How can I stay focused in prayer?
Dear Fr Anthony,
Sometimes when I pray I have problems focusing on what I'm saying, and have to repeat the prayer- sometimes more than twice. Do you know any way to help me stay focused? I always feel really bad after it happens.
You are doing what is right, trying your best. We often have distractions in our prayers but, as long as we are trying, God understands and likes what we are trying to do. Every time we make a new effort after a distraction he takes it as a sincere act of love on our part. Don't forget that the focus of prayer is God, to get to know him, to tell him we love him, to thank him and praise him, and to ask him for what we and others need.
Keep doing that and you will always be on the right track despite your distractions. Remember, too, whom you are praying to: God. He knows how poor and weak and easily distracted we are. He is merciful and patient.
He doesn't get mad at us when we unintentionally get distracted, I think he is deeply moved by our attempts to pray, and there is no way he will turn away from a humble person asking for his help.