Focus

I made a startling discovery about my hubby early in our dating relationship. Sometimes his mind is devoid of thought. When asked what he is thinking, he answers “nothing.” And he means “nothing.” Literally. His brain knows how to be quiet.

This concept is as alien to me as saying, “Sometimes, I don’t breathe. My lungs just take a break from inhaling and exhaling.” My mind never, ever, ever stops thinking. There is always something, and often multiple somethings, going on in there. When you ask what I’m thinking, I’ll say, “nothing.” But what I mean is, “Nothing of consequence or nothing that applies to the current conversation.” Thoughts, stories, memories, to-do lists, lesson plans, craft ideas, random philosophical musings, and ideas constantly tumble through my head until it’s a churning sea of words.

So, you can imagine why praying might be difficult. I’ve got the talking part down, but the listening to God part, well, that requires a quiet mind. Mine starts to wander, and soon it’s off the path and lost out in the weeds. However, I have found that if I mentally go through a few scriptures, it helps to calm all those thoughts. Then, I am much better able to focus on hearing the still small voice of God (I Kings 19:12).

Prompts

As I go through my memorized verses, the Holy Spirit often puts people on my mind that need prayer in that particular area. For example, when I recite scripture about God’s provision, he reminds me of a friend looking for work. Then I stop and take a moment to pray for that person. It’s not unusual for my routine review to turn into a prayer session.

Other times the exact opposite happens. As I’m praying for someone, scriptures of comfort pop to mind for that individual. Nothing encourages me more than to encourage someone else with God’s word. As you’ll recall from my first post on this topic, I didn’t expect scripture memorization to improve my faith walk. Imagine my surprise when it enriched my prayer life.

The picture above was taken at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Altus, AR. It was surprising to find such a beautiful structure in the middle of nowhere.

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