Great question, Tricia. My answer in short is practice, practice, practice. When I first made the decision to get serious about prayer, I found it nearly impossible to sit still. A good friend told me that I just needed to sit in the quiet. This terrified me. I had always surrounded myself by noise. I would have the TV on even if I wasn’t in the room and an Ipod blaring upstairs even when I was outside. I didn’t do silent. But I believe it was the key in going deeper.
Once you get used to sheer quiet, you begin to open yourself up to what is going on inside of you. You are able to “pour your troubles out to the Lord” like we saw Hannah do this week. It becomes easier each time you sit down to pray.
It also carries over to public prayer. I used to spend my time at Mass people watching. Once I learned how to pray, I could be in a room full of people and hardly notice. For me, the quiet was the key.
In fact, I just noticed that I am sitting in my office, typing away and the only noise is from the keys tapping and the birds chirping and I am at peace.
Go, unplug, sit in a chair and be quiet!