If you’re like me when you set aside to time to pray and you begin your time with the Lord, your mind all of a sudden comes up with things you need to do, responsibilities, this, that, everything.  You try to shove them aside but they keep coming.  It’s then that I usually write them down and that helps as I’m not burdened with remembering.

But the truth is these distractions and the to-do list sometimes are what I allow to be distracted from going to prayer in the first place.  I’ll do a little bit here and little there and next thing I know my time is gone, I’m tired, and I think I’ll do better the next day.

Clear-mindedness with the advent of the internet and phones is becoming increasingly difficult.  We have in our pockets in the day and by our bedsides at night a 24/7 distraction system.  Set it aside and we worry that we’ll miss an important call or an important text.

It’s affecting all of our prayer lives.

Add to that with the internet and texting are jobs are no longer just 8-5.  We are texted, called and engaged online almost continuously without a break.  Our minds are spinning in a continuous number of directions with all the needs we have.  We’re being pulled constantly.

And it’s affecting all of our prayer lives.

And it’s not just internet.  Our relationship skills are diminishing as we are more tech and less real-life.  And when there are arguments, disagreements and such at an increased level, we are not clear-minded.

“The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” (1 Pet 4:7).

Being clear-minded is no longer as easy as taking a stroll out in the countryside.  Clear-mindedness is now a full-on war.

It is a war of pruning harshly like one prunes grapes.

It doesn’t mean we ditch our phones and our tech because honestly, it’s how the world works these days.  But we must work on cutting out some of our many activities.  Our kids are in so many activities that their lives are crazy.  We’re involved in so many groups online that we’re constantly being pulled in fun ways online.  But’s not good.

In the last year God has led me to wind things down.  To keep it more narrow.  I’m still en route.  But I’m shutting down good projects, leaving good Facebook groups, and being committed to less.

To have more of a prayer life I need less of an online life.  Less of a work life online.  And less entertainment online.

Clear-mindedness is a fight.  And I realize I’ve not been winning.

My prayer life has been affected.  By too much.

And now my prayer life is starting to benefit.  By having less.

O God, keep me with you.