Home > Brian's Blogs, Prayer > Prayer: Dealing with Distractions, part 3

Prayer: Dealing with Distractions, part 3

Sometimes when we are praying we can’t get certain people out of our minds.  What are we do to when the thoughts of other people distract us during prayer?

Mark Thibodeaux provides a helpful exercise that he titles, “Worthy People Distractions.”

“This exercise begins with the assumption that I am in the middle of my prayer time and am having trouble quieting myself because of some worthy distraction about a person in my life.

  1. Once I have decided that this distraction is worth praying over, I change strategies and now focus on it.  If the distraction involves some other person (that I am worried about, angry with, in love with, etc), I focus all my attention on that person.  I ask God to show me that person through his eyes.  I continue reflecting on God’s perception of this person as long as I am able.
  2. I ask God to show me his perception of my relationship with this person.  For example, if I’m in love, I ask for God’s impression of the relationship: “Is it true love, God?  Is it healthy love?  Am I handling the relationship in accordance with the gospel values that Jesus taught?”  Or if I’m furious with my boss, I ask for God’s impression of the relationship: “Am I right to be angry, Lord?  Am I being fair here?  Am I being unjustly treated?  Is this argument worth fighting for?  Or should I try to let this one go?  Also, is there some fault of my own that I have not yet owned up to?”
  3. I spend some time thanking God for the life of that person (even if my present feelings toward the person are very negative) and I ask God to help me to carry God’s own perception of this person throughout my day.  If I’ve made some decision about how to act today and feel that the action is the right thing to do, then I ask God to give me the courage to do what needs to be done.”

So the next time you are distracted by a person (which will probably be in the next few days if you are praying regularly), remember this exercise to turn your distraction into prayer.

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