The Power Of Listening In Prayer

Daily Effective Prayer Newsletter Issue 174.

TODAY'S TEACHING

Let be and be still, and knowing (recognize and understand) that I am God. - Psalm 46:10


Talking has always been easy for me, but listening?

Well, that's another story.

I remember a time when I told my wife we needed to talk more

She looked at me and said, "Daniel, we don't talk. You talk, and I listen."

Ouch.

She was absolutely right.

If I wanted her to spend more time with me, I needed to change.

Unfortunately, I carried talking too much over into my prayer life.

I realized I treated God the same way.

I did all the talking and expected Him to listen.

Then, I'd complain that I rarely heard from God.

The truth?

I never took enough time to listen.

Psalm 46:10 is today's verse, and it instructs us, "Be still, and know that I am God."

But oh, how hard it is to be still.

We're like flashlights that are always on, always busy, always doing something.

But to truly hear from God, we've got to learn to be still and to spend focused time alone with Him.

Listening isn't something that comes naturally to many of us.

It's a skill we have to develop and practice.

Sometimes, that means sitting quietly, not saying a single word.

It's in those quiet moments that we can truly hear His voice speak to our hearts.

He wants to encourage and bless you.

And when you listen, you'd be amazed at how quickly He responds.

So, what can you do today to practice listening more when praying? 

Here are three action steps to help you listen more and talk less while praying to God:

  1. Set aside a specific time for silence: Find a quiet spot and dedicate a few minutes each day to simply sit in silence. No talking, no distractions, just being still in God's presence. Let your heart and mind be open to hearing from Him.
  2. Journal your thoughts and prayers: Instead of speaking all your prayers out loud, write them down. This can help you focus your thoughts and also give you a record of what you're praying about. As you write, leave space to jot down any thoughts or impressions you feel God is giving you.
  3. Practice mindful listening during prayer: After you pray, take a few moments to be silent and attentive. Ask God to speak to your heart and be still. Pay attention to any thoughts, scriptures, or feelings that come to mind. This is God’s primary way of communicating with you.

Take some time today.

Be still.

Just listen

You'll be blessed

Trust me.

If this resonates with you, here's a short prayer you can say today:

"Heavenly Father, help me to quiet my soul like a calm lake reflecting Your peace. Teach me to be still, to tune out the noise, and to lean in close to hear Your gentle and loving voice. Like a child listening for their parent’s call, may my heart be even more sensitive and eager to catch every word You speak, rather than doing all the talking. In the stillness, let me be renewed and filled with Your wisdom and love. Amen."

God bless you! 


Your brother in Christ,

Daniel

DailyEffectivePrayer.org

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TODAY'S QUESTIONS

1. What steps can we take to create a quiet and peaceful environment conducive to listening to God's voice?

Creating a quiet and peaceful environment is like setting the stage for a meaningful conversation. It's about finding that sacred space where distractions fade away. Turn off the noise...phones, TVs, and even your own busy thoughts. Think of it as preparing a cozy corner just for you and God, where His voice can be the loudest thing you hear. Whether it's a comfy chair in a quiet room or a peaceful spot in nature, make it a place where you can settle in, be still, and truly listen.

2. How do we recognize the difference between our own thoughts and God's gentle whispers during prayer?

Recognizing God's voice over our own thoughts is like distinguishing a familiar melody in a sea of noise. God's whispers often come with a sense of peace, clarity, and sometimes, a gentle nudge that aligns with His Word. When you feel unsure, hold it up against the Bible because God's character doesn't change. It's that still, small voice that brings comfort and conviction, not confusion or fear. Over time, just like a sheep knows the shepherd's voice, you'll find yourself more attuned to His gentle guidance.

3. What biblical examples illustrate the importance of stillness and listening in one's relationship with God?

Biblical examples of stillness and listening are like treasure maps guiding us to deeper connection with God. Think of Elijah on the mountain, who didn't find God in the wind or earthquake but in the gentle whisper (this is one of my favorite scriptures about being still). Or Mary sitting at Jesus' feet, choosing to listen rather than be distracted by many tasks. These stories show us that God often speaks in the quiet, unexpected moments when we're willing to stop, be still, and open our hearts to His presence.

4. In what ways can we incorporate more listening and less talking in our daily prayer routine?

Incorporating more listening into prayer is like learning to be a better conversationalist. It's about balance. Start by setting aside time specifically for silence, letting God have the first and last word. Use prompts from Scripture to guide your thoughts, then pause and let Him respond. Journaling can help, too. Write down your thoughts, then listen and jot down what you feel He's saying. It’s a dance of speaking and listening, where you give God room to lead.

5. How can we develop a heart that is more sensitive and attuned to hearing God's guidance and direction?

Developing a sensitive heart to God's guidance is like tuning an instrument to perfect pitch. It requires daily practice and patience. Spend time in His Word, let it soak into your spirit. Surround yourself with His presence through worship and fellowship with other believers. Ask the Holy Spirit to sharpen your spiritual senses. Over time, your heart becomes like fertile soil, ready to receive and respond to God's gentle promptings with trust and obedience.


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Scripture Of The Week

"In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

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