I have a problem with prayer! I seem to pray with sincere "vain repetitions". Every once and a while I examine my praying, the thoughts, words and routine. I keep finding myself weighted in the balance and found wanting. Over the years I’ve tried making changes in the wording, the routine and even the positions to help me better focus. Here’s some examples of what I mean…
First let me say that I usually make a conscious effort to focus on the event, that I’m actually talking to my Heavenly Father and that He’s listening. But what I’m talking about here are the "gimmicks" I sometimes use to help me with that focus:
Wording: thee and thou are ok, but sometimes it helps me to be more friendly and familiar and I use "you" and "your". Once in a while I’ll have a thank you prayer, where I just thank, no ask… it’s hard because there are so many things I want! I’ll focus on just one thing, or just one person or family member and make the whole prayer about it or them, nothing else. I sometimes vocalize my personal prayer, saying my prayers out loud seems to help me concentrate better.
Positions: Other than kneeling I’ve bowed over my knees like I was a member of Islam praying to Mecca. Or stood for my personal prayer. Or prostrated myself completely on the floor…not the bed. Or I will kneel with both my arms raised to the square (I got that idea from a picture of the sacrament being blessing that I saw in the church history museum).
I guess if I were spiritually stronger I wouldn’t need to use these gimmicks to help me focus. Any ideas that work for you?