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How To Focus On Prayer

Being unable to focus or concentrate while praying is something that many Christians struggle with. In this article, we will discuss practical tips on what you can do to better concentrate and focus while spending moments of solitude with God. Solitude with God is the time when we pray and commune with Him. It is not just us sitting in a room alone and praying to God. It is much more than that. When we spend solitude with God in prayer, we come before His presence as we commune with Him. We approach His throne of grace, where we can freely come, because Christ has broken down the wall of hostility between God and man and has restored our relationship with Him. 

Ephesians 2:14-16

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Hebrews 4:16

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Why can’t I focus while praying?

There are many reasons why you can’t focus while praying. It could be that you are praying in a place where it is noisy, like in a mall, cafe, or even in the living room of your home, where some of your siblings or family members may do things that distract you. Most of the time, noisy places keep us from being able to concentrate on the things that we are doing. One sound robs us of our focus and our ability to refocus on what we are doing. That is why a conducive place is essential when it comes to studying. If it is important for studying, then it is also essential when praying and spending solitude with God.

Another reason we can’t focus on praying is the music we might play in the background while praying. While not everyone does this, some Christians play music while praying to God. The music will affect your focus when praying. If you are playing pop music in the background, you might hum, sing or even dance along, instead of focusing on praying. 

The time you choose to pray to God may also affect your focus. For example, if you choose to pray to God in the middle of work, you probably won’t be able to concentrate, because even if you’re in the middle of a break, you are still technically in the middle of work, and you will be thinking of work in the back of your mind, even as you pray. While there is no problem with praying to God during work hours, there are better times to pray, like during a lunch break, when the break time is longer, and you can take your mind off of things related to work for a few moments. Likewise, if you choose to pray to God at 11 PM, when you are sleepy, perhaps it is better to pray at 8 PM and re-arrange your schedule, rather than losing focus while praying because you are so tired.

How can I concentrate on my prayers?

As mentioned, the place or location where you pray is a factor in whether you will be able to concentrate or focus when praying. The best example that we have in the Bible is Christ Himself. Throughout His ministry, we see Jesus withdrawing from the crowds and going to desolate places or lonely places to pray, a place conducive to praying to His Father where no one would disturb Him. 

Matthew 14:23

And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Mark 1:35

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Mark 6:46

And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

Luke 5:16

And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Another thing we can keep in mind is that we should go out of our way if it allows us to come before God and pray to Him without any distractions. If that means waking up early at 4 AM, because that is the only time you can pray when the house is quiet, then, by all means, do that. While we should be wise regarding when we set our prayer time for God, if it’s hard to find one in our schedule, we must go out of our way and make time for God, even if that means waking up early. It could also mean going to a nearby park because it is quieter there than in your house.  

If you are playing background music while praying to God, be sure that the music is not distracting. Something like piano background or instrumental music is a good choice. However, it is also essential that you don’t end up playing music only to stir up your emotions. Yes, when we pray, we pour our hearts out to God. However, it is not all about emotions, moods, feeling, or even sentimentalism. You don’t have to “set the mood” to worship God. Regardless of the mood, we should be able to worship God for who He is.

Father in heaven, You are the God who provides wisdom and good sense. I pray that You will give me wisdom as I set specific times when I pray and spend solitude with You and be wise in choosing the right location. Help me have a good sense of whether I should play music while praying or not. Remind me that it is not just for praying alone when I pray, but it is time for me to commune with You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Much of what you should do in order to concentrate while praying is common sense. If it is too noisy to pray, find a different place. If there is a better time to pray, where you will be able to devote your full attention, then set that as your prayer time. We should go out of our way to pray to God and go the extra mile, even if it means changing our schedules.