This past weekend, I purchased my digital download of the Lent Devotional Workbook from Blessed Is She. I highly recommend it! It’s a great way to enter into prayer each day during the Lenten season.
Yesterday morning, I was ready: Troll mug filled to the brim with coffee, prayer journal and pink pen in hand, #BIS reflections printed. Christian Girl Instagram, anyone??
Do you ever have those moments leading up to prayer where you pause for the cause? I find myself thinking about how awesome it will be and telling myself how awesome it will be. And I know that it will be pretty awesome. But, wow, those moments leading up to invested & reflective prayer are the moments that I find myself SO easily distracted. Did I respond to that email? I should clean my room quick. I forgot to send a text about the event this weekend!
It’s like I’m wanting it to be in the perfect moment, in the perfect environment and in the perfect state of mind. Quite literally: Instagram ready. Why on EARTH am I wanting and trying to create such perfection in my prayer time?
Let’s dig a little deeper…
Satan doesn’t want me to build a relationship with my Lord & Savior. The very LAST thing that he wants is for me to sit with the Lord in peaceful prayer, giving my time freely to Him.
He will do whatever he can to take away from the peace that I so desire and that I have often experienced in moments of prayer. Any alternative becomes the next shiny object to distract me and take away from my quality time with the Lord.
- Did I respond to that email? No, but Gmail isn’t going anywhere.
- I should clean my room quick. It’s already clean. What else are you going to do?
- I forgot to send a text about the event this weekend! Oh no, someone receiving a text 30 minutes later than expected?! Heaven forbid!
When I finally entered into prayer yesterday morning, it was awesome! My day was more productive, my time was used well and I experienced clarity of mind. But, man, those shiny objects really got to me before I started!
5 tips to get rid of the shiny objects & distractions
Sometimes, I think that the only way I’ll ever have great prayer time is if I’m in adoration. But, on those days that I really want to spend 15 minutes (or more) in prayer at my house, I have found ways to be productive and thoughtful in the use of time & space.
Here are a five ways that I eliminate the shiny objects & distractions to enter into prayer…
- Create a calm environment.Whether it’s your bedroom, prayer room, living room, kitchen, etc. Eliminate the distractions. Personally, I am someone that likes a clean space. It helps me with homework, prayer, sleep, etc. I use my room for prayer, so my common distractions are clothes laying around, books spread out and an unmade bed. Whatever your space is, create your “calm”.
- Turn off the electronics. Shut your computer screen. Put your phone on silence or turn it off completely. Put it in a place that won’t tempt you to pick it up and check your notifications, texts, or phone calls that come in. I personally put my phone in my desk drawer. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Have a prayer journal. I really like to go to Marshall’s because the store offers a variety of notebooks at great prices (less than $8!). Have a journal dedicated specifically for your prayer time for thoughts & reflections. It’s a great way to focus and a beautiful way to look back and see the Lord working in your life!
- Pick a time & commit to it. This is the hardest one for me! I’ve always struggled in picking a specific time each day to pray. I’m not a pro, but I’ve learned through trial & error that it is the best way! Commit to your prayer time and be invested in it. Just like habits at the gym or hours invested to study for a test, committed prayer time should be your priority and on your calendar. Oh, do I struggle with this. But, it’s a good struggle to have and an important struggle to overcome.
- Utilize resources. I have found that resources or some form of structure really helps me to focus in my prayer time. I had to be reminded once that the Lord loves to look at us and behold His creation. We don’t need to be creating “busyness” in prayer or to be in constant communication. Silence and reflection are very important & beneficial, too! But, some structure can help in having a fruitful prayer time. The Gospels, Blessed Is She and Matthew Kelly are all wonderful resources and a great place to start.
Oftentimes, prayer is at the bottom of my list. That’s not something that I’m proud to admit, but I need to because it’s an important reality that I face each day when I choose (or not choose) to pray. Remember, you are not alone & we all have our shiny objects & distractions that take us away from quality time with the One who loves us so much.
A great way to think about the importance of prayer? Like a friendship or relationship, you have to invest your time and energy into it to get to know the person, develop trust and share in something truly meaningful. The same holds true in order to have a relationship with the Lord! I can’t do Jackie Francois’ words justice. Check out her video for inspiration!
In the lyrics of High School Musical: We’re all in this together!