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Devotion, Not Distraction

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2

I am glad that Paul admonished us to “keep alert” in prayer … because I need that admonition all too often. I get distracted. I get tired. I get bored.

I have found certain aides to keeping alert in prayer:

  • Writing my prayers out so that I am forced to focus on the words.

  • Using the Scriptures as an outline for my prayers so that I pray more comprehensively for a situation. For instance, I have used I Corinthians 13 while praying for a troubled marriage, praying through each aspect of love that is mentioned there.

  • Praying prayers written by other people, such as those found in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

  • Spending time in worship to focus on God and who he is, and letting the words of the songs become my prayer.

  • Scheduling time to pray when I am energized and at my best, rather than when I am tired.


  • What is your main barrier to effective prayer? Do you get distracted? Tired? Bored? Busy?

  • What has helped you in the past to keep alert in prayer?

  • What new steps could you take in the future?

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