Our thoughts, especially in today's culture, are often a whirlwind of to-dos and worries and timelines. Unfortunately, those agendas can get in the way of prayer. Sometimes in the midst of prayer, I find that I've put my conversation with Christ on pause while thinking about the sugar I forgot at the grocery store or that I need to remember to set my alarm for that appointment tomorrow. If I find that I can't concentrate in my prayer time I first ask God to help me focus my attention on Him. Second, I pray aloud. It's much easier to stay in prayer when you're actually speaking because you can quickly catch yourself drifting if all of a sudden silence permeates while you remember that you need to clean the kitchen, or write that email.
40 Day Challenge--Day 6:
Begin your prayer time by asking God to guide you in focusing your attention solely on Him. Next, spend at least five minutes speaking to God aloud. It's okay to be silent for a moment as you allow Him time to respond to and direct you (but make a conscious effort not to let your worldly thoughts take over during that time.) If you find that you've drifted away from the conversation, simply ask Him to help you focus again and continue your verbal conversation with the Lord.