you from spending time with the Lord, from praying alone in your room about the things that bother you, from reading the Word, I challenge you to look deeper. What do you do with your time instead? Do those things mean more to your than your relationship with God? Do those excuses make you feel better about something you might be hiding in your life or hiding from? The next time you are praying, or you are spending time with God, try something new to remain focused. Test yourself in a new environment how well your prayer life is. If you notice something like I did, write it down. Work on it. Fight against the enemy’s plan to keep you from your prayer time. To all my long time church goers out there this may sound crazy, but God is the same whether you pray in your room, closet, special corner in the church or in the kitchen, car or shower. I’ll leave you with this thought to end this post.

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42

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