Mindful Worship: Techniques for Uninterrupted Online Prayer

I stumbled upon an Instagram video last year where a woman who professed to be in an online prayer meeting, with her speaker muted, engaged in various activities during the prayer meeting.

While eating, she conversed with her sister, repeatedly stating, "I am in a prayer meeting. I had to mute my mic."

Out of the blue, the host of the prayer meeting called her name, seeking confirmation of her statements. Following this, she unmuted her microphone to affirm that the host's recognition was accurate.

Immediately afterward, she returned to her offline tasks, all the while keeping an ear on what the anchor was saying.

The video elicited laughter. However, many of us can understand the situation, as we've all been culpable for similar actions. Juggling online engagement with other tasks remains an ongoing challenge.

It becomes easy to lose focus during an online prayer meeting. An urgent message may interrupt, leading you to unintentionally wander through Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, only to return to the original program.

How then do we avoid distractions while praying online?

1. Drop the Phone Upon Joining: Holding onto your phone during prayer can easily derail your focus from spiritual activities. Place it aside immediately after joining the online program.

2. Choose a Quiet and Comfortable Prayer Space: Selecting a quiet and comfortable space for prayer helps minimise distractions. A noisy environment can easily lead to distraction or disinterest. Ensure your chosen space is conducive to maintaining focus, as excessive noise can overshadow the online program, making it less engaging.

3. Control Notifications on Electronic Devices: To prevent distractions during online prayer, turn off or silence notifications on your electronic devices. Notifications can inadvertently divert your attention from prayer, so consider restricting them or closing unnecessary tabs and apps.

4. Enhance Focus with Headphones: Utilise headphones to establish a serene and focused environment. Wearing headphones eliminates distractions, silences external voices, and aids prolonged concentration.

5. Communicate Prayer Time to Family or Roommates: Inform your family members or roommates about your prayer schedule. While you may be focused and ready for the program, letting others know in advance helps minimise potential distractions. Interference from family members or roommates, unaware of your prayer time, can otherwise cause disruptions.

6. Cultivate Mindfulness: Stay mindful to redirect your attention to the present moment if your mind begins to wander during prayer. Practicing mindfulness is crucial to overcoming unnecessary thoughts that may distract you from your prayer.

7. Optimise Body Posture: Find a posture that enhances your prayer experience—whether it's kneeling, sitting, standing, or even incorporating physical activities like folding your hands. The key is to choose what suits you best to stay focused during online prayer.

Remember, the ultimate goal is concentration, so engage in practices that aid your focus. And, of course, exclude activities like sleeping from the equation.


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