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Dear Brother Bob,

I have a question...I feel God's presence as I go through 
the day, but when I stop to pray, and really talk to Him, I get sidetracked. 
Is there any good way to pray.  I tried following all those acrostics but 
I still get sidetracked.  I tried the "Our Father...." but there is so much 
more I have to talk to Him about.  Is there anyway to prevent getting 
sidetracked, because it really bothers me.
Thanks, A


Dear A,

Thank you for your question. Many people have this same problem.  It is probably a universal phenomenon which accompanies prayer, especially serious prayer, since Satan will do anything to disturb our prayer-life or distract us from praying. This is because he knows that when we pray, he is in greatest danger of being defeated with regard to some person he is tormenting or some other evil scheme he is cooking up. If he can stop us from praying, his defeat is deferred.

 I can remember when our four children were little, I would settle down to pray at home... all of a sudden my kids would come and want to sit on daddy's lap or have a question or decide to pull each other's hair out. They could be playing quietly all night and not disturb me, but the minute I would attempt to pray, they started in.

 After a while it became apparent to me what was happening...this was not just a coincidence. It was a cheap trick of try to make me have to choose between praying, and paying extra attention to my little ones. What a make me choose between those precious ones and my precious Lord. Sometimes, I would recognize the ploy, and get annoyed at Satan for putting me in this dilemma, but then my anger would look like it was spilling over onto my children too, so it was a multiple-facetted victory for the evil one....
  1) My attempt to pray would be disrupted or postponed
  2) I would be angry at my little ones for no good reason, thus making them feel bad.
  3) Then of course it would take a while to undo all the damage to the peace and harmony of the household.
  4) Time in prayer would be lost, and 
  5) It would take another 10-15 minutes for me to calm down to the point where i could concentrate on the Lord again.

  A seemingly simple disruption...but it caused lots of damage, and the bottom line was... prayer was  postponed or forgotten.
This would happen with such regularity that I realized after a while that it was not a coincidence, but it  was a "dirty trick" of the Evil One, designed  to keep me from praying.  I am certain he has a whole sack full of similar cheap tricks to use on all of us. So let's take a look at the scriptures and see what advice we can find out about to get to it and avoid disruptions. Here is some advice from Jesus about how to pray from Matthew 6: 5-13, and other scriptures...

SEEK A PLACE OF SOLITUDE - Get alone with God
First of all, realize that all great men of the Bible recognized the necessity of getting alone to be with God when they prayed...

Matt 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; 

Mat 14:23 And when (Jesus) had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray:

2 Ki 4:32-33 (KJV) And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. {33} He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.

CONFESS ANY UN-DEALT-WITH SIN IN YOUR LIFE - Turn away from it (repent) and decide you want God to remove it permanently from your life.

Isa 59:1-3 (KJV) Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: {2} But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. {3} For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

1 John 1:8-9 (KJV) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. {9} If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

KEEP AN ATTITUDE OF EXPECTANCY - Be convinced that God is going to answer your prayer, in no uncertain terms.

Matt 6:6b-...pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 

James 1:6-7 (KJV) But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. {7} For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Mat 21:21-22 (KJV) Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. {22} And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

NEUTRALIZE THE OPPOSITION - Pray for Satan and his power to be bound

This verse is speaking in the context of casting out demons. However, it should be appropriate to bind satan when there is any opposition to the purposes of God in your life, and I do it at all times when praying, and each time I pray. 

1 Pet 5:8-9 (TLB) Be careful--watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. {9} Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too.

Mark 3:27 (KJV) No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS - Decide what you are going to pray beforehand-and be specific. Write your requests on a "prayer list"
You might call this.."premeditation before meditation". Think through what you want to ask about or for. Ask for specifics, make a prayer list ,or keep a prayer log of answers as well as requests. Keeping a prayer log helps strengthen your faith, as you pay attention to and record how and when God answered your prayer. 

Mat 6:7-13 (KJV) But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. {8} Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. {9}After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. {10} Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. {11} Give us this day our daily bread. {12} And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. {13} And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

1 Chr 16:10-12 (KJV) Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. {11} Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. {12} Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

IMPORTUNITY - Persevere. Keep praying until the answer arrives- Don't give up just because the answer didn't come as quickly as you thought it should. There are spiritual battles being waged in heavenly places that we are not aware of, which can frustrate a timely answer to our prayers. God promises to answer our prayers, and we should take Him at His Word.
Luke 11:9-10 (TLB) And so it is with prayer--keep on asking and you will keep on getting; keep on looking and you will keep on finding; knock and the door will be opened. {10} Everyone who asks, receives; all who seek, find; and the door is opened to everyone who knocks.

Dan 10:12-14 (KJV)(read Daniel chapter 10 for context) Then said (the angel) unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. {13} But the (angelic) prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. {14} Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

Eph 6:10-12 (KJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. {11} Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. {12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

HUMILITY-Submit yourself to the will and wisdom of the all-knowing God.
Once again, Jesus Himself gives us an example to follow.

Isa 46:9-10 (KJV) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, {10} Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

1 Pet 5:6-7 (KJV) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: {7} Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Luke 22:41-42 (KJV) And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, {42} Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

THANKFULNESS - God is deserving of all praise for answered prayer. Like anyone else, God is disappointed when we are not thankful for what He does for us.

Luke 17:15-19 (TLB) One of them came back to Jesus, shouting, "Glory to God, I'm healed!" {16} He fell flat on the ground in front of Jesus, face downward in the dust, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a despised Samaritan. {17} Jesus asked, "Didn't I heal ten men? Where are the nine? {18} Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?" {19} And Jesus said to the man, "Stand up and go; your faith has made you well."

1 Chr 29:13-15 (TLB) O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name, {14} but who am I and who are my people that we should be permitted to give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we only give you what is yours already! {15} For we are here for but a moment, strangers in the land as our fathers were before us; our days on earth are like a shadow, gone so soon, without a trace.

AND LASTLY, DON'T BE IN A HURRY - Be prepared to spend a minimum of 20 minutes in deep concentrating prayer seeking God's face and communing with Him. The longer you spend with Jesus, the more fulfilling your experience will be regardless of the answer to your prayer. Emergency prayers "on the run" are fine and often necessary when we are at work or at school or under some emergency situation, But God deserves our close and prolonged fellowship, and rewards our time with Him with unspeakable joy and peace. 

Remember Jesus said,

Rev 3:20 (KJV) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Notice the word "sup" used here. In the Greek, it meant "to take the main or evening meal". This was a relaxed and complete main meal, was not hurried or fast-food. Lots of fellowship was included, and the same word is used in the sense of a "feast". Therefore, have a slow and enjoyable feast with the Lord, don't hurry away, but be prepared to stay awhile and enjoy the company of the Savior in your time of prayer. 

Luke 6:12 (KJV) And it came to pass in those days, that (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

I hope this answers your question, If you have more questions on this topic or any other, don't hesitate to ask. 

God Bless you, in your pursuit of God's Presence.

In bob....<><


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