Prayer is an excellent training ground for practicing control of one's thoughts.
Some people give up hope on concentrating during prayers because they feel there is so much to say and they find it hard to concentrate for so long. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov offered the following advice: When external thoughts come to you during prayers, ignore them. Don't try to fight them, since the more you battle them the more they will bother you.
Make up your mind to concentrate on just a few pages. By using this technique you will be able to concentrate during the entire service.
(see Chochmah Umussar, vol.1, p.283; Rabbi Pliskin - Gateway to Happiness, p.86)
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