BY CLIFTON JONES
There are all kinds of distractions one will encounter once enrolled in the school of prayer. I am sure that none of those distractions are more effective than a wandering mind. This cause is often given as the
grounds for suspending prayer. The thought is, “I wasn’t doing any good anyway.” If you yield to this hazard, you will never become a real prayer. Satan will be sure to keep your mind occupied with trifles
just to stop you from praying.
It is our responsibility to discipline our minds, so that the mind will obey. The moment you sense your mind drifting you must take authority over it and call it back to your purpose. Tell your mind that you did
not bow down to drift off into dream land. You knelt to pray and to pray only. Tell your mind that only Jesus deserves your attention at this present time and that you refuse to be the habitation of any thought that does not reflect His mind or presence. Don’t try to pray over your wondering mind. Stop it and get your focus clear. You might have to add more thanksgiving to bombard wondering thoughts. This is
indeed the method you should revert to if you find meditation unsuccessful.
Calling the mind back may not come easy at first, but as you realize who is behind the distractions and what he is trying to do, you will see the necessity for bringing back your mind to prayer.
Thank God there are some definite things we can do to give our minds something to feed on. Here is where Psalms 100 becomes operative.
Psalms 100:1-5 “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we
ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
One cannot stay down lifting Jesus up. When we approach the Lord expressing thanksgiving, it raises us above general circumstances. If you will commit to memory this wholesome passage and act it out, there
will be no room for your mind to wander. You will be too busy offering thanksgiving. You see, God dwells in, or inhabits the praises of His people. Do you want to know where you can find Him? Just start praising Him; He’ll find you.
1. Our God is a worship seeker. John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” Worshipping
will defeat any unwanted thoughts, and bring your mind back to the main attraction, prayer.
2. Where the praises of God are going up, you can rest as sure He is in the midst. Psalms 22:3 “But thou art holy, 0 thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel”
3. Our minds are real computers. They operate with whatever information we allow to be put in them. Therefore, to keep your mind from drifting, fill it with good thoughts, information, and better yet, the word of God.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Psalms 50:14 “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:”
Psalms 92:1 “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, 0 most High:”
There are many places in the scripture where the word thanksgiving is connected with prayer. It is because there is no stronger expression of faith than thank you. It implies that one has received the thing sought. I often recall a real scene from my boyhood. A neighbor would send a child to our home maybe for some collard greens, or flour, etc. They would say, “Mrs. Anna, Mother says thank you for the collards.” My point is before anything was given, they would say thank you! This is confidence personified. Do we dare approach our Great King with less assurance?
Hebrews 4:15,16 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
When we allow our minds to wander, the promises of God, becomes null and void. Therefore, let us enter into his gates with thanksgiving sealing every request beforehand with confidence. Knowing what his word says is what gives us bold confidence.
I John 5:14,15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
In your next prayer session, if your mind starts running, stop it and load it down with words of thanksgiving.
I Chronicles 16:8 “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” Ephesians 5:20 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Colossians 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
I tell you, those who say they don’t know how to pray or what to say should follow this simple rule. Just begin to thank Him, and you will be on scriptural grounds.
Psalms 92:1 “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, 0 most High:” (Thank Him for who he is, what he has done, and what he is going to do.)
He is your wisdom, righteousness, justification, and redemption.
I Corinthians 1:30 “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”
Romans 5:17 “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
II Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Load your mind with the rich word of God, so that your faith will have something to cling to. Then there will be no need for a wandering mind.
All serious prayers must become Bible students!
1 Read the Word of God.
2 Think on it.
3 Repeat it.
4 Meditate on it (This means to mutter.)
5 Get it into your spirit-man, and it will become yours.
The following scriptures should be put into practice using the preceding methods:
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shaft have good success.”
PSALMS 19: 14
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, 0 LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.’
“But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.”
“When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.”
“My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.’
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.”
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.”
I TIMOTHY 4:15
“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM PRAYER CLINIC II, 1990, PAGES 73-78. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.