Staying consistent in one’s devotional life can be a challenge for anyone. At times, we all struggle to remain focused and steadfast in a daily time of prayer and Bible study. Here are five quick tips to help you overcome distractions in prayer and Bible study.
1. Set a consistent and specific time and place.
Setting a time can help us be consistent, especially when we set an alarm or a reminder. Likewise, it helps to designate a certain room or specific area of a room—such as a particular chair, using a desk or sitting by a certain window—where we spend time with God. Choosing a specific time and certain spot each time makes it stand out from other places in our homes.
Some places are better than others depending on the person. For example, it may not be a wise choice to resort to using the couch where you also watch TV or scroll your phone. Or for another, staying in bed—which is associated with sleep—might cause you to tend toward drowsiness versus sitting at a desk.
2. Pair your quiet time with something to make it meaningful.
An idea to try is making a plan to only have your favorite tea or coffee drink when you sit down to spend time in the Word or prayer. It could be as simple as reserving something special that is only for your time with God, such as a piece of dark chocolate or whipped cream on your coffee. Or maybe it’s a certain pen you enjoy using for your note-taking. Or it could be that you do an activity you enjoy only after you finish spending time in the Word.
Doing this can even help us see our devotional time as even more important and meaningful.
3. Have a no phone rule.
Don’t allow yourself to touch your phone during your time with the Lord. Instead, leave it in another room or in a drawer. Essentially, hide it from yourself! 🙂
If you must have it near, consider using an app or using your phone settings to block social media and email during that time or putting your phone on a do not disturb mode.
One option is to use a free app like Flora that can motivate you to stay off your phone. Flora works by letting you set it for the amount of time you plan to spend in an activity and want to stay off your phone. If you use your phone before the time is up, a virtual plant that is growing dies.
4. Engage more actively.
Engaging actively during our devotional time is a big help in overcoming distractions. When we write our prayers or at least the main points from them, our minds will be less likely to wander.
The same applies while studying the Bible. We can write some of the verses verbatim or record their meaning in our own words. Or, write down words to look up or questions to search out later. Write a list of things mentioned in the passage being studying. You could even write a prayer based on the verses and what you’ve learned.
Another idea to engage more actively is to read the Scripture aloud or to pray out loud. You could even sing verses from the Bible or preach them to yourself. All of these ideas can help us steer clear of distractions in our time with God.
5. Use a distractions notepad.
I often when we meet with God, something we need to do or remember comes to mind. We don’t want to quit our devotions right then to take care of it, but we also don’t want to forget to do it when we are able.
For this distracting challenge, have a small memo pad handy. A stack of sticky notes or an index card work as well. When something comes to mind, write it down so you won’t forget to take care of it after your time in the Word. Then, just bring your focus back to God and what you are doing in your time with Him. Read more about this specific tip here.
I hope these tips help you to overcome distractions in prayer and Bible study. Are there any other ideas that have helped you? Share it in the comments.