Home > Brian's Blogs, Prayer > Prayer: Dealing with Distractions, part 4

Prayer: Dealing with Distractions, part 4

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

Mark Thibodeaux provides a helpful exercise that he titles, “Worthy Future 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 future event in my life, such as Friday’s big text or tomorrow’s big business meeting.

  1. Once I have decided that this future happening is worth praying over, I change strategies and now focus on it.  I ask God to show me the situation through his perspective: “Am I right to be concerned, happy, anxious?  Do I have my priorities well placed?  How can I promote gospel values through this future event?”
  2. I ask God to show me the underlying values in this future event.  If the event is the big test coming up, perhaps the value I will reflect on is my own education or the particular value of the subject matter itself.  If the event is work related, perhaps the value is simply living out my vocation through the particular business at hand.
  3. I ask God to help me see the spiritual pitfalls in the situation.  “Could I be focusing too much or too little on my studies?  Is this a fair and just business deal for all involved?”  I ask God to show me what I can do to avoid these pitfalls and to give me the strength and courage to do what needs to be done.

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

But before the weekend comes, notice this: Thibodeaux gives a lot of emphasis on God revealing something to the person who is praying.  Notice that the last two exercises described require us to spend some serious time thinking and actually expecting God to reveal some things to us during prayer.  Prayer, for Thibodeaux, is not simply praying about people or events, but hearing God’s perspective on people and events and asking for the courage to respond biblically.

When was the last time our prayers involved this type of give and take with God?

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