Sometimes I think we have the attention span of a toddler when it comes to paying attention to our heavenly Father.Want to pray without ceasing? Then practice this spiritual discipline of paying attention to God as a form of prayer.

When my kids were little I felt like I was telling them to pay attention all the time.

“Pay attention when I’m talking to you.”

“Pay attention when you cross the street.”

“Pay attention when you pour the milk.”

They were so easily distracted. There was always a brother talking a little louder. Or the cookie across the counter enticed their attention. Or they were in a hurry. They hurried to get outside. They hurried to get inside. They hurried to the table. And they hurried to get down from the table. They were distracted all the time with what was next on their play agenda.

I’m a lot like my kids when they were little–spiritually speaking. I’m easily distracted from matters of the heart by other things that demand my attention. Maybe it’s not a play agenda. But it’s usually a full agenda that keeps me in a hurry.

It’s so easy to be distracted from the spiritual when the physical screams loudly for my immediate attention.

What gets your attention throughout the day? I have plenty–the kids, my husband, the calendar, work, what’s for supper, the checkbook balance, the in-box, the news feed, and even my dog wants me to pay attention to him.

And there is my Heavenly Father. Waiting patiently for me to pay attention to Him.

I don’t mean that I need to go to church more. Read my Bible more. Or do more things for Him. Those are good to do.

But I can actually do those without paying attention to Him.

Paying attention is a form of prayer that I want to practice more often.

Paul said, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2) “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions…be alert.” (Ephesians 6:18)

Watchful and alert—paying attention.

It’s a spiritual alertness. An attitude. An awareness.

It’s praying without ceasing.

“Father, help me pay attention today.

Help me pay attention to Christ in me,

your presence in others,

to the truths that your Spirit reveals.

Let me pay attention to what is unseen—the eternal,

not to the temporary distractions that snatch my attention from you.

Help me pay attention to You today.”

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