As work gets busier this has been one of the things I have been struggling with. While praying my mind wanders. I think about what I need to do, have done, or will do. All these thoughts are sinful thoughts that take me away from a relationship with my Saviour. This is a really good article:
The Battle With Distractions In PrayerOne of my struggles in prayer has been distractions due to thoughts that interrupt my efforts to establish a relationship with God. After many years of struggle I was awakened the other day by an article on prayer by Heiromonk Peter Seregin. The Orthodox Word published an article on him and included his article Thoughts on Prayer (pdf).
Sometimes it happens that a person stands at the time of his prayer rule and goes through the words memorized prayers, while at the same time various extraneous thoughts about life’s affairs and plans dig into his mind and recollections, and cares attract his heart (feelings), and instead of prayer, he turns out to be engaged in something not only empty but sinful. Of course this is not prayer, but hypocritical idle talk before God.This got my attention. Before I was taking this issue rather lightly thinking this was normal and I simply needed to recognize the distraction and return to my prayer. But I now realize how sinful this distraction is and that it is me who lets it continue. It is only my laziness that limits my prayer life. As I reflect on it, how could anyone not think that allowing such distraction to enter into one’s mind during prayer is none other than “hypocritical and idle talk before God”? In prayer I am seeking a personal relationship with my God, my Creator, my Lord and Savior, and while doing this I let my mind wander to mundane worldly issues. How disrespectful can I be to let this happen when at the same time I am uttering words addressed to God!!
I now know it is a grave sin I am committing. I now have the necessary motivation to make some changes, to become a stronger fighter in this spiritual war we are all engaged in. I need to better prepare myself for my prayer.