About a year ago, God planted a phrase in my head that I've been using to focus. I generally say this in mornings while I run (which, by the way, is a great way to pray - yes, you can turn off the iPod!). Before I tell you this, let me give you the background.
First, there is the idea of God's will. Perfect. Sees the BIG picture. It's the part of the Lord's Prayer "Your kingdom come, Your will be done." I think anyone who believes in Jesus would say, "yeah, I'm down with that."
Second, there is this intersection of heaven and earth which takes place in the human heart - the will. As the Spirit resides in us, He is constantly conforming our hearts (our wills) into the likeness of Christ. The problem always is with our will. Often, we want to do, act, think in a way that is our own. We often feel that we know best. Or there are certain things/situations in which we often take control. As Christ takes over our lives, we want to not only act, but want to think/feel as Christ would. This isn't easy. As Corey Mann has said, "Sometimes we need to do laps." Just like the nation of Israel did in the desert.
So when, someone gets accolades for doing something great, our first impulse isn't jealousy, but praise. When someone rides up too close behind us in a car, we don't immediately throw back an expletive, but rather consider that they may be trying to get to something truly important. Or if someone doesn't call us back right away, instead of judging them in our hearts, maybe we grow some patience; understanding that maybe our agenda isn't the most important thing in the world.
OK... Finally... the phrase... (warning it's not earth shattering) ready...
"Lord, will in me Your perfect will."
Again, God's will intersecting our will. When I pray this, I'm asking that God would will (create, or form) in my heart (my will), His perfect will. I think the more I would approach situations from this perspective, the better off I'd be.
Recommendation: I have found it helpful to simply meditate on this phrase (as well as phrases like the Centering Prayer "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.") Or you could make up your own phrase. I advise to keep the phrase short. Repeating this all day in your inner dialogue with God might work. Or for a block of time focusing each word in the phrase and asking God to speak to your heart. Also, a great site for meditative prayer guidance is sacredgateway.com Hope this can encourage you today.