I am a woman who performs what Allah has obligated on me concerning the ritual acts of worship. However, while in prayer, I often forget what I have prayed. I also think about what has occurred to me during that day. I do not think of those things except when I begin the prayer and I cannot seem to free myself from these thoughts unless I recite aloud. What do you advise me to do?
This matter that you complain about is something that many of those who pray also complain about. This is where Satan has the door of whispering open to him during the prayer. Perhaps the person finishes without knowing what he has said in his prayer. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has guided us to the cure for that. The person should blow out on his left side three times and say, “I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan.” If the person does that, his problem will come to an end, Allah willing. When the person enters the prayer, he must firmly believe that he is standing in front of Allah. He is in private conversation with Allah. He should get closer to Allah by his stating Allahu akbar, his glorification of Allah, and his reciting of Allah’s word. Also, he should get closer to Allah by means of the places of supplication in the prayer. If a person has this feeling and consciousness in him, he will approach his Lord with humility and submission to Him. He will love what Allah has of good and fear from His punishment if he fails in what Allah has obliged him to do.
Shaikh ibn Uthaimin