Is your prayer life in-the-zone?
The opening seconds of this year’s Superbowl snapped one team’s attention to winning the game and allowed the other team’s attention to ramble. Great athletes speak of being in-the-zone when their entire being –body, mind and soul– is fully focused on the task at hand.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus lists among the beatitudes those of “pure of heart.” We get the word cathartic from the word translated as pure, a process of purging to clean everything out. While modern poets consider the heart the center of emotion, ancient Greeks considered the heart as the center of reason. Thus this verse might be interpreted as beginning: “Blessed are the clean of mind,” or as “Happy are those in-the-zone,” or “Honored are those who purge out all distractions from the task at hand.” Later in this sermon Jesus tells us to go to a closed room to pray, to find a place free from distractions to focus on God.
Scientists studying people who meditate regularly perform better at other tasks. By learning to focus on the task of prayer, purging distractions in a quiet place, we exercise our intellectual muscles of concentration so we can get in-the-zone for other tasks.
Great leaders throughout the ages tell how when life gets extremely complicated, spending a few minutes in prayer allows them to accomplish more. Spending a few minutes warming up our muscles of concentration, purging distractions, puts us in-the-zone.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.
– Matthew 5:8 (The Message)