Praying is hard.
Actually, let me rephrase that: praying itself is not all that difficult. “Distractions make it difficult… and you know who the root of all distraction is?
The guy to the left. The one who said, “I will not serve…” and has dedicated his existence to the destruction of human souls.
Satan hates prayer because prayer is our lifeline to God. Like basking in the sunshine, prayer allows us time to soak up God’s grace… and it’s grace that keeps us from sin, and grace that transforms us into the individuals God created us to be.
Obvious enough, Satan wants us to sin… so he does not want us to pray. He will throw kinks, chains, and grenades into our day, trying distract us and make us believe that we do not have time to pray.
Even if we do make time for prayer, it is then often difficult to focus. Thoughts of mistakes, or things we have to do seem to bombard our consciousness and shift our focus onto anything and everything except God. This struggle is not a coincidence. It is the direct influence of evil.
The bishops actually refer to personal prayer as a battle. I love this imagery. Weirdly, it gives me great comfort. Maybe this is because I know these distractions are not a failure on my part. In fact, it’s quiet the opposite! The enemy always lays down fire when they are losing ground. This is why, when I face distractions in prayer, I imagine gunfire from the enemies artillery, and canon balls flying about… I “take cover” and then press onward in my efforts. Renewed passion in my pursuit of grace. My competitive nature makes me want to crush my opponent.
It’s important to remember that the ability to pray is always possible. The grace is there, but it presupposes our own effort. We have to fight to make time to pray, we have to fight to stay focused, we have to fight to move forward on the battlefield that is prayer. We can do it!
Have you noticed this trend in your own prayer life? Do you have any tips or tricks that make prayer easier for you?