#4 in 2011: Does your mind wander when you pray?

Ben Reed —  December 28, 2011 — Leave a comment
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I’m taking a break from my blog between Christmas and New Year’s. I’m re-posting a couple of your favorites (based on clicks) and a couple of my own favorite posts from 2011. I hope you enjoy! I’ll be interacting in the comments section, so if you comment, I’ll respond. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

image credit: Creation Swap User Krist Adams

Have you ever been praying, and start to think of what you have to do for the day?

Suddenly, things pop into your mind out of nowhere that take you off to another place.

I’ve been told that those things are a distraction. That I just need to concentrate harder and seek God more, and that when my mind wanders, I need to have more discipline to stop thinking about ______, or ______. I’ve been told that my wandering mind is a sign of weakness.

I’m beginning to wonder if it’s not so much a sign of weakness, but a sign of

  • what I’m valuing at the moment. This is both a heart-check (what’s really important to me?) and a “Wow, I’ve really been thinking about that a lot…maybe I should pray about it.” Our mouths speak (or, in this instance, “our minds think”) what our hearts are full of. (Luke 6:45)
  • God helping me remember things that I need to do. Is it not God that is the creator of the mind? Does He not know all things, including what we need to be in the business of doing? Does He not hold all things together? (Colossians 1:17) We are commanded to ask God for wisdom…don’t be shocked when He gives it. (James 1:5)
  • God reminding me people and situations I need to pray for. Ever have someone or something, seemingly random, pop into your head when you’re praying? I do. And I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

I know that prayer is not all about me and my situation and my relationships and my life…I realize that connecting with God through prayer is essential for simply building my relationship with my Creator.

But I’m going to be easier on myself when my mind starts to wander. I’m taking every thought captive. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Do you think that God speaks in this way?

Does your mind wander when you pray?

* image credit: Creation Swap user Krist Adams

 

Ben Reed

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Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.