When You Get Distracted While Praying

When You Get Distracted While Praying

It goes something like this…

Start praying for my girls.

Remember that said girls need new shoes for the fall.

Start wondering when Toms will have a sale.

Start thinking about fall.

Start wondering when Starbucks will come out with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Mentally start counting how many cans of pumpkin I want to buy so I can stock up before the crazies buy it all out.

Realize I am one of the crazies buying it all out.

Start reminiscing about how we called Charlotte “Pumpkin” when I was pregnant with her.

Remember that I’m supposed to be praying for my girls.


I get distracted way too easily when I’m praying. But I realize there is much at stake, and my prayer life matters. During the Downline Summit this past February, Donna Gaines described her prayer notebook. I knew immediately this was something I needed to create, something that would keep me focused during my prayer time. I’ve been working on this project for months now. (Did I mention I get distracted easily?) I finally gave myself a deadline for the end of summer. Since we start school next week, that means deadline time is here. My notebook is nothing fancy. I got a white three-ring binder from Target and a pack of sheet protectors. Throughout the summer I’ve been typing up the pages with one page for each person or topic. I’ve got a page with Scriptures for Matt, our marriage, each of my girls, our adoption, waiting moms I know, specific prayer requests for friends and family, physical/financial needs I’m surrendering, and the different ministries and their corresponding countries we support. Donna Gaines shared that she puts pictures in between her pages so she can stare at the faces of those she is praying for. I love that idea, and I plan to add pictures to mine as well.

I’m the type of person who loves examples, so I’ll share a few of the Scriptures I turned into prayers…

That Matt will live to please the Spirit, that he will not be misled for he cannot mock the justice of God. He will always harvest what he plants. That he will not live only to satisfy his own sinful nature for that will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But that he will live to please the Spirit and will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. That he will not get tired of doing what is good. And that at just the right time he will reap a harvest of blessing if he doesn’t give up. Galatians 6:7-10

That Lydia will be a worshiper of God just like her namesake. Acts 16:14

That Lydia would know whether she turns to the left or to the right, her ears will hear a voice behind her saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” And that she will listen to that voice and follow His directions. Isaiah 30:21

That Charlotte will be a modern-day Esther, willing to risk everything for the sake of saving God’s people. That she will embrace such a time as this. Esther 4:14

That Charlotte will fear not, stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work her today…that she will know the Lord will fight for her and she has only to be silent. Exodus 14:13-14

That our girls’ adorning will not be external, but that their adorning will be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. And that they would see this modeled in their mom. 1 Peter 3:3-4

That our adoption journey would grant to our children a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit. That they may be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. Isaiah 61:3

For my waiting moms that they would know they can rejoice even in their suffering, knowing that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

One of my favorite people Miss Nan taught me years ago that you can’t pray wrong when you’re praying God’s Word. I learned the true power of praying God’s Word during our miscarriages. I had no words to say to God, but I knew I could pray Scripture to Him. I was in Luke at the time, and I landed on Luke 1:45. When I couldn’t come up with any words because the tears were pouring down like sheets of rain, I just kept repeating to God, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” That verse became my anthem, and today I continue to pray it over Lydia’s life, that no matter what trials she encounters she will believe that the Lord is faithful.

Some of the pages are very practical like the page for physical/financial needs I’m surrendering. Learning to trust God as my Provider is something I struggle with, but having a place to record the specific needs we have allows me to not only surrender them today, but it also gives me a reminder of how God has been faithful in the past. The page for prayer requests for my friends and family gives me a location to write down specific needs they share with me so I won’t forget them. If God gives me a specific Scripture related to something I’m praying for someone, I can write that next to the request and share it with the person later.

This is definitely a work in progress as I will always be adding to it. But I think having this notebook and having everything in one place will help me stay focused during my prayer time. It was an idea I stole from Donna Gaines, so I thought I would pass it along in case anyone else gets distracted easily and wanted to steal it too. Now, about those pumpkin spice lattes…