Saturday, January 30, 2010

Focus in Prayer

Some days, some nights, when I try to pray, I have a hard time focusing. I become distracted easily. It's not a phone ringing, or outdoor noises like dogs barking. It's just that my mind wanders.

I can easily see why we Catholics are comfortable with little statues representing heavenly beings like angels, or saintly persons. By turning our attention toward a little image, even a photo or medal, it is easier to concentrate on heavenly matters.

In some faiths, candles help the person focus on prayer. Some faiths use beads.
There are many methods. The main need is to avoid adoring the image or object, and instead, to use it to concentrate on our prayers.

I always feel guilty, though. I have adopted a habit of at least being honest with God when this happens. I tell him that I really do love him and have faith in him. I tell him I need his help regarding whatever I am praying about. And I explain that I am trying to concentrate, that I hope he understands and will still care about the matter we are talking about, even in my thoughts veer in another direction.

Please, Dear Lord, accept my humble apologies for my weak human nature, my frequent inability to concentrate in prayer; please accept that the time I spend with you proves my intent, and please hear my prayer and send the grace I need to deal with your answer.

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