This has probably happened to all of us from time to time:
You’re visiting with a friend or family member. You haven’t seen them in a while, and they ask “How are you doing?” You proceed to tell them the things that are on your heart.
Next, they ask your advice on a matter close to their heart. You begin telling them your thoughts, how you can pray for them, and scripture that may resonate with their situation. In the middle of your heartfelt advice, there’s a beep, buzz, ring or other noise to indicate they have received a text. Immediately, they stop listening to you, so they can check their phone.
You stop talking, waiting until you have their full attention. They glance up sheepishly, head hanging, checks scarlet red in embarrassment.
“I’m sorry, I needed to answer! Go ahead, what were you saying?”
Doesn’t that make you feel less than? Like they didn’t care enough to listen until you had finished speaking? They ASKED you for advice. Then they ignored you while you were talking.
Confession time here: I’ve done the SAME THING to God during my prayer time.
I was having a lovely conversation with Him about a passage I had just read. He was advising me through His Word. Then the beep from my phone. Without a second thought, I checked my message, and began a quick conversation with my friend! I totally ignored what the Lord was beginning to say to me, turning my back on Him.
The texting wasn’t so quick. It turned into a full blown, back and forth, problem solving, discussion about – of all things – LISTENING to God. Yeah, I can be that dense.
Who knows what He was about to say to me? I never will!
It’s hard to still our minds and thoughts sometimes, isn’t it? I know I struggle with distraction during my prayer time. I want more than anything to give my full, undivided attention to God. I want more that anything to HEAR Him speak through His word.
“But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” Matthew 17:5 (NLT)
I’m a great listener when I talk with others. Why not with God?
Here’s the bottom line:
We have to still our hearts and our minds before Him. And you know what?
Stillness takes time.
We need to realize that He is with us – always! Have an expectant heart. Expect to hear from Him during your prayer time!
Above all, know who it is you are waiting to hear from: the God of heaven and earth. The God who loves you enough to send His Son Jesus to be your Savior.
Our God is faithful to be there with us. He always shows up. He’s just waiting for us to see Him, acknowledge that He is there, and still our hearts enough to listen to Him.
I won’t lie, it’s hard work, and is totally opposite of what we are used to. But we can’t come before Him in a hurry, hoping to hear Him, when we rush in and just as quickly rush out of His presence.
Stop talking, be still, and listen for Him.
Father, I’m so sorry for the times I have rushed through our conversations, for the times I talk and talk and never still myself enough to listen to Your words. Still my heart, Father. I wait expectantly for You, and You alone. In Jesus’ nightly name, Amen.