Getting Serious About Prayer: Praying for Your Focus

Book Study Series on: Fervent by Priscilla Shirer

Praying for Your Focus

 

Learn to say noto the goodso you can say yes to the best.~ John C. Maxwell

If you are just joining us here, we have embarked on a book study of Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. If you haven’t read it yet, get your copy HERE. (affiliate link) I also encourage you to go watch the movie War Room if you haven’t yet as it is a great encouragement to be serious about your prayer life. You can also join our Facebook group where we are taking the discussion on this study further throughout the week.

If you missed the previous posts, you can check them out here:

Getting Serious About Prayer
Praying For Your Passion

Today we are looking at the second prayer strategy that is covered in the book:

Praying for Your Focus.

In her book, Priscilla Shirer says,

“Focus minimizes distractions, lowering your risk of being blindsided. It keeps you from being preoccupied, from overlooking important facts that would’ve been readily obvious if you’d only been paying better attention. Focus protects your goals and dreams from being consumed in small bites, stolen right out from under your nose in twenty-minute segments of compromise.”

Isn’t that the truth!

In our world today, it isn’t hard to get distracted. It seems like distraction is the thing that our enemy uses to keep us from focusing on what’s important.

It reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, which is about a devil named Screwtape who writes to his nephew called Wormwood. In these letters he gives all kinds of ways to get a Christian off track and one of those ways is to keep them distracted. Here is a quote from one of the letters:

You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,

Your affectionate uncle

SCREWTAPE

Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick ~ Screwtape (C.S. Lewis) Click To Tweet

I highlighted the line, “Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick,” because it really points out how distractions can be quite profound in the life of the Christian.

Distractions can keep us from focusing on what’s important: prayer, spending time in the word, growing in our relationship with God, doing what we were called to do, doing Kingdom work…the list can go on and on.

Sometimes distractions can come to us in the form of “good” things. John C. Maxwell says to this: “Say no to the good so you can say yes to the best.” The truth is, our schedules may be full of great things, but they may also be distractions from what is best for us.

What kinds of distractions do you struggle with? How do they keep you from having focus on what’s important? How can you develop a prayer strategy to keep distractions at a minimum and help you keep your focus on what is truly important?

Proverbs 5:1-6 says:

1 My son, stay focused; listen to the wisdom I have gained;
give attention to what I have learned about life
2 So you may be able to make sensible judgments
and speak with knowledge.
3 You see, the lips of a seductive woman speak honey-sweet words;
they are smooth like oil and enticing.
4 But in the end, she is bitter,
turning the stomach and rotting the soul;
she cuts as deep as a double-edged sword.
5 She leads you down a path that can only end in death;
her steps lead eventually to the grave.
6 She does not travel the road to life and truth.
She follows a wandering path—
a rocky, pit-filled road that twists and turns—and she doesn’t even know it.

Distractions can be very appealing, seductive even, but in the end they lead to nothing. That’s why staying focused and not letting the enemy use distractions to lead us down the wrong path is so important. Spend some time developing your prayer strategy for this area of your life today.

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15 thoughts on “Getting Serious About Prayer: Praying for Your Focus

  1. This is a great post! I’ve not read Fervent (sounds like it’s a good book) but I have read The Screwtape Letters. Now, that book really makes you think. I wish that all Christians would read that book. This is a great reminder to stay focused in our prayer lives, Thank you!

  2. That’s a great C.S. Lewis quote. True confession:I haven’t read the Screwtape Letters but his is really making me put it higher on my list. Thank you for great thoughts this morning on the weight of sin and the weight of *small* sin. Happy to be your neighbor today at #raralinkup.

  3. Well said, Judy! Distractions are like mosquitoes that buzz around my head and even if the buzz fades away, I anticipate it’s return and am on the lookout for it versus where my focus is to be. There is never a day when reminders like yours are not needed and welcomed. I think distractions are the bane of being human and living on this cluttered, busy, sometimes chaotic earth. Happy to be your neighbor at Mom’s the Word.

  4. Judy, the quote you chose from the Screwtape Letters really puts things in perspective. It’s so easy to get called away from my primary purpose and forget my why behind what I do. Thanks for reminding me to keep God (bible study and prayer) in the forefront.
    Wishing you blessings!

  5. This is the line which grabbed me >> “Distractions can be very appealing, seductive even, but in the end they lead to nothing.” Distractions can seem fun, harmless, and needed but they truly end up being a waste of our time and attention. Glad we were neighbors today at Faith Filled Friday. I think this is my very first time here so “Nice to meet you!” 🙂