Proverbs 4: 25: Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions.  MSG

            My sister and I were talking one day, and she was in the middle of a story, when suddenly she said, “Oh look out there at that bird.” As we went on talking, a point she was making reminded her of something else and, bam, she was off on another topic. We laughed about it and she told me she does it all the time. “I’ll be talking she said, and suddenly, Squirrel, my mind goes off on a trip like a pup chasing after a squirrel.”

            It seems my mind goes on a squirrel chase whenever I try to pray.  Does that happen to you? When my kids were young it was hard to find a quiet place to pray or read your Bible. I found that one of my best “quiet” places was the bathroom. They didn’t bother me as much when I went in there and closed the door. So, I began to go there when I prayed.  It still is my quiet place to go. The reason? Not as much chance of a distraction.  Small space, seen it a gazillion times, no need to peruse the territory.

            There are several people in my life right now who need some serious prayer.  I begin to pray and suddenly, SQUIRREL.  My mind goes somewhere else. As I turned on the shower, I assured the Lord that during my shower I was going to pray for these people.  I had barely gotten the water temp where I wanted it and, you guessed it, another squirrel. No, my squirrels aren’t always other spiritual thoughts.  I don’t mean they are wicked, I just mean they run the gamut from trying a new shampoo, to maybe getting another puppy. Before I know it, I’m turning off the water and I haven’t prayed but a few moments.

            It’s the devil’s job to put squirrels in front of us, and what he doesn’t come up with, our own pattern of thinking does. The truth is, any time we try to do battle in the spiritual realm, the enemy is there ready and waiting to distract us. Sit down to read and the phone rings.  Sit in a chair to pray and the kids start fighting or the dog throws up on your new rug. Try to quiet your mind to pray and bingo, thought squirrels are romping with joy through your head.

            We are living in trying times.  We need the word of God and we need to communicate with Him. My husband and I have found that our time of least distraction is when we kneel at our bed just before we turn in for the night. Praying out loud also helps.  If you try to pray in your mind, your thoughts will start bouncing around like a BB in a boxcar. Set your mind, like flint, to staying on course. Find a quiet corner and pray out loud. 

            During this wonderful holiday season of celebrating Christ’s birth, it seems there are more squirrels out there than usual. Twinkling lights, pretty packages, baking, shopping, candy making, but don’t forget, Jesus is the reason for the season.  Until next time!

            You may contact Paula at 304-677-9220.  Merry Christmas!


More In Community