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Distractions in Prayer

Distractions in Prayer

Golden Lion Tamarin monkey, Adrian Pingstone, 30 July 2003, PD-Worldwide, Wikimedia Commons.

What do giant trees and screaming monkeys have to do with praying? Dan and Melissa will tell you. Join them as they discuss reasons why we are distracted in prayer, and offer some strategies to deal with the distractions in prayer.

“A Hermit Praying”, Gerrit Dou, between 1645 and 1675, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.

“A Hermit Praying”, Gerrit Dou, between 1645 and 1675, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church say about “the battle of prayer”?
  • What is the best time to schedule daily prayer?
  • What if the “best time” for prayer is not possible?
  • Is it a sin to fall asleep during prayer?
  • What does God expect from us in prayer?
  • How can we reach the point where we crave prayer?
  • Is anyone completely free from distractions in prayer? How is this possible?
  • Avoiding discouragement over distractions.
  • Training ourselves to be more disciplined in prayer.
  • What is the enemy’s role in our distractions?



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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Liz G

    Thank you for this podcast! Now I need to go tame those monkeys in my head!

  • Judy Silhan


  • Jeanette

    I just wanted to add that after listening to Melissa talk about how hard it is to carve out any time for prayer in her busy day with very young children, I remembered about the practice of the presence of God. Even on those days that it’s impossible for quiet time to pray, we can meet God among the pots and pans, when changing diapers, when grocery shopping, in whatever we do by quick spontaneous prayers to God. Such as, Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner, or telling God you love Him or in thanking Him for everything in your life. I told this to a young mother just recently who was feeling guilty about not being able to find quiet time to pray and asked for advice in what she could do. She felt this practice would keep her in touch with God on those crazy, busy days with children.

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