Deal with distractions while praying

7 Ways to Deal with Distractions During Prayer

We’ve all been there!

In fact, we all go there every day – having to overcome a mountain of distractions whenever we close our eyes to pray.

So, before we start to look at how to deal with this dilemma, I want you to understand that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you if you always get distracted during prayers. The thing is, your mind is a busy hub, way busier than you can ever be physically.

And sometimes, it likes to simply show itself especially when you want to do things that do not gratify your senses. But here are very practical tips to help you curb or even demolish distractions while praying.

Before You Pray

Limit Your Use of Social Media Before Prayer

Do you know how many bytes of information your mind gets to process when you scroll through social media for just 30 minutes?

Scrolling through social media activates several parts of your brain all at once – your visual, auditory, and expressive senses – in a very intense manner just so you can interpret the things you see and hear. Dopamine also joins the party at this point.

Now, imagine keeping your brain on the edge all day, and now you want to shush everything in a moment? Did you also forget that your mind would still be ruminating over some of the things you interacted with as you scrolled?

Beloved, limiting your social media (and overall screen time) all day or for a few hours before prayer would go a long way to keep distractions at bay.

Don’t Wait Until a Particular Time

The primary aim of prayer is to communicate with God, yeah?

Well, as a sign of honor and respect for your Maker, it’s okay to make out specific times to pray and commune with Him.

However, try not to limit your communication with God only to those 30 minutes, one, two, or three hours you make out for prayer. When you do that, you’ll do more work in directing your mind back to God and gather your thoughts from all the places they’ve explored since your last communication with God.

Instead, try to cultivate the habit of communicating with God every now and then. Here are a few ways you can do so:

  • If you are someone who sings (gospel songs, of course) a lot, make every singing moment a time for heartfelt worship. Mean every word you say and direct songs of adoration to God as though He were right there with you.
  • As you run through your day and the plethora of decisions (no matter how tiny) you have to make, observe a few seconds of silence to know what God might be communicating to your spirit at all times.
  • Let your thoughts run through God’s nature, His doings, and word to you at different times in your life.

When you maintain a constant communication channel with God all day long, you reduce the time and effort you’ll need to still your mind when you want to have scheduled prayer. The shorter the time it takes for you to ‘be in the mood of prayer,’ the less distraction you will have to deal with.

While You Pray

Close the Tabs While You Pray

As those thoughts take turns to grab your attention, you need to deliberately close their tabs mentally or physically.

How do you do this?

  1. If those thoughts are about things you need to do, quickly write down a to-do list and include them in the list. Also, write a specific time you’d do them so that you close its tab on your mind.
  2. If it’s just a random thought bugging your mind, close its tab mentally by assuring yourself of its irrelevance. If, for example, it’s something you did wrong or didn’t do well, assure yourself that it’s in the past and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can also take a moment to commit those things to God or trash them in prayers.
  3. For other thoughts, just remind them that it’s time to pray and deliberately draw your mind away from them whenever it drifts away.

Constantly Check for Response as You Pray

Prayer is a two-way thing. This means that when you talk to God, He should respond to you. When you constantly receive God’s response while you pray, distractions cannot stand a chance! You’ll be too focused on listening to Him and doing as He prompts you to pay attention to unsolicited thoughts.

But when you fail to anticipate and receive responses from God during prayer, your mind is bound to drift away from the whole thing.

And don’t get confused. Receiving God’s response during prayer isn’t complicated. You don’t have to hear audible voices, see a vision, or have an angel stroll into your room.

It could just be a nudge to pray in a certain way or for something or someone. It could be a scripture scrambling for attention in your heart. It could also be a reminder of something God told you in the past or something you’re yet to know. When God’s communication comes, you will surely know. And when you figure it out, be sure to act, and you’ll be too engrossed in that prayer to be distracted.

Pray In Your Understanding As Much As You Pray In the Spirit

When you pray, distractions often find a way to show themselves when you do not actively involve your mind in prayer.

Relax. I’m not accusing you of praying mindlessly. When you sing or pray in the Spirit (if you do), your conscious mind barely participates unless you make it do so.

Now, have you ever had to battle fiercely against distractions while talking to a crowd of people? I doubt. You know why? You have to articulate every word you say to those people so they can understand you. So, your mind is active at that point.

In the same way, when you pray in your understanding as much as you sing or pray in the spirit, you battle distractions better since your mind would need to articulate the words you say to God. Another benefit of praying in your understanding alongside your spirit is that you’ll be able to translate the things God communicates to your spirit into a language you understand.

Pray Against Distractions

We’ve said a whole lot of things about the mind being the culprit behind distractions while praying. But let’s not also forget that distractions can be orchestrations of darkness to keep you from achieving an aim in the place of prayer.

So, when you have ensured that your constant distraction is not a result of something you’re not doing right, you want to really pray against it because the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imagination, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Be Patient

Prayer is a two-way communication with God, and sometimes, it can take some time to clear the highway of your mind so that the only vehicle on it is God’s channel of communicating with you. Also, remember that you live in a fallen world, and the flesh isn’t God’s friend, so it will strive to take charge of your mind.

But do not give up when it looks like the distractions are not budging. Keep at your prayer (after you have followed the tips above). It will only be a matter of time before they fizzle out to give way for the King of Glory!


Remember that the goal of prayer is to reach God. When you go to the place of prayer with this in mind, you will not be tossed about by blocks of other thoughts seeking space in your mind.

Spread the love by sharing this Post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *