Q: I know we’re supposed to pray, and I try to, but often my mind drifts to other things when I’m praying, or I’ll get sleepy. I know that’s not good, but how can I avoid it? — C.R.
A: Prayer is one of our greatest privileges, and also one of our greatest responsibilities, which is why we should take it very seriously. After all, if Jesus, the Son of God, made prayer an important part of his life, shouldn’t we do so as well?
How can you keep your mind from wandering when you pray? The first step, I believe, is to realize to whom you are praying. You aren’t praying to yourself or another person; you are praying to God, the all-powerful and glorious creator of the universe. If you were asked to speak to the president of the United States or the queen of England, would you fall asleep or allow your mind wander? I doubt it. How much greater is God! He alone is “majestic in holiness, awesome in glory” (Exodus 15:11).
Then take time when you pray to praise God and thank him for his goodness. All too often we only come to God with a list of things we want him to do. But begin by thanking him for his love, a love so great he sent his son into the world to die for you. Thank him, too, for the blessings he gives you every day.
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In addition, many find it helpful to keep a prayer list — a written record of those for whom they are praying. Not only will this keep your mind from wandering, but you’ll rejoice when God answers a specific prayer.
Give God the best moments of your day. And remember: because of Christ we “have access to the Father” (Ephesians 2:18).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.