Every Wednesday I participate in a prayer meeting via conference call. Participants are encouraged to share praise reports and prayer requests. People pray out loud as they feel led. Most of us, myself included, pray silently.
Do you know how you can listen with one part of your brain, but the other part is totally focused somewhere else until you are snapped back into attention by a sound, or someone speaking, or what they’re saying? I confess that I’m an expert at half-listening, especially if I already have a lot on my mind.
Last week, one person prayed that God would “keep us from distraction.” And that was the sentence that snapped me back into attention. What a simple, yet profound statement.
There’s a saying that goes something like this: “I am so busy that I meet myself coming as I’m going.” I suspect I’m not alone in this situation–that many of you feel the same way. There are so many “things” we must do, so many places we must be, so many people that we must connect with, that we are completely distracted away from the One that we need to connect with the most. Yet, without that connection, all the things we must do, the places we must be and the people we must connect with will result in nothing or worse, will have a disastrous ending. And obviously, God did not meanfor our lives to be so frantically lived, that “we meet ourselves coming as we’re going.”
So how can we keep our focus on God all the time and be kept from distraction? The answer can be found in several areas in our lives. We must spend time–quiet, alone time with God. Many people find this works best for them in the morning before they officially begin their day. Others, perhaps people who work a second or third shift, have other times of the day that works for them. The time of the day is not as important as having your quiet time. This is the time to read His word, to pray, to sit quietly before Him and listen to Him speak, to journal your thoughts and prayers.
Another way to keep from being distracted from God is to “practice His presence.” I’m sure I’ve mentioned this phrase before – it is actually the title of a book written by LeeAnn Payne. I’m not sure it’s still in print, but if it is, I encourage you to buy it and read it several times. The premise of the book is exactly what the title says: practice His presence. The Bible says “he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6; Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:5; 1 Kings 8:57; Hebrews 13:5). If He is always with us, and He is, it stands to reason that we should always be aware of His presence. We need to remember to remind ourselves as often as needed that He will never leave us, so His presence is always with us. We need to go through every day “talking” with Him and listening to Him. And, we have to pray and ask God to keep us from distractions.