Western society is a very fast-paced world. In a land of instant coffee, high-speed Internet and interstates, it is easy to live a very fast-paced life. This outward busyness, although not bad in and of itself, can lead to a spiritual problem. Because of the daily stresses of life, people may have difficulties concentrating on God in prayer. With so many things to think about, it can be very difficult to calm your mind and simply focus on God. Many religions, particularity monotheistic ones, put a lot of emphasis on focusing on a personal God.
Find a quiet place. If you are in a place with many distractions, you will find it quite difficult to focus on God. Find a solitary place -- like a bedroom -- where you won't be disturbed for at least 15 minutes. Take care of all prior engagements beforehand and turn on some soothing music if you need to drown out any outside noise.
Sit or kneel down. It's beneficial to have a specific way of sitting; this way, your body knows that when you are in this position, it's time to pray. Lying down while praying may be useful to some, but for others it may cause them to fall asleep or start daydreaming. Choose a comfortable spot, but not so comfortable that you are prone to nodding off.
Dedicate this time to God. Let Him know right up front that this time is for Him. Invite Him to communicate with you and talk to you. Surrender yourself before Him and agree to listen and obey Him.
Begin by directing your attention to God. Don't start by talking about yourself; rather, start by talking about the God to whom you're praying to. Don't bring up all of your own personal issues; instead, worship God for who He is and for what He has done in your life.
Talk out loud. God can certainly hear you if you "talk" in your head, but talking aloud often helps make it seem more "real." By talking out loud, the time of prayer feels more like a time of conversation. This is because people are accustomed to communicating in this way.
If your thoughts begin to wander, gently bring your focus back to God. Don't let the distractions of the day interfere with your time with God. Don't become mad at yourself if you are prone to distractions, but keep returning to thoughts about God.
Spend time with God. Don't think of prayer as a wishlist. Instead of asking things from God, ask God what He wants from you. Let the prayer be theo-centric (God-centered) as opposed to egocentric (self-centered).
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