There is a common misconception that distractions during prayer are at least a nuisance and at most a sin. We mistakenly believe that when we pray, we need to push our distractions away and be rid of them—which becomes another distraction! The goal of prayer, however, is not some thoughtless state of consciousness as if we were Zen Buddhist monks. Prayer’s real goal is a surrendered heart of love. And we attain that surrender by having a heart-to-heart conversation—including sharing our distractions and mental diversions—with a God who loves us unconditionally.
Loving God, you call me into your presence just as I am.
I arrive with lots of emotional baggage
often expressed in my thoughts and distractions.
May these thoughts and distractions begin our conversation together.
May they be reminders of my human fragility with its worries and concerns.
May our conversation settle my spirit
and help me to surrender my heart to you.
Through Christ our Lord.
Ponder your frequent distractions in prayer and have a conversation with God about them.