Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Listening to God

Jesus said that when some people pray, they wrongly assume “that they will be heard for their many words” (Matt. 6:7). Praying doesn’t get better because it’s longer, just like sermons don’t get better because they’re longer. I’ve never heard anyone say, “That sermon was so good because it was SO long!” And I don’t think God says, “That prayer is so good because it’s so long! That person just talks and talks and talks and never expects Me to say anything back!”

Years ago when I worked for a Christian college in Georgia, I had an appointment with a lady who lived in another city to talk about some business concerning the college. After we met, she started talking non-stop (and I am not exaggerating) for the entire hour. I kept waiting for her to take a breath—to pause—to take a break between words—to ask what I thought—anything so I could get a word in edgewise, but she never did. Finally, after sixty minutes of me listening without saying a word, I had to leave for my next appointment. When I got up from my chair I said, “Well, it was nice talking to you!” 

God must feel the same way when we do all the talking but never listen. He wants to speak to us, but we must have open hearts to hear His voice. “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 3:15). If you in a bad situation and don’t know what to do, God says if you will pray and ask for wisdom, He will always show you what to do. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God...and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

But how will you know when He gives you the wisdom? He will put thoughts in your mind and impressions on your heart. Sometimes He will give you desires to point your heart in the right direction. At other times, you will just instinctively know what you need to do. However, if you don’t expect Him to speak to you, you won’t receive anything from the Lord (James 1:7).

Remember that prayer is a dialog and not a monologue. Learn to listen to God and then do what He says.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  
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