Concentration in anything leads to success on that particular area life. Concentration on something helps to get what we want. In the same way, one cannot be successful in prayers without proper concentration as it helps our mind to be focused in spirit all the time. If we learn how to stay focused and concentrate in our prayer, our prayer becomes the source of spiritual energy that will move our daily life without any difficulties. In everything say thanks to God to receive his abundant blessings, because God is well pleased when he sees one’s heart with full of gratitudes.
“The secret of concentration is the secret of self-discovery. You reach inside yourself to discover your personal resources, and what it takes to match them to the challenge.” Arnold Palmer
Attention is like a muscle. Initially, when you try and hold your attention on something, it may feel that you are using more and more energy and it is fatiguing. That perception is sound, as you have to use energy to maintain attention. However, the more you flex your attention the stronger it becomes, and easier to hold.
From the moment you are born your mind functions every second, minute, hour, and day of your life. It is active day and night, extensively while awake, less so while you’re asleep, but it is continually working. It is therefore, apparent that the train of thought would continue while you are saying your Prayer unless you make changes to the way you function in Prayer.
Train Your Mind: You might have heard the popular statement,”Monkey mind”. It is true that if we don’t control our mind it will act like a monkey. Trained mind is equal to disciplined mind that one could achieve after much practice of concentration. God is discipline and nature is well disciplined as it works accordingly. All leads to the inner experience of God. “And how can you achieve such concentration? By recognizing that everything you do is important to God, and is one vital piece of the larger picture of your life.” Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
Manage your temptations: Temptation not to focus on what is important and required. Every time we have temptation not to pray on a particular time but to spend on something else. We need to practice ourselves to give priority for our prayer time.
Monitor your mind and take second thoughts: Noticing where your mind has gone gives you the chance for a second thought: “my mind has wandered off again.” That very thought disengages your brain from where it has wandered and activates brain circuits that can help your attention get unstuck and return to the work at hand.
Practice a daily mindfulness session: This mental exercise can be as simple as watching your breath, noticing when your mind has wandered off, letting go of the wandering thought and bringing it back to your breath again. These movements of the mind are like a mental workout, the equivalent of repetitions in lifting free weights: every rep strengthens the muscle a bit more. In mindfulness what gets stronger are the brain’s circuits for noticing when your mind has wandered, letting go, and returning to your chosen focus. And that’s just what we need to stay with during that one important task we’re working on.
Watch your thoughts not just during prayers but the whole day: Thoughts lead to actions. The best method to improve concentration in prayers, is by improving our state of God consciousness throughout the day. Ask/Tell yourself:
– How will this activity of mine pleasing God?
– Aren’t we so fortunate to have what we want?
– I enjoy a pleasant life, I am privileged and honoured, and I am safe from many calamities and misfortunes.
– Sure I may have this problem at work, but that’s because I have work.
Know before you speak: You can focus in your prayer only if you are 100% clear on the meaning of what you are going to recite. The best investment you can give to your spiritual life is to pray with conscious mind. It helps to have the extra bit of clarity on the meaning and to know exactly what we pray.
Pray when it’s time. First things first. When we give God priority, He gives us His priority. Look forward to the time when it’s prayer and then drop whatever you are doing to go and pray. Make this especially true for yourself if you’re traveling.