Let me introduce you to my friend, Sarah.
Motivated by her own serious and chronic health struggles, Sarah Forgrave became a wellness coach who loves encouraging others in their health and faith journeys. Then she wrote a book, Prayers for Hope and Healing: Seeking God’s Strength as You Face Health Challenges. When Sarah isn’t writing or teaching, she loves to shop at Trader Joe’s or spend time with her husband and two children in their Midwest home. You can connect with Sarah on Facebook and Pinterest.
by Sarah Forgrave
If you’re anything like me, sometimes when you attempt to pray the next thing you know your mind is wandering to the grocery list, the kids’ schedule for the day, or what you’re going to make for breakfast.Distraction happens. Especially when our intention is to pray. Click To Tweet
I’m not saying I have this thing mastered by any means, but I recently realized my prayer life has been much more focused lately.
Taking a closer look, I discovered some patterns that have helped me stay connected during prayer. So I thought I’d share them today, along with a couple other suggestions that friends have found helpful.5 patterns to help you stay focused during prayer. Click To Tweet
- Write down a brief agenda before you start to pray.
I know, I know. That sounds so boring and un-spiritual-like. But if you at least have a few things written on paper, you can check in if your mind wanders.
2. Use journaling as a blueprint for prayer.
This is something I love to do! In my morning quiet time, I journal my victories from yesterday, a takeaway from my devotion or Bible reading, and goals for today. (Learn more and download a free printable template at this link.)
During my prayer time, I start by looking at my victories from the previous day and praise God for His attributes that I saw at work. I thank Him for answers to prayer. I ask for wisdom and guidance related to the challenge I’ve been given in God’s Word. Then I move on to my goals for the day and pray through them, getting specific wherever possible.
- Pray for yourself and your family by walking through your days in prayer.
I’ve started praying for my husband and kids this way and love it. For example, I might pray specifically for my kids’ days at school, starting with their morning work and asking God to help them concentrate. Then I might move on to lunch and recess, praying that they’ll find good friends to play with and set a good example for others in their classes. I do a similar prayer exercise for my husband and then myself.
One thing that’s fun about this is I like to share at breakfast how I prayed for each person specifically. I tell my kids, “This is what I prayed for you today. I want a report after school about how it went.” This gives them something to keep in mind throughout their day and is a sneaky way to give them goals to work towards.
- Pray through the alphabet.
I don’t do this in my morning devotions as much as at bedtime, especially if I’m having a hard time going to sleep. But it can be a great tool any time of the day. I’ve heard this idea from a couple of different sources–one who recommended praising God for his attributes from A to Z. For example, “God, I praise you because you are awesome.” Then B might be the beauty in His creation, and so on.
You can also pray through the alphabet by lifting up people’s names who start with each letter. Pray for whomever comes to mind first with an A name, then a B name, etc. It’s an easy, simple way to get your prayers going if you feel stuck or don’t know where to start.
- Light a candle and place it nearby while you pray.
This can be a powerful reminder of God’s presence as you talk to Him. A friend of mine once told me this is the key that helps her stay focused during prayer time. It serves as a visual that God is right there with her.
Something for everyone in this list, from the free-spirited visual learner to the linear thinker. Hopefully, you’ve picked up some ideas to take your prayer life to the next level and stay focused while doing it!Sarah Forgrave offers prayer tips for the free-spirited visual learner and the linear thinker. Click To Tweet
To read more from Sarah, pick up a copy of her new book, Prayers for Hope and Healing: Seeking God’s Strength as You Face Health Challenges.
From the back cover of Prayers for Hope and Healing:
Serious or chronic medical issues bring a litany of painful and confusing feelings that only someone else who’s been in a similar situation could possibly understand. Sarah Forgrave has walked the difficult road you find yourself on. And she empathizes with the uncertain future you face.
No matter the road ahead, you don’t have to face it alone. Even in the depths of your worst emotional and physical pain, God is right there beside you, offering His comfort, love, and peace.
If you’d like to read more about prayer, click here to download How Seven Influential Bible Women Coped With Conflict from the Home Page.