Prayer is more than a wish; it is the voice of faith directed to God. Prayer should not be merely an act; it is a way of life. We must learn to shut out the distractions that come from Satan. He wants to break the fellowship with the Master of our lives so that we become ineffective.
Life is busy for most, but still we generally find time for the things we truly want to do. Prayer is for every moment of our lives. This is why the Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It is an attitude, an acknowledgement, that God knows our thoughts and sees our deeds, but do we actually ever share our hearts with Him?
Christians must remember the importance of prayer to keep their minds from wandering or becoming bored, evangelical leader Billy Graham advises in a post on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s website.
Responding to a follower’s question about how to stop one’s mind from wandering during prayer, Graham suggests that first, Christians must remember who they are praying to.
“You aren’t praying to yourself or another person; you are praying to God, the all-powerful and glorious Creator of the universe,” Graham writes, adding that Christians must respect their opportunity to speak to God in the same way they would prepare to speak to the U.S. president or queen of England.
“How much greater is God!” Graham exclaims, adding, “He alone is ‘majestic in holiness, awesome in glory,’ Exodus 15:11.”
The religious leader and renowned preacher goes on to encourage Christians to “take time when you pray to praise God and thank Him for His goodness,” arguing that too often, Christians come to God with a laundry list of demands and requests.
“Begin by thanking Him for His love, a love so great He sent His son into the world to die for you,” Graham says.
Another tip for staying focused during prayer is to keep a prayer list, Graham continues, suggesting that it helps maintain concentration, as well as keep track of which prayers have been answered.
“Give God the best moments of your day,” the evangelical leader concludes, “because of Christ ‘we have access to the Father,’ Ephesians 2:18.”
The 97-year-old preacher has previously spoken on the importance of remaining focused on God, not only during prayer but also through busy schedules and life changes.
In response to a May 2011 question posted to “My Answers” on the BGEA website, Graham said that “even when we forget God, He never forgets us! He knows what’s happening to us every moment of the day, and He also watches over us.”
There are lots of strategies for staying focused on God throughout the day, Graham says, the first being to start the morning with a prayer and a reading of the Scripture.
“Pray about things you know you’ll be facing that day, and read a portion of God’s Word, the Bible. Then let that portion of the Bible take root in your soul all day long, remembering it and calling it to mind,” Graham writes, noting that another method is to “develop a habit of constant prayer.”
“When you meet someone new, utter a silent prayer for them. When you learn about a problem someone is having, pray for them. When someone tries your patience, pray for them.”
While prayer is necessary, it is not all that Christians should do to strengthen their relationship with God, Graham wrote in an October 2004 post. Christians must also look to Scripture for guidance, because “prayer by itself is like a diet without protein!”
“You see, without the Bible we are in danger of making up our own ideas about God, and even wondering (as you do from time to time) if God exists or if it is all in our imagination.”