Q: I have been trying to pray and I find it very difficult to concentrate. I lost my little brother about a year ago and since then my prayer life has gone to almost zero.
A: Thank you so much for writing to us here at Truthbook.com with your heartfelt question. I want to tell you how sorry I am to hear of the death of your little brother. It must be very difficult to get back to a normal life after such a loss.
My first thought at hearing of your worry over your prayer life is to say that I think you have probably been in the process of grieving for this past year. Dealing with the death of a close person in our lives can take quite awhile, and in the meantime, our regular approach to life is somewhat suspended.
Death can being all kinds of emotions—sorrow, anger, depression and a deep heart-pain. These emotions can easily eclipse any other attempts we make to “get back to normal.” So, first of all, I would tell you to be kind to yourself—don’t be hard on yourself over your seeming failures in your prayer-life. Give yourself time…
God knows our hearts better than we do ourselves. If you want to pray, God is aware of this. The fact that you remember to pray for your brother speaks well of you, and I am sure that your prayers for him are heard. But, when we wish to communicate with God through prayer, words are really not even necessary. God knows the intention of your heart, and he hears the wordless cry of your soul for a renewed closeness with him.
From The Urantia Book:
(91:8.12) Words are irrelevant to prayer; they are merely the intellectual channel in which the river of spiritual supplication may chance to flow…God answers the soul’s attitude, not the words.
In your times of prayer for your brother, take some extra time to just be quiet before God—quiet without any words at all. Just BE with God, concentrate only on your breath, open your heart, and listen for awhile in peaceful receptivity. Ask the Father to speak to your soul, and then just listen with your heart. Over time, you’ll gain strength from these times of being with God. I am sure you’ll find that making the effort will bear great fruit. if your mind starts chattering about other things, bring your awareness back to your breath—in and out, in and out. And if you fall asleep, be assured that God will still continue to minister to you in the highest spiritual areas of your mind that never sleep.
Think about God often during your day. Include him in your daily tasks and ask him for advice in the little things of life, as well as the big things. Thank him for your blessings. Make this a habit, and in time, I feel certain that you will see an improvement in your prayer-life and in your faith.
Thanks again for writing to us, and please accept my condolences for your loss. It is a great pleasure to be able to minister to you in your time of need. And if I—a mere mortal—feel that way, imagine how your heavenly Father feels when you go to him with these same concerns. Remember—he loves you with a Father’s unconditional love and he knows your heart, so don’t worry. When we look for him, he has already found us.
I hope you’ll take my invitation to subscribe to our free Quotes About Life service. You’ll receive a daily quote from The Urantia Book to help you live your highest spiritual life.”