5 Tips to Stop Your Mind from Wandering During Prayers

If you find your mind wandering during prayers and you don't know what to do about it, this is for you. And before I begin, I want you to know that it is not a “you” problem and it is not a problem of lack of spirituality. You not paying attention and curbing the habit will be the problem. People that are fervent in prayer understand the concept of mind wandering and they have been able to capture the act.

You know, sometimes our minds wander because of the burdens we carry in our hearts; imagine us worrying about what we should be praying about, and sometimes it may be because we get bored as a result of our prayer routine. To achieve an effective prayer life, we must prevent our minds from wandering while we pray. I will be sharing some suggestions to help you keep your minds stable, or rather settled, in the place of prayer.

1. Do Away with Distraction

Firstly, you have to do away with all forms of distraction, like your cellphone, TV, and noise around you. Making a deliberate effort like this shows you are really eager to hear from God because God can’t speak to a wandering mind, and how will you be able to discern God’s voice if your mind is wandering? Say, for example, you have an examination. You know how you get rid of anything that would distract you when reading the night before that exam? Yeah, that’s how you deal with all distractions when praying to God, cut every distraction. If you do that, you can be focused on what you want to tell God, and you will be receptive to God's voice.   

2. Use a Christian Playlist

Secondly, I would definitely advise the use of a Christian playlist. There is nothing like using a playlist because it helps keep the prayer atmosphere going. If your mind wants to wander, the playlist stands as a fence to your wandering thoughts; it's like having a shield during prayers. When your mind wants to wander, the next thing you may find yourself doing is singing from the playlist, and this gives you time to get back to praying because you will still have the atmosphere of prayer with the playlist in the background. Create a playlist that works for you; for some, it may be a playlist that has lots of tongues speaking, and when your mind is about to wander, you just start speaking in tongues with the atmosphere created by the playlist. For this, you just have to find a playlist that suits you or browse through the internet for christian playlists.It is good to use songs you are familiar with because unfamiliar songs may still make your mind wander because you have nothing to sing.

3. Write Down Your Prayer Points

Thirdly, write your prayer points down and say them loudly. Let’s do a quick exercise. Say the Lord’s Prayer loudly, and then check if your mind wandered at all while you were reciting it. That is it; it will work for most people because when you speak loudly, you will not be distracted as much. And this goes hand in hand with preparation. Before every hour of prayer, write down all your prayer points and bible verses that tally with them. As you speak loudly, when your mind is about to wander, quickly recite these verses two to three times, and that might keep your mind fixed on the prayer.

4. Build an Effective Prayer Routine

Fourthly, know your effective prayer routine. Say you have an examination, if you notice some people read without having to jot down anything to revise later but someone like me, when I’m reading I jot down things to revise like an hour before the examination. You just have to know what works for you and how do you do that? Try out different options and have a specific time each day you slot in your prayers. It might be 8am, 2pm and 8pm daily and have a flow of what you will be doing, so your mind doesn't get lost. If you have a planned outline, you will likely be focused. Say for example, 8am prayers: 5 minutes of praise and worship, read 10 verses of the scriptures, each prayer point is timed to 60 seconds each and after 5 minutes of thanksgiving. See, with this you already have your mind focused on what you will get done

5. If you Wander, Call back your mind

Finally, always call your mind back and start praying again. Our God is a merciful father and he understands and sees us. When your mind is wandering, talk to God about what is bothering you or tell the holy spirit to keep your mind focused on the prayers. As christians, we should also not condemn ourselves when our minds wander, don’t judge yourself and end the prayers. Instead, always go back and talk to God because he sees and understands our heart. When you don’t understand a topic in school, you go back and ask students or even the lecturer to explain it again if you want to learn it. Same goes here, when you start praying and your mind begins to wander, fall on your knees and tell God to help with what is troubling your mind and you can also tell the holy spirit to help you stay focused, what you should never do is to halt the prayer, always go back again. So, don’t give up on your prayer life, press on and always go back to pray even if your mind wanders. The key point here is again, go back to praying again.

I hope you have genuinely learnt one or two ways on how you can keep your mind from wandering during prayers. We are humans and it is not strange for our minds to wander when it’s not supposed to. That's why I will advise you to take your time and examine all these options and over time, when you do this, you will know what works for you as a person. It may be a mix of two of the options listed above, but in all you do, try out different methods to find the one that helps keep your mind still because an effective prayer life is a must, and a wandering mind will stand in the way of that.

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