I've been thinking a lot about prayer recently. Partly because of what I wrote in this post, and also in this recent post. And partly because there are seasons in life where I think God calls us to deeper prayer, and this is where I am finding myself now. I know there is so much to learn about this amazing thing we call prayer.
Sometimes we make prayer so complex, when really, it is so simple. Just like when we spend time with a close family member, or close friend. We are free to share our deepest joys and also our deepest trials. And we are free to ask for help in our times of need.
So it is with our communication with our eternal, all-loving, all-powerful God, who asks us to not worry about anything, but to pray about everything.
This sharing of our hearts with our loved ones,
and also with God, is all good.
But in any healthy relationship, there must also be another component of communication. Another side to prayer that we often neglect. And this other side of communication is called listening. Listening from both sides. We know that God hears our prayers and listens to the cries of our hearts.
But do we pause, and listen to God's heart?
Communication, to be effective and to truly be communication, must be a two-way exchange. The sharing of one's heart, and the listening to the other's heart.
And this is what is drawing my heart these days/weeks ... to purposely slow myself, to pause from my continual asking, and talking to God. To pause, and to listen to Him. To read His Words more often, more intently, with a listening heart. To pause in my busyness, and to listen to His direction. To even be silent as I pray, and let His thoughts fill my mind.
I have found that true listening is a matter of the heart. It starts in the heart with a deep desire to hear from God - through His Word, as we pause in prayer, as we seek Him with our whole hearts. It comes with a longing, even a desperate longing, to hear from Him. Just as a newborn babe longs for nourishing, life-giving milk.
Let me hear
of Your unfailing love
for I am trusting You.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to You.
In this fast-moving, busy world, filled with so many things to do, we need to continually remind ourselves that just as Jesus pulled aside during His days on earth to spend time communicating with His Father, so we also need to pull aside from our busyness to spend uninterrupted time communicating deeply with Him. And even in the midst of our days and in the middle of our busyness, in the middle of the noise, to quiet our hearts and pause, and to communicate. To pray ...
To share our hearts and to listen to His.
For more posts on this topic: