She flitted around from task to task, never completing any one thing. I had been trying to train her in our office practices, but it seemed like she couldn’t sit still long enough to grasp even the basics. I tried to keep her on task, but it was impossible!
Sheesh, I’m too old for this. Maybe I’ve worked too long by myself. Maybe I’ll never be able to work with someone else.
Exhausted each evening, I wondered if I would ever get used to having another personshare my office space.
One day, she seemed a bit more manic than other times. She was all over the place and not focused at all. I finally gave up, hunkered down at my desk to work, and just let her bounce around. Then it hit me: She takes ADD medication. I’ll bet she skipped a dose.
I e-mailed my friend: I had some insights as to why I am so exhausted each evening. My new girl takes ADD meds. She has obviously skipped a dose here and there. She has been all over the place! I feel like I am herding chickens!!
The next morning in my prayer time, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to learn from this experience. Gently, He reminded me that most days I am the same way with Him. During my prayer time, I often flit from e-mail to weather to scripture to prayer, never settling down to listen. I sensed there have been many mornings when the Lord has had to herd this little chick into the prayer pen. And I knew first hand how hard that can be!
“Be still, be calm, see, and understand I am the True God.
I am honored among all the nations.
I am honored over all the earth.” Psalm 46:10 The Voice
Oh Lord, settle me down! I want to be still before You! Help me, Lord!
How about you? Do you find it hard to settle down in prayer? Is it hard for you to remain focused during this time?
I’m certainly no expert (as God can tell you!) but here are a few things I’ve tried, that seem to help me focus.
1. First 5 app. If you must have your phone near (and I must, since I occasionally send quick texts to friends who are on my heart during prayer), try the First 5 app from Proverbs 31 ministries. Before doing anything with your phone, read the devotions. Give God the first five minutes of your day.
2. Be still. Set a timer for five minutes or so, and just sit still. I ponder what God is doing in my life. But mainly, I just sit before the Lord quietly. It seems to settle me down. Perhaps it will help you also.
3. Journal. Journal your prayers. This keeps me focused on my praying and on the scriptures. I journal about what causes me to pause when reading a particular passage. I ask God what He wants me to learn from this scripture. I write about what I feel He may be telling me in this verse, and I respond to Him with praise and thanksgiving.
Are these methods foolproof? No, not at all. But they seem to help me – especially forcing myself to sit quietly.
How about you? How to you stay focused during your prayer time? PLEASE! Share your helpful hints in the comments!
Grace be with you,
Oh mercy, I can definitely imagine God trying to herd all us chickens around. Ugh! With everything out there to distract us, it takes serious intention to focus and commit to quiet time. Learning that discipline can be a life-changer! Thanks for this Ellen. Miss you, friend!
Miss you too! Looking forward to June!!
Definitely can relate, both with the attempt of herding (can you say “classroom”?) and being the one He’s trying to herd… I laughingly tell the students to put other things away because I’M the one who has ADHD and I’m NOT in any meds! This admission isn’t just a ruse to get straying students back on track, it’s a reality I find myself facing as I’m racking up the years. I struggle with focusing and it spills over into ALL aspects of my life, especially when it comes to spending time with Him. There’s SO much that needs to be done that sitting inert with my mind blank is near impossible to accomplish. The only way this is achieved is with His help…
The best conversations I seem to have with Him is early in the morning before my day starts. I use the YouVersion Bible app in my phone. I share the Verse of the Day on FB directly from this app and then do a couple devotional from my Plans section. Then when I step into the shower, I meditate on what I’ve just read and proceed to “listen” while completing the task at hand. It’s amazing what He reveals to me about various things I’ve been praying about throughout the course of several days. Problem is I’m never quiet before Him because there are so many distractions vying for my attention! However when in the shower, there’s only the soothing sound of the water and I’m able to focus. This helps get my morning off on the right foot.
The only other time is when I’m sitting outside in the patio and I just stop and focus on the beauty of nature around me. I start feeling thankful for the all that He’s done to bring us to this place here in Louisiana and then I let my mind drift to so that my mind feels blank. When I get in that state He is able to have my undivided attention where I can hear Him clearly…
The latter doesn’t happen as often as I’d like and I have to admit to “re-showering” on many an occasion in order to commune with Him. I’m going try your suggestions of timer usage and journaling!
Thanks for being transparent about your struggles. It helps to know that I’m not the only who has this problem! The busyness of life often keeps us in a state where we can’t be receptive to hearing His voice… The need is real for us to be quiet so that when He speaks, He can be heard.
“The need is real for us to be quiet” – so very true Deb! But instead, we add more to our schedules. And like you, I can “hear” a bit more clearly in the shower. Crazy, huh? Love you friend!