You’ve heard it said that God gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Logically, it should be easier for us to speak half as much and listen two times more, right?
It is an unfortunate tendency of our human nature to use prayer time as an opportunity to purge all our transgressions, frustrations, and desires. While this is certainly the time to vent, plead, and praise, remember to let God get a word in edgewise. “Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
God is not Santa. Yes, your Heavenly Father wants to know the desires of your heart. He wants you to talk to him, and there’s no matter or need too trivial for Him. But if we think of God only as the postal delivery man bringing us our order, we miss out on the spiritual closeness that comes from listening to God, rather than simply hoping He’ll fulfill our shopping list of wants.
Picture an adolescent girl on a cell phone. She rattles off rumors at the speed of several sentences per breath, completely unaware that her conversation is entirely one-sided. Similarly, God doesn’t always want to be on the receiving end of a one-sided conversation with us.
As much as we want to be heard, our Divine Teacher wants us to hear Him even more. It’s a well-known fact in academia that the more senses a student uses to learn new ideas, a higher percentage of those concepts will be absorbed. During prayer, we have the opportunity to use hearing as well as speaking. If we choose only to use one of those senses, we short-change ourselves. When we’re quiet, we can pay closer attention to God’s instruction and internalize the directions He’s giving us.
Contemplative prayer is the buzz-word given to a habit of praying in silence. You may be thinking: I’m usually silent when I pray. Are you really? Are you maintaining an inward silence long enough to hear God speaking to you?
At first, this is easier said than done. Utter silence is often a difficult notion to embrace. But, with practice, it becomes easier to close your eyes and meditate upon the will of the Lord. This is not the time to tell Him your will. This is the time to be still and listen for Him to direct your path. “…when you are in your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” Psalm 4:4
Here’s a little challenge: For one week, when you pray, make an honest effort to speak less and hear God more. Begin each of the next seven days by entering into God’s presence and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your path. “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3
By: G. I. A. Devotions