Do You Get Distracted During Prayer?

Even with four hours a day of prayer, Fr. Malachy still gets distracted.

After his mind would wander off on one tangent after another, he brought this problem to his spiritual director. But, the director told him, God took great joy in seeing Fr. Malachy turn to him over and over again, choosing Jesus tangent after tangent.

A great analogy for distraction in prayer is a baby learning to walk. The baby is going to fall over and over again, but the parents triumph in every step the baby takes because they know how hard it is for the baby to overcome the obstacles and master the challenge of walking. In prayer, we are going to get distracted over and over, but the Lord is overjoyed by every moment where we turn back to him because he knows how hard the world, the flesh, and the devil make it to pray.

When you get distracted, just get up and turn back to Jesus. Eventually focusing on him will become as easy as walking. After a while, you will begin to learn to turn your heart to Jesus naturally and choose him instead of distraction.

Slow down your mind. Instead of fighting distraction after distraction, take each step slowly. An occasional “squirrel” may cross your mind, but you will be able to refocus on Jesus if you take it slow. Then, before you know it, you won’t just be walking to Jesus in your prayer. You’ll be able to run to him and with him.

With that, Fr. Malachy says farewell and offers you his blessing as he travels to Nicaragua to continue his mission with the CFRs there. This may be his last video on Ascension Presents.

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Meet Fr. Mark-Mary

Father Mark-Mary was ordained as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR) in 2018 and lives at a friary in the Bronx.

The mission of the CFRs is to wholeheartedly embrace Jesus through fidelity to the Church and her Sacraments. Paired with their commitment to prayer, contemplation, and study of Sacred Scripture, the CFRs serve those around them, especially the poor, in the footsteps of Christ.

Discover beautiful music from the CFRs and Fr. Mark-Mary’s book Habits for Holiness: Small Steps for Spiritual Progressboth available from Ascension.