Deanna Bartalini shares a formula you can use to stay focused in prayer. Share it with your children!
Are you distracted when praying?
There are many reasons for answering yes to that question. Rather than list mine, which could take up a whole paragraph, let’s agree there are reasons and a way to deal with them would be good. I’m not saying overcome the reasons, because that would probably require conversation between us. I do think what I propose though, can be of help in dealing with distractions. And it can work with everyone in your family, from the oldest to the youngest pray-er!
We are going to pray using ACTS. It is a way to pray, a little formula you can use to get on track and stay focused.
A: we adore God, praising His holy Name and letting Him know that we know that He is God.
C: we say we are sorry and ask forgiveness for the wrongs we have done. Not to beat ourselves up, but to be honest. And yes, of course, God knows what we have done, but with humility it’s good to admit it to Him. This way we can get it out in the open and takes steps to correct our behavior.
T: God has given us everything! So we thank Him for the problem resolved easily, the quick trip to work, our children’s success, our health, whatever comes to mind. Thank Him for whatever comes to mind.
S: and now we get to the asking for what we need. Just as it’s a bit rude or presumptuous to start a conversation with a friend without asking them if they have time to talk and are well, it’s really the same with God. Wait to ask for your needs and the needs of those you love and those for whom you’ve promised to pray.
As an FYI, I didn’t make this acronym up and could not find the origin of it. A priest taught it to me years ago and I pass it on to you. I hope this process is helpful to you!
If you’d prefer, you can listen to me talk about this on the Not Lukewarm Podcast.
Copyright 2020 Deanna Bartalini
Image: Pixabay (2012)
About the Author
Deanna G. Bartalini is a Catholic writer, speaker, educator and retreat leader. She is the founder of the LiveNotLukewarm.com community, a place to inform, engage and inspire your Catholic faith through interactive Bible studies, courses and book clubs. Her weekly podcast, Not Lukewarm Podcast, gives you tips and tools to live out your faith. At DeannaBartalini.com she writes about whatever is on her mind at the moment.