I Just Can’t Focus: A Look at Personal Prayer 


by Deanne Stephanie Baum

Through prayer, God has taught me to trust in Him. 

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As a parent of three children the present state of the world and what the future holds greatly concern me. Daily news reports contain alarming topics such as terrorism, threats, accumulation of nuclear weapons for future use, wars, rumors of wars, beheadings, people blowing themselves up and horrific life changing injuries from such acts of violence. Sometimes I just want to switch off the news and let myself live in denial. Do you ask yourself why there is so much suffering in the world?

This suffering is the exact circumstance which caused me to reach out to God one night when the horror movie of the news kept replaying itself over and over in my head.  I had been deeply affected, it was to the point I couldn’t cope any longer. My heart desperately needed healing, comfort, and reassurance.

My prayer was short but incredibly heartfelt. I told God I hated the world and didn’t want any part of it, as it left me feeling absolutely powerless to help those suffering; children, the elderly, the frail, the weak, the unemployed, and the homeless.

Empowerment comes through strengthening yourself in God

Personal prayer has been challenging for me – something I had to learn. Focusing is key. Solace, where concentration can be nurtured through the elimination of interruptions is paramount. I found direction and hope in “The Model Prayer” in Luke 11:1-4; Matthew 6:6-13.

Through prayer, God has taught me to trust in Him. Reading the Bible daily has helped tremendously. I pray for help in understanding what I am reading in His Word beforehand. It has always made it fruitful and highly encouraging. It also gives me much to discuss with Him while on my knees. This daily contact provides a certain comfort (Philippians 4:13).  God really has become my refuge from suffering and I take shelter from the storms of this life while in earnest prayer (Proverbs 18:10, Psalm 91:2).

There is an amazing example in the Bible for us to aspire to for enriching our prayer life — that of humble Daniel who prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10).  God refers to Daniel as a man greatly beloved (Daniel 10:11-12).  Chapter 9 particularly focuses on Daniel praying for the people of his day.

With this in mind, we likewise have an incredible responsibility to pray for those living now — the leaders in government who make the decisions affecting the laws, and all those suffering, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.

The value of praying for others is vitally important, but to nurture and strengthen the bond between yourself and your Creator takes time. 1 Peter 3:12 tells us that God’s ears are open to our prayers. He is waiting for us to exercise our free will and spend time with Him each day. Prayer has certainly changed my life and it can change yours. Just dedicate some time each day and go to God with an open heart. You may realize your life becomes full of His abundant blessings (Psalm 55:16-17)

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About Lorelei Nettles

Lorelei was born in Minnesota. She met and married husband Robert in 1982. They have one son, Roger and now live in Arizona. She has always enjoyed writing and has written for online blogs, as a ghostwriter, and for her church for many years.
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