Prayer for the Unfocused

kelly stanley


[editor’s note: This is part of a series of guest posts by the lovely Kelly O’Dell Stanley. See her previous posts, Prayer for the Weary Parent and Prayer for the Overwhelmed by following the links!]

Dear Lord, I’m so glad you are rock-steady, because I feel like I ricochet from one place to the next, faster than I can catch my breath. But it’s not just my activities—my mind, Lord, spins and whirs. So many distractions, so many thoughts, so many ideas, so much to do. I want to pray. I want to focus on you, to prioritize the things that matter and let everything else drop away. But the reality is that I can’t seem to complete a single train of thought before I’m derailed. My prayers are uncompleted half-sentences. My to-do list grows longer and rarely shorter, but it’s not for a lack of effort.

I need Your help.

I need to learn from You. I need to set my sights on You. Maybe that’s why I’m so scattered—I’m looking everywhere except for the One place where I need to focus.

Lord, draw me in. Gather my stray thoughts. Gently cradle me in that hushed and holy place where You reside. Whisper, and let me stop talking long enough to hear You. Soothe my frazzled nerves and quiet the chaotic jumble of static that drowns out the silence.

And help me to just breathe. To turn my mind towards You. To let my body become aware of Your presence. To let my heart recognize Your love and my mind respond to Your truth.

Help me see what matters. Help me focus my sights—my longings, my hopes, my dreams, my intentions—help me focus them all on You. On my unwavering, always-present, never-changing, solid and true God Almighty.

Thank You, Lord, for who You are. And thank You for letting me see clearly. Amen.



Kelly O’Dell Stanley: Full of doubt and full of faith, Kelly is the author of Praying Upside Down and Designed to Pray(August 2016). She lives in small-town Indiana, where she operates her own graphic design business, reads too much and cleans too little, and thrives on coffee and deep discussions with friends. Download free monthly prayer prompt calendars at