If your thoughts are not right, your prayers cannot be right

a muslim praying (observing solat)
Ever since I saw this quote, "If your thoughts are not right, your prayers cannot be right," on my friend's (Sanya Deborah) Facebook timeline, my mind couldn't stop processing the actual meaning of the quote and how it relates to me.

I asked myself series of questions. What if this quote is right? What if it is the reason why many of us pray and pray, yet our prayers never seem to be answered? When you are in prayer and negative thoughts still pops into your mind, will that prayer be answered?

We all know the mind which is contained in the heart of every human being is one of the most powerful things in the body. With the mind, we think, reflect (and so often regret the past), imagine (and so often fear the future) unconsciously. My main problem is negative thoughts popping into my head in prayers. It happens without my permission.

Before Salat prayers in the mosque, my Imam would request for every one of us to close our minds to all except the prayer at hand, that is to God. But the human mind wanders every three minutes according to a research. My own mind wanders every one minute, and you'd be surprised at the thoughts I catch myself playing with during prayers.

Sometimes, I am thinking about the future (when I am supposed to pray to God for a better future) or worrying about being broke, scared of my health, the next post I am going to blog or drop on Facebook, the next call I am to make, my problems at work with coworkers or boss, even sexual moments with a girlfriend.

How did I get here? Thinking about sexual activities in prayer. Do you think prayers like this would be accepted or am I simply deceiving myself? Negative thoughts are deceits and people that entertain them are their own deceivers.

These thoughts happen unconsciously and when I become conscious, I quickly utter "God forgive me," and in the next second, I am worrying about God accepting my prayer. That worry itself is another negative thought. Islam doesn't encourage even thinking-about-not-thinking during prayers. You have to come to the Lord with a clear mind. How then can I reach this level? In my head, I am like never. Do you even know we are what we think?

How can I control my thoughts? How can I stop my thoughts in the middle of thinking? Let's talk about the cause of these thoughts. Funny enough, it isn't even that far away. We feed our minds with that which will promote sinful thoughts. What are these things that fuel negative thoughts in our minds?
In this computer age, there are numerous things like; movies, the internet, music and bad friends. What we see and hear influence our thinking.

- How would you enjoy pornographic materials so much and you'd expect not to think of sex during prayers?

- How can you listen to the contents of these hip life music and pray with a clear mind?

- How can you engage in illegal ways on the internet looking for fast money and money thoughts won't dominate the mind in prayer?

- How can you enjoy the company of your friends and the bad conversations without anticipating (during prayer) the next time you'd spend with them?

- How can you be with a clear mind in prayer when you let worries and pressures from the world dominate or wear you down?

Thus, we are to avoid videos, websites, conversations and situations that will set us up for negative thoughts. Shouldn't we also avoid spending time with those who would encourage us down these wrong paths?

I searched the internet on this topic and I found many resources questioning one's faith and believe in God. I then asked myself, do I really have faith and belief in God? With correct faithfulness and strong belief in God, will my mind still be clouded with negative thoughts?

The best solution I think many of the authors who worked on this topic agreed on was meditation. Learning to control the mind. I know what I suffer from, and would you believe me if I say meditation was the number one thing on my list for this year, 2016 resolution? I wanted to get closer to God real bad but this negative thought affects me. It's July already and I am yet to master even the first step in meditation.

Reading of the Holy books is also recommended. Read the Bible or the Qur'an. The Qur'an is the only book on this planet that can't be reviewed, unlike other books where the Authors review or update it or those books with different versions (contradicting each other). The Qur'an is still as it was delivered to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). However, we should be wary of other religious materials we read because many are fake and filled with propaganda written by people with devious agendas.

I know many suffer from this same problem of negative thoughts in prayer and you'd all agree with me that we need help. We need to stop procrastination and seek solutions. We need to ditch many of the -what my good friend in the Lord, Debby will call- worldly things. We need to delay some certain gratifications and keep striving for more closeness to God the Creator.

P.S: Please, you can comment if you have one or two things to say or add, likewise rejoinders to this article would also be entertained. Who knows, Sanya Deborah may want to shed more on "Having the right thoughts to pray right."


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