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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Distraction Attraction

By Ken Horn
Feb. 9, 2014

Prayer is a magnet. Just as soon as we determine to pray, every distraction imaginable is attracted to us. Call it “distraction attraction.”

When Satan sees your prayer life beginning to grow, he wants to do anything he can to distract you from it.

Too often, if distractions win a few battles, the Christian gives up as if those distractions had won the war. Prayer can’t work if believers don’t pray. “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2, NKJV). And prayer needs to be more than a tip of the hat to God. It is worth it to fight through the distractions.

Lots of people don’t pray because they feel they just don’t have the time. Believers appeal to their busy schedules as reasons for not giving even a small amount of time to God.

But people find time for things that are important to them. Make prayer a priority and you will pray more. By their actions — or lack of action — many Christians seem to be saying they really don’t believe prayer works. They have chosen to be distracted.

We can be distracted from prayer by stuff about prayer. St. John of the Cross said that many Christians have a “spiritual sweet tooth” — a tendency to read, talk, and learn about aspects of the Christian life rather than actually doing them. One can read too many Christian books, listen to too many sermons, and watch too much Christian television, if those things have become a substitute for actually spending time with God. Actual prayer is more important than activities about prayer.

Distraction can also affect the intensity of our prayers. After chiding the disciples for unbelief, Jesus added, “However, this kind [of demon] does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21). James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” God is looking for serious prayer, and some cases require spiritual warfare, which can include fasting.

Weymouth translates James’ statement this way: “The heartfelt supplication of a righteous man exerts a mighty influence.” God wants you to put your heart into your prayer.

And He wants you to keep your mind on it. Doesn’t God deserve our full attention?

Ken Horn

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