I can’t help but wonder if I’ve allowed myself to be influenced by a culture that increasingly caters to a short attention span because recently I’ve noticed that I’m easily distracted in my prayers. I always start out my prayer time with good intentions but before I realize it I’ve created a prayer sandwich with a distracted filling that looks something like this:
My unfocused prayer sessions were bugging me so much that one night I even brought it up to my wife as a prayer request. The next day as I was about start my prayer time I tried something different. Instead of softly mumbling my prayers to God, I made them loud. Not only did I make them loud, I actually stirred myself up to speak them as if they were actually really important, as if they were urgent, and as if they really mattered! Not surprising, my prayer time not only lasted longer but it was more focused.
In Hebrews 5:7 the author talks about the way that Jesus prayed:
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
In several places the Gospels record Jesus retreating to solitary places to pray but most likely his prayer times weren’t quiet. In the passage from Hebrews the Greek word behind the translation for ‘loud’ is ischuros and can mean strong, powerful, mighty or robust. In other words, Jesus wasn’t praying some monotone quiet prayers, he was praying with loud passion.
If you can relate with being easily distracted in your prayer times than try some *ischuros prayers. If you’re not used to praying loud prayers you may need to drink some coffee or walk around on your first attempt but you may also be surprised at how easy it comes. And just as Jesus did, remember that your prayers are to him who is able to save you from death. Amen!
What are some out of the box things you do in your prayer and devotional times? Share them in the comment section below.
*I recommend the first loud prayers not be when you’re tucking your kids into bed at night but feel free to try it on your commute to work. Other drivers will just think you’re listening to some intense music.