We spend a lot of time on this page discussing how to talk to God, but equally important (if not more so) is listening to Him.
Most anyone who has gone through a business leadership seminar has heard this — there are three types of listening (beyond outright ignoring and pretending to listen):
- selective listening,
- attentive listening, and
- empathetic listening.
With the first two types, we are generally pre-formulating a response to the speaker, while with the third, we are seeking to genuinely understand what someone is trying to communicate.
We aren’t worried about a response as much as we are trying to hear what is being said.
It sometimes feels like prayer is a one-sided conversation, but nothing could be further from the truth.
We just need to learn to shut up and listen!
God speaks to us several ways – the Bible, situations and circumstances, whispers across our hearts and minds, as well as others.
There’s a story that gives a great illustration of how God might speak:
A man was caught in a flood and as the waters rose, he climbed onto the roof of his house.
A man came by in a canoe and offered to take him to safety, but the man declined, saying “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he’ll save me.”
Later, the Police came by in a boat and offered to help him.
Again, the man declined, saying he’d prayed God will save him.
Finally, a rescue helicopter came, but despite attempts to help the man, he steadfastly refused, saying “God will rescue me.”
The floodwaters rose and the man drowned.
When he got to heaven, he asked God, “Why didn’t you save me?”
God replied, “I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.”
Today, as you pray, ask God to speak to you, then stop and listen.
NOTE: Feel free to comment, but these prayer prompts are meant to be between you and God. Matthew 6:6 — But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.