Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Praying When You’re HOPELESSLY Distracted!



How many times have I sat down to pray only to find my mind going off on a thousand bunny trails? I try to pray for five minutes, but the day’s to-do list pops up before me, my mind wonders to my grocery list, or I space out completely.  Occasionally a scatterbrained, nonsense prayer rolls off my tongue, like “Oh Lord, please bless the gloves.” The gloves? Where did that come from? I’m sure this never happens to you, right?

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful,” Paul says in Colossians 4:2.  But when I sit down to devote myself to prayer, my mind wanders. Each morning God’s word encourages, strengthens and guides me for the day ahead, but I have a hard time praying because distraction is my default mental state.

What if I told you that walking is the best thing that ever happened to my prayer life? Somehow going outdoors frees me from the distraction of seeing everything around me that needs doing at home. Witnessing God’s creation first hand gives me a sense of thankfulness and abundance. Getting my body moving helps my mind to stay focused. My thirty minute morning walking date with God does wonders for our relationship.

Here are five ideas for spending time in prayer out on the walking trail:

Pray Through Your List:

Do you keep a prayer list? On the days when I’m organized enough to actually find mine, I clutch it in my hand as I walk. (Sometimes I wonder what my fellow walkers on the trail think when they see me with that paper) Using a list keeps my mind on track and helps me remember to pray for people in my life that I don’t see every day.

Pray Through the Day Ahead of You.

What would happen if we took the anxious thoughts about the day ahead and turned them into prayers?

Pour out Your Heart

For days when you wake up overwhelmed or upset, all you can do is pour out your heart. Sometimes I tell God exactly what I feel, just as if I were talking with a close friend. He listens to me and loves me anyway, every time.

Get a New Perspective

Part of my walking time I spend thinking over problems and situations in my life, so I ask God to give me his perspective. Taking time to reflect can be so productive. Some of my best ideas come while I’m walking.

Receive God’s Peace

Most mornings I return home just a bit more peaceful than I was before I left. Getting out to take a walk with God prepares me for the day both physically and spiritually in a way that sitting down never would.

Do you ever have trouble staying focused enough to pray? What works for you? What do you like to do to bring freshness into your relationship with God? 


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

10 thoughts on “Praying When You’re HOPELESSLY Distracted!

  1. Loved this! Yes, many times I am distracted while praying. Hey, maybe I can use your prayer walk idea to actually get me to exercise!! A win-win situation! Like you, I love being outside enjoying God’s creation. What better place to speak to Him! Thanks Betsy!

  2. Great idea. I’ve been known to use my lunch hour to walk around the block a few times and pray. It may not be a scenic hike, but it definitely helps relieve my work-related stress!

  3. Oh gosh, “Bless the gloves”! That is hilarious! Thank you for being so honest; I have had similar wanderings. I’m so glad God is patient with us. Walking is a great idea. I’ve been keeping my on-going prayer list in a spiral. I put an asterisk next to things I learn during prayer that I want to share with my kids. It’s neat to look back and see that God resolved some of the items I was so worried about.
    I’m going to share this. Thanks for another great post!
    Blessings, to you and your gloves. 🙂

    • Yes, I really did pray that once and it made me laugh at myself. A spiral notebook is a great idea for keeping track because I’m so scatterbrained that I pray for something and then forget all about it! Blessings to you and your kids!

  4. I love this idea, Betsy. I never thought about praying while walking, but I do notice that when I walk, my mind is much clearer and I focus on God’s creation around me. Makes so much sense!

  5. I can SO relate, Betsy. Oh, the distractions of home! They are everywhere I look. And walking has a way of helping me to hear the Lord more clearly. I’ve not thought of taking my list, but what a great idea! Looking forward to a nice walk this afternoon. I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

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