Is your mind open to hearing the Word? To hearing the Lord’s voice?
I open my Bible read two sentences and remember that we’re out of milk. I keep reading, but the milk is there taking up half of my mind–because I don’t want to forget right?–and soon it’s joined by ginger, lime, chicken, and egg noodles for that awesome Chicken Chow Mein I want to make on Friday. My eyes keep moving across the page, but my mind is on the grocery list. All the sudden, I’ve hit the end of the chapter and I’ve not absorbed a single thing. Same thing happens in prayer. Sound familiar?
So how do we combat a flitting mind? How do ensure God’s word falls on fertile ground? Here are a couple of things that have worked for me and others I know.
- Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Dimming your senses and focusing on your breathing can help clear your mind, making it open and empty to receive God’s word.
- Say a short prayer for focus. Before I begin, I pray, “Dear Lord, please help me to concentrate on you and your word. Open my heart to what you want to tell me today.”
- Keep a paper an pencil handy. This way when a to-do list item pops in your head, you can scribble it down and move on. Just make sure this doesn’t divert your attention even more.
- If all else fails, backtrack. There will be times when you lose focus, don’t beat yourself up, just backpedal to the last place you remember and try again.
I’m not great about doing any of those things every day, but my goal is to be more regular in my time with God and more intentional. I hope you will take the journey with me!
What tends to distract you when you’re trying to have private time with God? What are some of the ways you fight off distraction? How do you ensure you heart is open so God’s Word can fall on fertile ground?