Are you having trouble getting into a good prayer groove? Do you find yourself easily distracted? Is your mind wandering everywhere but your conversation with God? Maybe it’s not a problem with you, but with your surroundings.
Take a good look at the location that you go to spend time in prayer. Does it provide a quiet break from the noises of life? Is it disconnected from digital devices? Are you adequately protected from interruptions of work, family, and friends?
When we read about Jesus’ lifestyle in the Gospels we see that He put a high priority on His time with His Father. Prayer was critical to Jesus. I believe that the location was important to Him as well. The Gospel writers note that Jesus often went off to a quiet desolate location to pray. He got away from the crowds, the noises, and the distractions. He focuses His attention on this communication with His Father in Heaven. While He could communicate with God at any time and any place, Jesus chose to spend significant time in prayer away from other distractions.
Maybe my cushy chair in the living room isn’t the best place to try to pray? I’m easily distracted by family, tv, and sleep. If you often find yourself falling asleep at prayer time, take a look at your surroundings. Maybe lying in bed or sitting on the comfy couch don’t make for the best prayer spots in your home.
You’d never eat in the bathroom, and you don’t wash your dishes in your bed room, so why not try to find the best place to spend with Jesus too? Take a look around and find the right spot that is quiet where you can really focus. You’ll enjoy your prayer experience better and are more likely to make it a part of your daily life.
The same thing could be said about our location for family devotions too. Take a look around and identify the best place to spend together with Jesus as a family. Are we close enough for healthy physical contact? Are we seated so eye contact is easy and facial expressions can be read? Is the tv off and do we all (mom’s and dad’s included) turn off our phones/games/computers/music players/etc? Does the environment provide the best opportunity for us to connect with God and each other?
Jesus found the right place to pray. It sure wouldn’t hurt my prayer life to do the same!