“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”. – Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

Imagine you had a meeting with one of the richest men in the world, the CEO of a Fortune 50 company. When he speaks, you would be quiet and wouldn’t listen passively – you’d be actively engaged, absorbing every word. Your concentration would be laser-focused. You will banish all distractions. 

If you would act this way in the presence of a respected human, how much more God? 

When we pray, we rise above conversations with mere mortals. We commune with God, the Almighty and glorious Creator. He who brought forth existence, including every person of power and influence we respect. He alone is majestically holy and inspires awe in His glory (Exodus 15:11). We must revere God, see prayer as a divine opportunity to meet with Him and set aside all distractions. 

Prayer demands the full attention of our minds and hearts. It’s not a mechanical exercise like the Pharisees practised. Jesus condemned such prayers, saying, “These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me” (Matthew 15:8).

Furthermore, when Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He emphasised approaching God with heartfelt thanksgiving, praise and adoration (Matthew 15:8). Engaging in this practice fills us with a deep sense of His faithfulness and the wonder of His revealed majesty.

A prayer list can be a powerful tool. It helps us focus on specific concerns during prayer, preventing our minds from wandering. Anxiety about life’s affairs is a major distraction. However, the Apostle Paul offers a solution: pray about your worries and trust in God (Philippians 4:6). By listing your anxieties and addressing them one after the other in prayer, you can release them and deepen your connection with God.

The impact of our physical environment cannot be overemphasised; it matters when, where and how you pray. As children, we were taught to shut our eyes while praying for this very reason – to eliminate distractions. So, closing your eyes, keeping digital devices away and choosing a place and time with little or no distractions help maintain concentration in prayer. In Mark 1: 35, we see that early in the morning, when it was still dark,  Jesus went to a solitary place to pray.

Regular scripture study is a cornerstone of focused prayer. By delving into the Bible, we fill our minds with God’s revelations and the language of worship.

The Lord keeps in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Fix your mind on God, especially when you pray; honour the privilege and time and you will experience His peace. 


Bible Reading Plan: Matthew 23

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