For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful (1 Corinthians 14:14)
One vital element of effective prayer is focusing your mind on what you’re praying about. Imagine that someone is praying for the salvation of souls in a particular region of the world. He’s interceding that, through the preaching and teaching of the Word, God’s righteousness would prevail in the towns, hinterlands, and cities without hindrance. While at it, his mind wanders away, and he’s thinking about some nice cars, houses or a meeting he’s scheduled with a friend. His prayer would hardly be effective that way, and this happens to a lot of people.
Focusing your mind, emotions and entire faculties on what you’re praying about is very important, and praying in the Spirit is a great advantage in this regard. When you pray in the Spirit, your spirit prays; your mind is unfruitful (1 Corinthians 14:14) Therefore, it’s important that you yield yourself to the Spirit by giving Him your mind—paying attention to Him as you pray. That way, you’ll be in sync with Him; His visions, promptings, ideas and thoughts will be clear to you.
Praying in the Spirit gets you synchronized with God’s will, His purpose, and timing. But your mind has a role in this; you must get your thoughts together as you pray in tongues. You might say, “As much as I try, I just can’t help it; my mind keeps drifting as I pray.” Maintaining focus in prayer is something you do consciously. Your mind is a tool. You’d have to discipline your mind to think in the direction of your prayers, and switch it back to that thing you’re praying about. If it wanders again, bring it back until your mind gets the message.
Prayer arrest your mind; channel your thoughts and emotions in the direction of the Spirit, and you’ll receive the ministrations of the Holy Spirit
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