Using Refrains for More Conviction and Concentration in Prayer

Do you ever struggle to concentrate when you pray? 

Do you catch your mind wandering when you’re trying to talk to God and listen for His voice?

Yeah, me too. Unfortunately, I can relate.

In today’s video, we’re going to learn how to use biblical refrains in our prayer life to help us focus with more conviction and concentration in our prayers.


What Biblical Refrains are NOT

First, let me explain what this is NOT. First of all, this is not mindlessly repeating some mantra, emptying your mind of anything and just humming words. This is not some mystical Eastern meditative practice. It’s also not just saying words over and over again, hoping that it will somehow impress God and get His attention.

Jesus says that we should not pray using pointless repetitions like the heathens do. That’s not what God wants from us. He wants a conversation in which we speak to Him about what’s going on in our lives and then listen to Him in stillness.

Biblical prayer is two-way communication. But maybe sometimes you don’t know what to pray. Or perhaps you struggle to be quiet enough to hear what God may be saying to you.


What to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Say

I encourage you to start using Scripture in your prayers.

Start with a sentence. Maybe there’s a particular verse or passage that God recently brought to your attention or laid on your heart. Pray through that verse over and over again, emphasizing different words in the sentence each time through, pausing between repetitions to quiet your soul in God’s presence.

In one season of my life, I often clung to a verse from Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.”

I kept saying that verse over and over again. Every time I would say that verse, I would focus on a different word, and it brought such comfort to my heart during a troubling time. In fact, I often return to that psalm years later.

If you’re wanting to go deeper in your prayer life, and to fight against the distractions as you pray, I encourage you to start by identifying a refrain, a passage of Scripture, a verse that you can cling to and pray through it, one word at a time.

Our prayers don’t have to be complex; they can be very simple, and still sincere. Try using one refrain, one phrase, to help you focus in your prayer life.


Your Next Steps:

Identify a refrain or verse from the Bible that you can cling to. Pray through one word at a time. Pause and think about what each one word means in your life. Praise Him for ways that He has taken care of you. Ask Him to take care of things that are out of your control. Surrender parts of your life to Him. Confess sins to Him. Declare your trust in Him.


Scriptures to Read:

Psalm 46; Psalm 23


Recommended Resources:

Quiet Time Journal: 90-Day Bible Study and Prayer Journal

Walking with God: Enjoying God’s Presence from Morning to Night

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions

Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds, by Beth Moore


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